ALEX Salmond should not lock horns with the Electoral Commission if it goes against him on the wording of the referendum question and campaign spending limits, the head of the movement for a Yes vote on independence has said.

Blair Jenkins, chief executive of Yes Scotland, said it "would be difficult to argue against" any changes the commission might propose to the question, which is: "Do you agree that Scotland should be an independent country?"

The Government and Parliament should also heed the commission's views on campaign spending limits, Jenkins said, despite his own board and the SNP wanting far lower limits than the watchdog.

Unionists claim the wording of Salmond's question is "leading" and skewed in favour of a Yes vote.

The Electoral Commission, which has been testing the fairness of the question since November and is also considering campaign finances, is due to make firm recommendations on both issues within days.

Labour, the Conservatives and the LibDems have demanded that the Scottish Government respects the Commission's wishes. However, SNP ministers have refused to be bound by its views, fuelling suspicions that the party will use its majority in Holyrood to force through its preferences.

Until now, Jenkins has followed the SNP line. However, in a media briefing this weekend, he took a markedly warmer approach to the Electoral Commission, saying there would need to be a "very strong case" not to adopt its recommendations.

He said: "Everybody's experience of the Electoral Commission is they're an extremely expert and professional body.

"If they propose any changes to the question that the Scottish Government have put forward, I'm sure they'll provide extremely good evidence and reasons for why it needs to change, and at that point I think it would be difficult to argue against that.

"My gut [instinct] is I doubt if they'll change the question. If they do I think it'll be very marginal ... and then it stops being an issue and we'll get on with it."

Jenkins said the same logic applied to spending.

Under existing rules, both Yes Scotland and the pro-union Better Together campaigns could spend up to £1.5 million in the four-month regulated period before the ballot, with third parties such as unions able to spend up to £150,000 each.

However, SNP ministers want to slash these limits to £750,000 and £50,000 respectively, contrary to proposals from the Electoral Commission.

With an eye to future union funding, Better Together also advocates higher spending limits.

Jenkins said: "I have no idea what they'll say on spending limits ... but we will work within whatever limits are assigned. If they stick to that advice and we've got more money to spend, then yes I'll raise the money and I'll spend it."

At the end of a week in which the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey put public support for independence at just 23%, Jenkins predicted the polls would narrow over the coming year, but was unable to estimate by how much or how quickly.

"I think the momentum will move towards us as the campaign develops. I think a lot of people will make their minds up pretty late in the day."

With Yes Scotland sometimes accused of being a front solely for the SNP, Jenkins denied being a puppet of the First Minister, but was unable to name key issues on which he disagreed with Alex Salmond.

"I don't know, I'm not sure," he said when questioned.

When Jenkins was pressed further, his spin doctor intervened and said the issue was not "relevant".

A Better Together spokesman said: "It is good to see that common sense appears to be breaking out in the anti-UK campaign and that they are recognising the need to have a fair referendum.

"Despite these warm words, the proof of the pudding shall be in the eating. They cannot overrule the independent and impartial Electoral Commission. The Scottish public would never forgive them if they did."