With less than a week until Scotland decides whether its fate lies in or out of the union, the latest voting poll analysis from digital marketing group Equimedia has suggested that the Yes campaign’s momentum was stunted due to a “general pro-union slant within mainstream media”.
The poll found that 47 per cent of voters would vote No and 41 per cent would vote Yes; an additional 12 per cent stated they were undecided.
The Scottish economy was the main concern for voters, although the study noted this was in part fuelled by a No vote media bias designed to belittle the economic potential of an independent Scotland.
Paul Wojciak, planning analyst at Equimedia, said: "Our analysis indicates a significant swing back towards more historic share levels for the No campaign.
"Data indicates a general pro-union slant within mainstream media, which interestingly has been picked up by the Yes campaign which identified this as an organised attempt to swing voting intentions, particularly with ‘big business’ stories.
“As with all campaigns, without mainstream media backing, victory is always unlikely. For the Yes campaign to gather lost ground they will need to win over media at a top level which is looking increasingly unlikely.”
Wojciak added: "No campaign timing may be slightly better as momentum has shifted significantly in recent days however social signals show a renewed push from Yes campaign supporters.”
Based on the most recent data, the firm predicts that Scotland will narrowly vote No in the referendum with the the undecided 12 per cent vital in swinging the decision either way.
On Thursday this week, Edinburgh-based newspaper, the Scotsman, came out in favour of the No vote.
The same day, first minister Alex Salmond declared war on the BBC after it reported on a market sensitive leak confirming that the Royal Bank of Scotland would move its headquarters to London - on paper only - in the event of a Scottish Yes vote.