Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond has urged voters to look at the record of Scotland's devolved parliament insisting that a move to independence is a matter of "common sense".
He told ITV News it is not surprising that voters haven't made up their minds yet and that they are "waiting to be convinced" of the case for an independent Scotland.
Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond has warned against pre-judging the outcome of next year's referendum on independence warning that voters had not made up their minds yet.
Asked about the bookies' odds that give only a 4/1 chance of independence, Salmond replied: ''I am a betting man and if you look at yesterday's paper, we saw many horses winning with worse odds than that.''
– scottish first minister alex salmond
If you ask me where people lie [on the issue of Scottish independence] they are waiting to be convinced. If we get across the argument now accepted that Scotland can be a successful country then we will win the argument.
There's no reason why people should have already made up their mind.
Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond has insisted that independence is a "natural extension" of devolution for his country one year away from a key referendum.
Speaking to ITV News' Scotland Correspondent Debi Edward, he predicted that the "scare stories" used by his opponents "will crumble to dust in the next 12 months".
''Look at the record of the Scottish parliament and look at the Westminster record. Doesn't it logically follow that we will do a good job? I think it is a natural extension of devolution."
"Even our opponents accept Scotland could be a successful independent country ... We need to seize the opportunity, this exciting opportunity we have next year to create that nation,'' he added.
A number of polls have been published in recent weeks to mark one year until Scotland's referendum on independence. Here is a selection:
- The Herald (TNS BRMB): 45% think economy would perform worse if Scotland was independent, compared with 23% who think it would improve
- The Times (YouGov): 52% said Scotland should not be an independent country, while 32% favoured independence
- The Scotsman (ICM): 47% would support independence if assured they would be £500 better off, while 37% said they would oppose independence under these circumstances
The Prime Minister has written about Scottish independence a year off from the historic referendum:
– Prime Minister David Cameron
In a year from now, people living in Scotland will be making a choice which could radically change their country for ever. Scotland’s future will be in Scotland’s hands.
I hope passionately that Scotland decides to remain within our United Kingdom. What we have works, and it works well.
Ours is a unique union of nations. It’s a union of people too. And together we’ve achieved so much.
We are a family of nations within one United Kingdom. Now is not the time to reduce that relationship to one of second cousins, once removed.
A former advisor to Alex Salmond has criticised the Scottish independence campaign for focussing too much on "old songs and tired policies."
Writing in the Guardian ahead of today's referendum debate, Alex Bell, a former SNP policy chief, urges his old boss to concentrate on "local democracy, tackling inequality, challenging elites and rewriting the algorithms of what makes a successful state."
He says the yes campaign needs to move away from the "tedious parade of union flags versus saltires" if it is to come from behind in the opinion polls.
Scottish Secretary Michael Moore said that in 12 months people will make a choice that "will affect our nation's future forever".
He said: "This is an absolutely defining moment and a once-in-a-lifetime choice. That's why I hope people will think carefully as they prepare for the vote.
"I firmly believe that Scotland will be stronger, more secure and more prosperous if we remain as part of the UK.
"Between now and next September I will continue to argue this case as well as providing what I believe will be robust and persuasive evidence."
Scotland's First Minister and the Scottish Secretary have hailed the independence referendum as an opportunity of a lifetime on the day that marks exactly a year until the historic vote.
Speaking before a debate at the Scottish Parliament on Scotland's future, First Minister Alex Salmond said: "Today marks one year to the biggest opportunity Scotland has ever had.
"Referendums like this are a once-in-a-generation event which means the vote on September 18 next year will be the opportunity of a lifetime for many people in Scotland, as we get the chance to choose our country's future."