Scottish independence: Gordon Brown's battle speech puts referendum polls on a knife edge

Kate McCann
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Gordon Brown urged Scottish voters to cast their ballots in favour of the union (Source: Getty Images)
Gordon Brown gave a roaring speech in Glasgow yesterday, urging Scottish voters to cast their ballots in favour of the union when polling stations open this morning. The battle speech came as polls showed the outcome of the referendum remains on a knife-edge.
Calling on Scots not to be swayed by accusations that No voters were abandoning their roots, Brown told a rally: “Have confidence, stand up and be counted tomorrow. Say to your friends, for reasons of solidarity, sharing, pride in Scotland, the only answer is vote No.”
His rousing words came as polls last night predicted a very tight victory for the pro-union campaign. Panelbase gave No a 52 per cent chance of victory against 48 per cent Yes, while Ipsos MORI called an even narrower 51 per cent win for Better Together. A YouGov poll had 52 per cent No and 48 per cent Yes, while a Survation phone poll had No on 53 per cent. Undecided voters mean both camps have everything still to play for.
Speaking without notes, Brown foc­used on the economic uncertainty of a Yes vote, warning undecided Scots to vote No to safeguard the nation’s future.
“This is not the fear of the unknown. This is now the risks of the known – an economic minefield where problems could implode at any time, an economic trapdoor down which we go, from which we might never escape,” he said.

Gordon Brown's Better Together speech
Gordon Brown: “Have confidence, stand up and be counted” (Source: Getty Images)

The speech formed the centrepiece of Better Together’s final Scottish rally, which also featured a speech from a trainee surgeon who warned of cuts to the NHS in an independent Scotland. 28-year-old Vicki Greig said she had been prompted to speak after “lies” touted by Alex Salmond about the NHS.
“I would not be here today if it wasn’t for the lies I have been told by the SNP. They have been dishonest, they’ve been unethical and they have been wrong,” she said.
As the final full day of campaigning drew to a close, both sides said they expect a huge turn­out at ballot boxes today. The result will be announced early tomorrow morning.
Ahead of a speech in Perth last night, Salmond pushed back over claims that the currency question remains unanswered – a central argument on both sides of the debate. In an interview with the BBC, Salmond said he expected Westminster to be “singing a very different tune” regarding a possible currency union between the two sides if the Yes vote won.
Afterwards Salmond made a last ditch appeal to voters not to give up hope on the chance of a Yes victory. “Don’t let this opportunity slip through our fingers. Don’t let them tell us we can’t. Let’s do this,” he implored voters.
However, just as Salmond finished his speech, US President Barack Obama came out strongly in favour the union, tweeting: “The UK is an extraordinary partner for America and a force for good in an unstable world. I hope it remains strong, robust and united.”

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