Gordon Brown delivers a speech at Scottish Labour campaign headquarters on September 9, 2014 in Glasgow. Photograph: Getty Images.
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Scottish No side ahead by six points in new poll

Yes campaign momentum halted as new survey puts No ahead by 53%-47%. 

After a torturous week, the Scottish No side finally has something to cheer. A new poll by Survation for the Daily Record, the first since last weekend's stunning YouGov poll putting Yes ahead for the first time, has the Unionists in the lead by 53 per cent to 47 per cent (excluding the 10 per cent who are undecided). Those figures are unchanged since the company's last survey on 28 August. 

Significantly, Gordon Brown's dramatic intervention appears to have helped, with just 21 per cent of Labour voters now backing independence, compared to 30 per cent previously. Blair McDougall, the Better Together campaign director, has responded by saying:  "This fight for Scotland's future will go right down to the wire, but it's one we will win.

"Alex Salmond wants us to take so many huge risks - over our pound, pensions and NHS. The last few days have shown that these risks are real. Separation would cost jobs and push up costs for families in Scotland. This is too important for a protest vote. There would be no going back.

"We don't need to take on all these risks. There is a better way for Scotland. We can have more powers for Scotland over tax and welfare, and keep the strength, security and stability of being part of the larger UK. For the sake of future generations we should say No Thanks to separation next week."

As his cautious reaction suggests, it's important to remember this is just one poll and the race remains perilously close. But crucially, and to the Unionists' huge relief, the momentum that the Yes side enjoyed has been halted tonight. 

The nationalists, meanwhile, are highlighting the fact that their support, if the don't knows are included, is at the highest level yet in a Survation poll (42 per cent). Here's the statement issued by Yes Scotland chief executive Blair Jenkins: 

"This puts Yes support at its highest yet in a Survation poll when those still undecided are included, and at 47 per cent excluding don’t knows - which confirms we are in touching distance of success next Thursday, and will galvanise all those who are wanting and working for a Yes to redouble their efforts.

"As we say in response to all the polls, we are working flat out to ensure that we achieve a Yes vote, because it’s the biggest opportunity the people of Scotland will ever have to build a fairer society and more prosperous economy.

"It is now abundantly clear that the No campaign parties are offering nothing new in terms of more powers, which fall far short of what Scotland needs. A Yes vote is Scotland’s one opportunity to achieve job-creating powers and protect our NHS from the damaging effects of Westminster privatisation and cuts."

Expect the No side's message to remain the same until 18 September: there is no room for complacency. But tonight, perhaps, there may be no need to panic either. 

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

Ukip's Nigel Farage and Paul Nuttall. Photo: Getty
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Is the general election 2017 the end of Ukip?

Ukip led the way to Brexit, but now the party is on less than 10 per cent in the polls. 

Ukip could be finished. Ukip has only ever had two MPs, but it held an outside influence on politics: without it, we’d probably never have had the EU referendum. But Brexit has turned Ukip into a single-issue party without an issue. Ukip’s sole remaining MP, Douglas Carswell, left the party in March 2017, and told Sky News’ Adam Boulton that there was “no point” to the party anymore. 

Not everyone in Ukip has given up, though: Nigel Farage told Peston on Sunday that Ukip “will survive”, and current leader Paul Nuttall will be contesting a seat this year. But Ukip is standing in fewer constituencies than last time thanks to a shortage of both money and people. Who benefits if Ukip is finished? It’s likely to be the Tories. 

Is Ukip finished? 

What are Ukip's poll ratings?

Ukip’s poll ratings peaked in June 2016 at 16 per cent. Since the leave campaign’s success, that has steadily declined so that Ukip is going into the 2017 general election on 4 per cent, according to the latest polls. If the polls can be trusted, that’s a serious collapse.

Can Ukip get anymore MPs?

In the 2015 general election Ukip contested nearly every seat and got 13 per cent of the vote, making it the third biggest party (although is only returned one MP). Now Ukip is reportedly struggling to find candidates and could stand in as few as 100 seats. Ukip leader Paul Nuttall will stand in Boston and Skegness, but both ex-leader Nigel Farage and donor Arron Banks have ruled themselves out of running this time.

How many members does Ukip have?

Ukip’s membership declined from 45,994 at the 2015 general election to 39,000 in 2016. That’s a worrying sign for any political party, which relies on grassroots memberships to put in the campaigning legwork.

What does Ukip's decline mean for Labour and the Conservatives? 

The rise of Ukip took votes from both the Conservatives and Labour, with a nationalist message that appealed to disaffected voters from both right and left. But the decline of Ukip only seems to be helping the Conservatives. Stephen Bush has written about how in Wales voting Ukip seems to have been a gateway drug for traditional Labour voters who are now backing the mainstream right; so the voters Ukip took from the Conservatives are reverting to the Conservatives, and the ones they took from Labour are transferring to the Conservatives too.

Ukip might be finished as an electoral force, but its influence on the rest of British politics will be felt for many years yet. 

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