Campaigners hit streets to avert Scottish independence

Campaigners against independence took to the streets of Scotland's oil capital Aberdeen with just days to go to a momentous referendum, with polls showing support for the "Yes" growing and voters now almost evenly split for and against.

Aberdeen: Campaigners against independence took to the streets of Scotland's oil capital Aberdeen with just days to go to a momentous referendum, with polls showing support for the "Yes" growing and voters now almost evenly split for and against.

Oil is at the heart of the debate over whether Scotland can afford to go it alone or would be better off remaining part of Britain on September 18 -- and booming Aberdeen demonstrates how wealthy it has made some.

A small group of pro-union supporters met up on a street corner to argue for keeping that wealth within Britain, armed with rucksacks and badges reading "No Thanks" -- the main slogan against independence.

Team leader Rob Walker handed out leaflets and the group shared out streets to cover in their walkabout.

"I think 'No' will win but I'm still concerned," said one of the campaigners, Willy Primrose, 62.

"I feel very Scottish but I want to be Scottish in the context of a federal UK, not a small nation," he said.

After knocking at the door of one large home, Primrose got a warm welcome from Peter Lewis, an operations manager for an oil services company.

"It's an easy sell -- I'm a definitive 'No'", Lewis said.

"I think it's been a little late in the day to be looking at these sorts of things. We should have done that years ago and at the moment it's one of the best nations in the world so why would we break it up?" he said.

Around 42 billion barrels of oil and gas have been extracted from the North Sea since the early 1970s and First Minister Alex Salmond hopes the windfall would boost the finances of an independent Scotland.

The team continued house to house, slipping leaflets under doors without knocking on the doors where large Scottish flags with the pro-independence "Yes" slogans could be seen.

Their main target are undecided voters, who could swing the September 18 vote either way.

"Have you decided whether you're to vote 'Yes' or 'No'?" Connie Hadden asked Michael Lattin, 64, a resident in a large block of flats.

"No, I'm still undecided," he answered.

Hadden smiled and said: "Independence seems a nice idea but we do have... The welfare and the defence.

"They are the ones that cost lots and lots of money so we are better sharing it," she said.

The team came across the occasional "Yes" voter or reactions which left little room for doubt -- like leaflets slipped through letterboxes being forcefully ejected from behind a closed door.

"I'm voting 'Yes' because I think Scotland deserves more powers," said 16-year-old Nathan Inkster, who has reached the minimum voting age under the referendum rules.