Scottish Independence Campaign Leads Poll For The First Time

The Yes Scotland campaign for Scottish independence has a lead in the polls for the first time ever.

Scottish Independence Campaign Leads Poll For The First Time
Getty Images / Jeff J. Mitchell

The Yes Scotland campaign has passed another major mile marker in its efforts to establish an independent Scotland: for the first time, it's ahead in the polls — well, one poll anyway. 

A poll published in The Sunday Times found 51 percent of responders would vote for independence while 49 percent would stay in the United Kingdom — remarkably overturning a 22 percent lead for the unionists in the space of a month. 

The poll's timing is significant too, as it comes just a week and a half before Scotland is set to vote in the referendum that will ultimately make that decision. (Video via Yes Scotland)

As The Observer reports, "A win for the yes campaign would represent a stunning turnaround, and unleash the biggest constitutional crisis in the union's 300-year history."

But it's worth remembering those are just the numbers from one poll, and Glasgow newspaper The Herald pointed to another survey which still had 52 percent of people in support of staying together. 

Even those numbers were surprising to many on both sides of the issue, including George Osborne, Britain's top finance minister who on Sunday promised the UK will give Scotland more powers should it vote no.  

GEORGE OSBORNE, VIA BBC: "...more tax powers, more spending powers, more plans and powers over the welfare state ... The timetable for delivering that will be put into effect the moment there is a 'No' vote." 

But that promise of more powers sounded all too familiar to Osborne's Scottish counterpart John Swinney, who talked to Sky News about the 1979 referendum. (Video via American Enterprise Institute)

JOHN SWINNEY, VIA SKY NEWS: "Scotland was advised to vote no to get a better and stronger Scottish parliament, and what we got was 18 years of conservative government, we got industrial devastation and we didn't get a Scottish parliament for 18 years."    

Should the country vote "No" on the referendum, some analysts say it wouldn't necessarily mark the end of the campaign for Scottish independence. 

JAN EICHHORN, VIA C-SPAN: "The role they would take is then to campaign for the greatest level of further devolution ... some agreement would be reached within the next few years. we would see further devolutions of powers to Scotland and then I think it depends on the satisfaction."

Should the country vote "Yes" on the referendum, it would lead to a process of negotiations, after which Scotland would leave the United Kingdom. 

This video includes an image from Getty Images.