Scottish independence: Yes target undecided voters
Yes Scotland said it will step up its campaigning significantly in the coming days to capitalise on what it described as a “strong current” of support.
The campaign claims intelligence gleaned from 70,000 people it is canvassing each week provides “real time, live stream” information showing that the momentum is with them.
The evidence on the ground is that more and more people are switching from being “default Nos” to Yes, according to Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
As part of this week’s push, engineering tycoon Jim McColl, who recently stepped in to save Ferguson shipyard on the lower Clyde, will write to 675,000 people who have been identified as either undecided or leaning towards No to urge them to back independence.
Pensioners will be the target of a new campaign headed by former Scottish Senior Citizens’ Unity Party MSP John Swinburne, while on Monday a Yes Scotland billboard poster showing a baby’s hand in the hand of a parent will be launched across Scotland alongside the message Scotland’s Future in Scotland’s Hands.
A new television advert focusing on the NHS will also be broadcast on Monday, and on Tuesday First Minister Alex Salmond will take to Facebook to answer questions from undecided voters.
The campaign said it had experienced “stunning” demand last week, distributing almost five million printed documents to its local groups.
Ms Sturgeon said intelligence from the campaign’s canvassing database showed there was a “significant shift” taking place on the ground.
She said: “What we’re finding is that as people do make up their minds, they are more likely to be deciding in favour of Yes.
“The most striking thing that I’ve picked up is people who have been No, sometimes because they haven’t yet engaged with the issues and taken the time to get properly informed, when they have done so have switched to Yes.
“That is quite a strong current that’s under way just now. In my experience over the last week or so it’s quite significant numbers.”
One such voter is Rebecca Bernklow, who appeared in an official No campaign video in 2012 as an ordinary person voting No.
She said: “I guess I was scared that it was too soon and that we would struggle economically. But then I read more and realised that it was a once in a life time opportunity.”
Blair Jenkins, Yes Scotland chief executive, said: “Yes are delivering the biggest campaign in Scottish political history - focused on both undecided and No voters, because people in both groups are deciding to vote Yes when they think about the huge opportunities that only Yes offers.”
Ms Sturgeon accused Labour of “making the mistake” of treating the referendum like a election.
She added: “The negativity of the No campaign is out of tune with the mood of the people, who are looking forward to the referendum as a tremendous and exciting opportunity.
“Yes still has a lot of work to do to win on the 18th, we remain the underdogs, but we approach the final 10 days with huge enthusiasm and confidence.”