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After a surge of support for Scottish independence brought polls to a dead heat, the pro-union side made its first gains since early August. As Reuters reported:

The YouGov survey for The Times and Sun newspapers put Scottish support for the union at 52 percent versus support for independence at 48 percent, excluding those who said they did not know how they would vote. YouGov's last poll showed support for independence at 51 percent.

And so, after erasing a massive 22-point margin over the course of the past few weeks, the tide may be turning back in favor of keeping Scotland part of the United Kingdom.

What gives? Well, there are a few ways to look at this. As we noted on Thursday, a number of banks have threatened to uproot from Scotland and relocate into England, along with 36 percent of Scottish companies. These business decampments represent the tip of the financial iceberg as Scottish independence could bring about a lot of economic uncertainty and, no doubt, a ton of paperwork.

Then there is the fabled Royal Baby Bump. Some heartless journalists and pundits hypothesized that Monday's announcement of a second stork wending its winged way to Buckingham Palace came at an opportune political time, just as Scottish momentum for independence was nearing its zenith.

Finally, there is the realization that Scotland would be severing a link to England that has persisted over three centuries. As the independence push went from an illusory distant fantasy to actual possibility, the reality of the moment may have set in. We'll find out in less than a week. 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

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