Forecast too close to call, say polls Surveys show slim lead for unionists

The future of the United Kingdom hangs in the balance today with the latest poll suggesting the No camp had a wafer-thin lead last night.

As voters prepare to cast their ballots across the country, a series of surveys have now shown that the result of the historic referendum on Scottish independence remains too close to call.

An Ipsos-Mori phone poll released last night put the projected outcome at 51% for No and 49% for Yes, once the "don't knows" were excluded.

Alex Salmond resigned as First Minister in the wake of the referendum result

With those yet to make up their mind factored into the findings, the No campaign was at 49%, Yes at 47% and undecided at 5%. That represents a sevenpoint increase for Yes since the previous Ipsos-Mori poll.

Ipsos-Mori was the polling company that came within a percentage point of correctly predicting the SNP's landslide 2011 election victory.

The latest figures prompted campaigners on both sides to predict imminent victory as supporters turned out in force in Inverness and Aberdeen, while large rallies were held by both sides in Glasgow.

Alistair Darling and Gordon Brown were the key figureheads in the Better Together campaign

Earlier in the day, an online Panelbase survey showed support for independence was at 48% once don't knows were excluded, with No at 52%.

That was the same finding of three other polls by Opinium, ICM and Survation commissioned for national newspapers and published yesterday morning.

Yes Scotland chief executive Blair Jenkins said the polls showed that the campaign was "in touching distance of success".

Counting the votes at the Scottish Independence referendum count for Aberdeenshire at the Aberdeen Exhibition Centre. Picture by Kami Thomson

He added: "People know that a Yes vote is Scotland's one opportunity to achieve job-creating powers, protect our NHS from the damaging impact of Westminster cuts and privatisation, and ensure that never again do we get Tory governments imposed on Scotland that we have roundly rejected.

"The empty offer of a very few more powers from the No campaign has unravelled within 24 hours, in the face of a Tory revolt at Westminster."

Alistair Darling, the chairman of the Better Together campaign, warned that the "risks of separation are very, very clear". He said: "When we go to the polls we are not voting for a one-term government, we are voting for Scotland's future forever, it is that important.

"If we vote to leave, there is no going back."