A recent YouGov poll that showed the Yes campaign edging ahead of Better Together for the first time has spooked the markets and caused Sterling to fall 1.3% against the US dollar to a ten month low of $1.61.
Shares also fell in a number of Scottish companies including RBS and SSE, after a YouGov poll for the Sunday Times suggested that, of those who have made up their mind, 51% planned to back independence, while 49% intended to vote no.
SNP leader Alex Salmond dismissed a promise by Chancellor George Osborne to set out a specific timetable for Scottish reforms in the event of a No vote as desperation, and claimed that the momentum was now with Scotland becoming an independent country.
However, while the Yes campaign appears to have been gaining ground in recent weeks as grassroots activists convince people of the value of independence, a single poll may not be the “big momentum swing” for which Salmond is hoping.
Currently, YouGov is the only polling firm that has published results showing a rapid rise in popularity for the Yes campaign, with Panelbase showing that the No vote will triumph with 52% to 48%, a result that has hardly changed over the last month.
YouGov recently vastly overestimated the support for Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats at the last general election, and there was a 15% gap between their final polling numbers and the result of the 2011 referendum on the alternative vote system.
More polling numbers from TNS and Ipsos/MORI are expected later this week, which should show whether the YouGov poll is an outlier or a reliable estimation of growing support for Scottish independence.