Scottish "don't knows" hold key to historic vote

Tue Sep 16, 2014 9:48am EDT
 
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By Alistair Smout and Angus MacSwan

EDINBURGH, Sept 16 (Reuters) - Scotland's independence campaign has stoked strong passions on both sides but with just two days until Thursday's historic referendum, it is the quiet waverers who may hold the balance of power.

Scotland decides on Sept 18. whether to sever centuries-old ties with the rest of the United Kingdom. Recent polls have narrowed dramatically and show the vote is too close to call.

The United Kingdom's fate may rest on a group of undecideds which could constitute as few as 500,000 people out of an electorate of more than four million. They are weighing up the economic uncertainties against the pull of sovereign statehood.

With claims and counter-claims made by both sides over how the economy, welfare and health care will be affected, some voters who are most in need of persuading feel little the wiser.

"My heart says yes but my head says no. I guess it will come down to how I feel on the day," said Anne from the town of Lochgelly, north of the capital Edinburgh.

She declined to give her full name.

"It's such a risk, and you can't know what's going to happen. When even businessmen disagree over the impact it's going to have, how are we meant to know?"

As the campaign enters its final stretch, two factors will decide the country's future: whether those who have expressed a firm preference think again and whether the undecideds come off the fence and if so which way.   Continued...