Scottish independence: ‘Dishonest’ Salmond hurting yes campaign

Alex Salmond is perceived as "dishonest" by women voters, a poll out today has revealed.

Research by Survation for the Daily Record newspaper found 51% of those questioned said they were less likely to vote for independence because of the Scottish National party (SNP) leader.

The research will be a setback for Salmond, whose leadership in the 2011 Scottish elections was seen as critical in handing the SNP an unprecedented overall majority in Holyrood.

Both Darling and Salmond were judged to be "arrogant" by women voters.

But whereas Salmond was also described as "ambitious" and "dishonest", the words most strongly associated with Darling were "intelligent" and "principled".

Deputy first minister Nicola Sturgeon, by contrast,  

Survation found exactly half of women voters plan to vote no, with 16% uncertain and 34% intending to vote 'yes'.

Among those definitely opposed to independence, concerns about the performance of the Scottish economy and uncertainty over currency union dominated.

The polling follows a separate Survation poll released on Saturday which put the total 'yes' vote on 57%, with the 'no' camp trailing on 43%.

There is now little more than a month to go until the referendum on September 18th – meaning businessman Sir Brian Souter has left it late to donate £1 million to the SNP.

The bus tycoon made good on his promise to match small donations to the SNP, giving a significant boost to the 'yes' campaign's funding which had trailed the 'no' camp.

An SNP spokesperson said: "It's a fantastic sign of confidence that Brian and others the length and breadth of Scotland are stepping up to the plate to do what they can so that we have the resources to take on the Westminster establishment and win the Yes vote."

Demand to register to vote in the referendum has put the vote on track to be the most widely participated in throughout Scotland's history.

Record turnout is expected in the referendum, but officials are concerned many of those who are registered to vote may not do so on the day itself.

"We need to get this across: ability to vote on the day is as important as registration," counting officer Ian Milton told the Scotsman.

"People who might be called away or offshore to work, students offered clearing for a new university, armed forces suddenly posted abroad – these are the kinds of things that can happen and you should have a proxy or postal vote."