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Support for independence has gained ground for the first time in over a year, according to a new IPSOS Mori Scottish Public Opinion Monitor. The poll of more than 1,000 Scots shows that backing for Scotland to leave the UK has increased by four points in the past four months among those certain to vote and now stands at 34% – up 4% since October.

The results show there is a huge challenge still for the Yes campaign but will give some comfort to the long-held belief that the reality of a mass campaign, the detail of the process and the dismal prospect of austerity Unionism will combine to generate a momentum for change. What will be really galling for the NO campaign will be the trend amongst young people:

“The poll reveals a considerable surge in support for independence among young people – 58% of 18-24 year olds now say they will vote ‘Yes’, more than double the 27% recorded in October 2012. High levels of support for independence are also found amongst those living in Scotland’s most deprived areas (43%) and men (41%).”

Blair Jenkins of Yes Scotland said: “The support for an independent Scotland among 18-24-year-olds has more than doubled in the last four months showing very clearly that our positive and optimistic campaign is resonating with younger people who have the greatest stake in securing a fairer and more prosperous future for our country.”

I’d like to see a poll of 15, 16 and 17 year olds. Does anyone know if this is possible?

Have people began to cast off the celtic cringe of their parents? That’s a huge leap with support among young voters (18-24) rocketing from 27% to 58%. Unencumbered by the memories of 1978 or perhaps having just engaged in a more positive campaign and the idea of possibility, this could be a significant motor in the independence campaign. As we saw in the Arab Spring and the movements of change in 2011 – young people play a hugely important role in social movements as society enters periods of austerity and rapid change.

Scottish Public Opinion Monitor – February 2013 from Ipsos MORI
Scottish Public Opinion Monitor – February 2013 from Ipsos MORI