Yes campaigners lick wounds and consider future

IT WAS the vote that engaged even the most disengaged.

Volunteers Sophie Macdonald, left, and Eva Bolander in Partick.  Picture: Robert Perry
Volunteers Sophie Macdonald, left, and Eva Bolander in Partick. Picture: Robert Perry

Those involved in the campaign have had their dreams shattered, but some have vowed to fight back, with pro-independence groups saying they will forge ahead with rallies and meetings.

Yesterday, however, the passion of the independence campaigners was visibly quashed. “I’m absolutely gutted about the result,” said Sophie Macdonald who doorknocked with the Yes campaign for the past month.

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“I’m happy Glasgow voted Yes and I’m proud to be Glaswegian but not Scottish at this time. I feel disconnected from a lot of Scottish people. I don’t understand what their values are.

“We’re not going to give up fighting for independence but I do worry that if we receive extra powers, it will stop people campaigning.”

But Tony Grahame, a veteran independence campaigner from Edinburgh, believes the grassroots campaign is “unstoppable”.

“There is going to be a movement which will spring up naturally by itself. Scotland is on a journey. When it started, us veteran campaigners were saying ‘that’s not how we do it’, then we realised that these enthusiastic, new campaigners had something going.”

Others have less fighting spirit. “I have given up on politics now,” said Yes supporter Lindsay McCabe. “That was their chance and they let me down, so I’m not getting involved again.”

Pro-independence groups sprang up throughout the campaign, many of them pledging they will not disband in the wake of Thursday’s vote.

Women for Independence is already planning its first conference. Its “Where next?” meeting, at the Station Hotel in Perth, will be held on 4 October and will see the group discuss a range of options.

The National Collective, the cultural movement supported by artists, playwrights and authors, suggested it would fight for a round two. Left-wing nationalist group Radical Independence also hinted of things to come on its own Twitter feed.

Despite the outcome, the Yes Scotland campaign was slick and successful in comparison to its Better Together rivals.

Grassroots campaigners were mobilised. Vans bussed canvassers to targeted areas and street stalls were set up. Staunch campaigners believe the Yes camp will be around for a long time to come.

“We’re going to keep going,” said Andrew Craig, 20, a law student at Strathclyde University. “I don’t think we’ll have to wait a generation for another shot, I think Yes is in us now. My little brother and sister will be hardwired to support independence. They will be the extra 10 per cent we need once the older voters die off.”