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Andrew Milligan/PA Wire/Press Association Images

On eve of Scottish referendum, polls suggest the pro-union vote will clinch it

Both sides have one more day of campaigning before the public go to the polls tomorrow.

OPINION POLLS PUBLISHED last night suggest that voters will narrowly reject independence in Scotland’s historic referendum.

However, both sides will battle on today in their final push to persuade voters.

Three polls released late last night showed the pro-independence side gaining ground, but with the No campaign still ahead by a slim margin.

The rival camps are set to slug it out until the last moment in a bid to win over the still substantial section of undecided voters ahead of Thursday’s referendum, with the Better Together and Yes Scotland campaigns both planning rallies in central Glasgow today.

In a letter to the people of Scotland, first minister and leader of the pro-independence Scottish National Party (SNP) Alex Salmond urged the electorate to take its historic chance to end the 307-year-old union.

“The talking is nearly done. The campaigns will have had their say. What’s left is just us — the people who live and work here. The only people with a vote. The people who matter,” Salmond wrote.

Wake up on Friday morning to the first day of a better country. Wake up knowing you did this — you made it happen.It’s about taking your country’s future into your hands. Don’t let this opportunity slip through our fingers. Don’t let them tell us we can’t. Let’s do this.

All three polls showed that support for independence had increased, but that when undecided voters were excluded, independence was set to be rejected by 52 percent to 48 percent:

  • The ICM poll for The Scotsman newspaper said No support was ahead on 45 percent to 41 percent, with 14 percent of voters still undecided.
  • Opinium said 49 percent of respondents to their survey of 1,156 backed staying in the union, with 45 percent set to vote for independence and six percent undecided.
  • A Survation poll for the Scottish Daily Mail said 47.7 percent would vote No to independence, and 44.1 percent would vote Yes, with 8.3 percent choosing “don’t know”.

An average of polls taken in the final week before the vote puts the race neck and neck, with No on 51 percent and Yes on 49 percent, according to research institute ScotCen.

“These polls — like all the recent polls — show that we are in touching distance of success on Thursday,” said pro-independence Yes Scotland chief executive Blair Jenkins.

Record numbers of voters have registered for the referendum and turnout is expected to be very high.

- © AFP, 2014

Read: UK party leaders pledge more powers if Scotland votes No >

More: Will Elizabeth II still be Queen of Scots if the ‘Yes’ vote triumphs? >

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