Ted Kennedy's senate seat may be heading for the Republican column according to a shocking new poll out this weekend. The special election takes place on January 19th.

The poll from Public Policy Pollings, a Democratic-leaning company, shows Republican no-name Scott Brown leading Attorney General Martha Coakley by one point, 48 per cent to 47 per cent.

After she won the primary over a crowded Democratic field, Coakley was considered a shoo-in for the seat. But critics are now saying she has run a lackluster campaign and could be pipped at the wire. She had refused to debate Brown and had not spent much time campaigning.

The Public Policy poll is the second one showing Coakley in trouble, despite media predictions that she would easily win against her obscure State senator opponent.

“The Massachusetts Senate race is shaping up as a potential disaster for Democrats,” said PPP pollster Dean Debnam. “Martha Coakley’s complacent campaign has put Scott Brown in a surprisingly strong position and she will need to step it up in the final week to win a victory once thought inevitable.”

Brown's lead comes mainly from independents, who back Brown by 63 per cent to 31 per cent.

If Brown is elected next week he has promised to be the vital vote against health care reform. Right now, with Paul Kirk place-holding the seat left vacant by Senator Kennedy, the Dems have no margin for error with a 60-40 filibuster proof majority . If Brown wins healthcare will likely not happen.

A special election for Senator Kennedy's seat takes place on January 19th.