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Only 32% 'would vote yes to Scottish independence'

Scottish and British flags held up over Edinburgh, Scotland
The 'no' camp remains firmly in the lead ahead of September's Scottish independence referendum, according to the STV poll Credit: David Cheskin/PA Wire

Scotland remains unlikely to vote in favour of independence in September's referendum, a new poll has suggested.

The survey by Ipsos Mori for STV News found 57% saying they would vote 'No', compared to 32% voting in favour of secession and 11% who are still undecided.

STV's polling indicated little change in the last three months.

There was some hope for independence campaigners, though: the poll results indicated those currently undecided would be more inclined to a 'Yes' vote come decision day on 18 September.

Salmond: Scotland 'a good place to do business'

First Minister Alex Salmond said Standard Life "will find Scotland a good place to do business" after the firm warned of contingency plans to relocate if an independent Scotland "were to threaten" its business.

Speaking during First Minister's Questions, Mr Salmond said: "That will happen first and foremost because of the excellence of the staff that's its prime asset.

Scotland First Minister Alex Salmond during First Minister's Questions.
Scotland First Minister Alex Salmond during First Minister's Questions. Credit: ITV News

"The Scottish Government puts forward the concept of a shared currency and regulatory framework, which is exactly the sort of thing that Standard Life have been calling for."

He asked, "Given the importance of Scotland as a good place which to run a business ... can this chamber not unite and have confidence that an independent Scotland and a Scotland under any constitutional framework will be exactly that?"

Cameron let out a 'cry of joy' over Bowie Scots plea

Prime Minister David Cameron has admitted he let out a "cry of joy" when David Bowie called for Scots to remain part of the UK.

The singer, who currently lives in New York, delivered his unexpected message, in which he urged "Scotland, stay with us", in a note read out by model Kate Moss at the Brit Awards.

Background: Bowie urges Scotland to 'stay with us' in Brits speech

Prime Minister David Cameron during a visit to the BP Etap platform today.
Prime Minister David Cameron during a visit to the BP Etap platform today. Credit: Andy Buchanan/PA Wire

Mr Cameron told the BBC: "I was watching the Brit Awards and when I saw Kate Moss leap to the stage and utter those words I have to say I did let out a cry of joy because I'm sure that maybe someone like David Bowie might be able to reach parts of Scotland that perhaps I can't."

The day after Bowie's message Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond referenced David Bowie in a joke in the Scottish parliament.

Congratulating Eve Muirhead on her bronze medal in curling at the Sochi Games, he said:

"I am sure the whole chamber will want to join me in congratulating Eve Muirhead on winning the bronze medal in the winter Olympics. Perhaps that is a demonstration that we all can be heroes, just for one day."

Read more: Salmond makes Bowie joke inside Scottish parliament

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Salmond makes Bowie joke inside Scottish parliament

Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond referenced David Bowie in a joke this morning inside the Scottish parliament.

First Minister Alex Salmond inside the Scottish Parliament today.
First Minister Alex Salmond inside the Scottish Parliament today. Credit: ITV News

Congratulating Eve Muirhead on her bronze medal in curling at the Sochi Games, he said:

"I am sure the whole chamber will want to join me in congratulating Eve Muirhead on winning the bronze medal in the winter Olympics. Perhaps that is a demonstration that we all can be heroes, just for one day."

In a message delivered through Kate Moss at last night's Brit Awards, David Bowie, who lives in New York, said urged Scotland to "stay with us" as he was named British Male Solo Artist.

Read: Bowie urges Scotland to 'stay with us' in Brits speech

Read: Curling bronze equals Team GB's best-ever haul

Osborne 'will be singing a different tune' after referendum

Alex Salmond has said that the Chancellor is playing politics with the Scottish independence referendum.

The Scottish First Minister told ITV News: "Why should I be knocked off what's best for Scotland, best for the UK just because George Osborne is playing campaign politics? We say the day after the referendum he'll be singing a different tune."

Salmond: Osborne's 'currency union diktat has backfired'

George Osborne's stance on a currency union with Scotland has "backfired" according to First Minister Alex Salmond.
George Osborne's stance on a currency union with Scotland has "backfired" according to First Minister Alex Salmond. Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

George Osborne's stance on a currency union with Scotland has "backfired" according to First Minister Alex Salmond.

Speaking to business leaders today Mr Salmond said Mr Osborne's speech had been received "poorly" in Scotland.

He said: "Phone-ins, newspaper polls taken after the Chancellor's statement indicated his diktat had backfired badly.

"People do become sick and tired of the succession of day-tripping Conservative ministers flying up to Scotland to deliver lectures and then flying back to Westminster again."

Rejecting currency union 'could damage UK business'

Alex Salmond said Mr Osborne had "downplayed the disadvantages to the rest of the UK from a sterling zone", as he warned that rejecting a currency union could damage business in the rest of the UK.

I am publishing today an estimate of the transactions cost he would potentially impose on businesses in the rest of the UK.

They run to many hundreds of millions of pounds.

My submission is that this charge - let us call it the George Tax - would be impossible to sell to English business.

– Alex Salmond
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