Knife-edge Scottish vote cuts deep divide

Scottish referendum: The final campaign push
Scottish referendum: The final campaign push   

One of Scotland's most influential chief executives, Martin Gilbert, says the debate over Scottish independence has become so bitter that whatever the outcome, either Scotland or the United Kingdom will become deeply divided.

In Edinburgh, most people on the streets are in the "yes" camp as passions intensify ahead of Thursday's vote. The polls remain as tight as ever. The latest survey carried out by the Scottish Daily Mail found 48 percent of Scots (excluding those who said they were undecided) would vote in favor of independence, while 52 percent would vote against.

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In one popular hair salon, women have apparently come to blows, leading stylists to refuse to admit their voting preference to customers.

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The problem, according to the Aberdeen Asset Management boss, is that people don't know what to believe from the campaign, and that has fueled distrust and over-the-top behavior.

It seems the knives are also coming out in London, with growing criticism of the better together campaign. This could become particularly tricky for U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron.

The head of the British business lobby group CBI, John Cridland, says business bosses were forced to speak out in recent days after politicians bungled the "no" campaign so much so that they have totally failed to connect with the Scottish people.

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Why Scotland should be independent
Why Scotland should be independent   

On Tuesday night, First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond seemed in ebullient mood in one of his final TV interviews, declaring that Scotland had invented the very idea of the modern world and after independence would become more influential on the global stage. He also played down Westminster's last-ditch attempts to keep the union together by promising more devolution and powers for Scottish parliament.

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Although Gilbert claims to be neutral, he argues that there is little reality to fears that Scotland risks a flight of capital - up to £17 billion has already gone by some estimates.