Flackbotter over on reddit very kindly wrote up a detailed analysis of what's going on with the Independence Polls. This should help untangle some of the mess and perhaps show the YES campaign that not all is what it seems....
The latest statics I've seen has been been 47% Union - 32% Independence and 20% undecided (1% not voting). A need of a 15% swing to change the waters.
This from a Herald poll that tested the actual referendum question.
Another promising poll is the Panelbase poll from October [http://wingsland.podgamer.com/there-is-no-third-way/#more-28739](that went like this:)
*SUPPORT FOR INDEPENDENCE * (no conditions)
SUPPORT FOR INDEPENDENCE (likely Labour-led UK government)
SUPPORT FOR INDEPENDENCE (likely Tory-led UK government)
Possibly the most promising one of all for the Independence campaign. I must stress that both these polls tested an actual yes/no question. Not anything else, and this is why the interpretation of the poll that gives 24%-only support for Independence is so flawed.
(So here's the ScotCen Poll in Question.) All the Unionists from the Scotsman to the BBC has been Trumpeting this with the claims of roughly only ~24% of the population wanting independence (I assume this is how you got your statistic, too?) It should be worth noting the Sample size of this poll is 1229 people. A sizeable chunk enough to make a good estimate.
First off let's take the "For Independence Votes:"
Scotland Independent from EU and UK: 8%
Scotland Independent from UK: 16%
Scotland should remain part of the UK with Taxation powers: 50%
Status Quo Votes:
Scotland should remain part of the UK with no taxation powers: 11%
Ignorable NA/Crackpot votes:
Scotland should remain part of the UK without a parliament: 11%
Don't know: 5%
Notice why none of the news sources went into the poll in detail? This is not the referendum question. This poll comes with a devolution option which if added to the referendum would kill independence stone dead. As it happens the Unionist parties don't want devo-plus on the ballot papers as then they'd have to commit to the lie they would give Scotland more powers, so those 50% of people who want more powers for Scotland can still be dived up between the Independence and Unionist sides.
All this poll shows is that 24% of the Scottish population will settle for nothing less than Independence for their country. No matter what, a quarter of the population wanting nothing but independence is quite a sizeable -and for the Unionists a scary - amount. It just depends how you spin it.
Perhaps you are not convinced. Perhaps you will say “Oh FlackBotter you are a crazy deluded NeckBearded blogger, this poll proves people WANT Westminster to make decisions for Scotland. You can't just divvy up the 50% like that.”
That's very fair, how do I back up my claims? Well further reading into the pages of the same poll all the Unionists are trumpeting we get something a lot more telling on how Scots view the UK.
Who do you think should make the most important decisions for Scotland? (Welfare)
Scottish parliament: 64%
Who do you think should make the most important decisions for Scotland? (Taxes)
Scottish parliament: 56%
Which comes closest to your view on who should make the government decisions for Scotland:
Scottish Parliament makes all the Decisions: 35% (Should be a giant red flag here!)
UK Government makes decisions about Defence and Foreign affairs: 32%
UK Government makes decisions on Taxes, Benefits, Defence and Foreign Affairs: 24%
UK Government makes all decisions: 6%
Who do you thinking OUGHT to have the most influence over how Scotland is run:
Scottish parliament: 63%
That's a pretty hard resounding yes from the electorate for Scotland to take control if you don't mind me saying. The key thing here is that we must demonstrate to the Devo-Plus and Devo-Max crowd the truth that more devolved powers are never coming our way with a No outcome.
So do not fall prey to the tricks and lies of the conglomerate which are trumpeting the “24%” nonsense, the only real poll is the referendum.