IN May 2011 when the SNP won the Holyrood election with an overwhelming majority they were given a mandate by the Scottish electorate to fulfil their desire to seek a referendum on the restoration of Scottish Independence. One year later when launching the official Yes campaign FM Alex Salmond suggested that if the target of one million signatures supporting the campaign was achieved by the time of the referendum then Scotland would once again become an independent country.
With signatures now at over a million,Yes Scotland boss Blair Jenkins, has described the announcement as a milestone, insisting that many more people would be voting yes than had signed the declaration.
Speaking at an event in Edinburgh, Jenkins said, “This was always intended as an indicator, a way of demonstrating the strength of the campaign and also to give our volunteers something to aim for.”
Jenkins confirmed that the total of 1,001,186 signatures had been checked against the electoral register. Concerns had been raisedby opponents from the No campaign earlier in the campaign that people were signing in duplicate, or made up names. “At an early stage a few people came on with funny names,” he said, “but it’s been checked and double checked and we are confident.”
Gordon Brown speaking to an invited audience in Glasgow, urged voters to think twice before voting yes, warning that oil revenue would only sustain a fraction of public services if Scotland left the UK.