(Fixes typo in second paragraph)
* Scotland to hold breakaway vote on Sept.18
* Polls suggest Scots will reject independence
* New analysis shows independence campaign has stalled
* RBS says independence to bring costs, impact its business
* GRAPHIC on independence polls - link.reuters.com/dyw42w
By Andrew Osborn
LONDON, Aug 1 The campaign for Scotland to break
away from the United Kingdom has stalled just over a month
before Scots decide whether to go it alone in a referendum, an
analysis of the latest six opinion polls showed on Friday.
It came as one of Scotland's highest profile businesses,
Royal Bank of Scotland, said a vote for independence
could significantly increase its costs and have a material
impact on its business.
The poll research, published 47 days before the Sept. 18
vote and before a televised debate on Tuesday between the
leaders of the "Yes" and "No" campaigns, showed that the
independence movement has been largely stuck in the 42-44
percent support range since March after making gains at the
start of the year.
Published in Britain's The Independent newspaper, the
analysis showed that if the results of the last six polls
conducted in June and July were averaged out, 57 percent of
Scots would reject independence and 43 percent would back
breaking away. That gives the "No" campaign a lead of 14
"The 'Yes' campaign seems to have stalled while still
significantly short of its destination," said Professor John
Curtice of Strathclyde University, who conducted the analysis.
"There isn't any consistent evidence of movement towards a
'Yes' vote since March."
A "yes" vote would cast Britain into uncharted
constitutional waters, trigger a prolonged period of
uncertainty, and could diminish its clout on the world stage. A
"No" vote would be likely to lead to more powers being devolved
to Scotland, which already has control over swaths of policy.
The "Yes" campaign says Scotland, which has its own
parliament but lacks tax-raising powers, would be freer, better
governed and more wealthy if it went it alone.
The "No" campaign has warned that Scotland would be unable
to keep the pound, that tens of thousands of jobs in the defence
and financial sectors would be at risk, and that an independent
Scotland could struggle to rejoin the European Union.
Royal Bank of Scotland, which has been careful not to enter
the emotive political debate, said that uncertainties resulting
from a "Yes" vote would be likely to significantly impact its
credit ratings and "could also impact the fiscal, monetary,
legal and regulatory landscape to which the group is subject".
The Commonwealth Games, which are being held in the Scottish
city of Glasgow, are due to end on Sunday with pollsters keen to
see if the competition, which has gone smoothly, has altered
Scots' views on independence.
The constituent parts of the United Kingdom - England,
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland - all compete separately in
the games as home nations, rather than as one in the Olympics.
This spurs local pride.
Anxious to avoid being accused of politicising a sporting
even, both the "Yes" and "No" camps swore off using the games as
a platform for their respective campaigns. But the first opinion
poll carried out during the event is expected to be published on
Strathclyde University's Curtice, widely recognised as one
of the leading experts on the independence debate, said the
"Yes" camp made real progress last winter lifting their support
above the 40 percent mark in January, a threshold it hadn't
fallen below since.
But Curtice, who cautioned that some pollsters tended to
throw up better results for the "Yes" camp than others, said it
appeared that the pro-independence campaign had lost momentum at
the end of March.
He said he calculated his "poll of polls" by excluding
"don't knows" who have consistently made up a large proportion
of respondents in polls, injecting an element of uncertainty
into the outcome of the referendum.
Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond, the leader of the
pro-independence Scottish National Party, has said the large
number of undecided voters makes the referendum an open contest
despite what the opinion polls say.
Some recent polls have shown Salmond is succeeding in
winning over some of the "don't knows", though not at a fast
enough pace to hand him victory.
(Editing by Jeremy Gaunt)