The leaders of the three main UK parties dashed up to Scotland on Wednesday to urge voters to stay within the United Kingdom.
Opinion polls at the weekend showed the ‘yes’ campaign narrowly in the lead, causing panic amongst politicians in Westminster.
On Tuesday the leaders backed plans to hand over new powers including greater control over finance, welfare and taxation on 19 September – the day after the referendum on independence.
Abandoning the usual Prime Minister’s Questions session at Westminster, David Cameron told people in Edinburgh: “Sometimes because it’s an election, because it’s a ballot I think people can feel it is a bit like a general election, that you make a decision and five years later you can make another decision if you are fed up with the effing Tories, give them a kick and then maybe we’ll think again. This is totally different to a general election: This a decision about not the next five years it’s a decision about the next century.”
Euronews correspondent Joanna Gill in Edinburgh explains that the last minute visit to the Scottish capital comes just 24 hours after a deal for more power for the country was promised. David Cameron is certainly feeling the pressure as not only would he lose Scotland, but he would likely lose his job.
Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond dismissed the promise of more powers to Scotland as a sign of “absolute panic” by the “Westminster elite”
“So many people in Scotland will see this effort by Ed Miliband, and David Cameron as too little, too late. Too little because they are not offering the job creating powers that are necessary for people to rally behind a powerhouse parliament – independence offers that – too little because they are not offering or explaining how we can protect the national health service without these real financial powers, and too late because it’s a last gasp piece of desperation,” Salmond said.
Fifty-three percent of Scots intend to vote against splitting away from the United Kingdom in next week’s referendum, a poll showed late on Wednesday.
The survey, carried out by Survation on behalf of the Daily Record newspaper, showed 47 percent intending to vote yes to the split.
The figures excluded 10 percent of people who were undecided.