Today the Times carries an opinion poll, by the usually Yes-hostile YouGov, that puts the Yes campaign ahead and within touching distance of independence.
One opinion poll is one opinion poll. But this poll echoes the experiences of Yes supporters across the country, who’ve been staggered by a significant shift in the national mood. After two years of a relentless campaign something has changed, and in under two weeks that change can become permanent.
For those of us in the heat of the campaign this has felt like the most exciting time in Scotland’s history. That excitement is catching on. You can see that in the rush of the disengaged to register to vote. You can see it in the people, canvassed as undecided a few short months ago, who now proudly display Yes window posters. You can see it in Scotland’s towns and cities, awash with Yes on backpacks and jackets, in tenement windows and council estates.
The response of the No campaign to this has been to patronise and belittle the ordinary people of Scotland. When asked about the belief that Scotland’s working class would overwhelmingly vote Yes, a senior No strategist told a newspaper that “people with mattresses in their gardens do not win elections”.
And that’s it. To them, working-class Scotland is awash with Rab C. Nesbitt figures, expendable to the democratic process. In a way, they’re right: in British politics, the Scottish housing estates do not decide elections – the South East marginals do. But this isn’t a general election. This is a referendum where every vote is equal, and we can use this referendum to empower Scotland forever.
If the UK elite had not been paying attention before, they certainly will be now. Expect dire warnings and sugar-coated promises in equal measure. The Yes campaign are still the underdogs. A victory will require utter determination and resolve from all of us, but the victory is there to be had.
Speak to your friends, your family, your neighbours, your colleagues. Ask your local Yes group how you can help. Sign up for the Get Out The Vote effort on polling day. Every morning, ask yourself: what will my contribution be today? How can I make sure we win every vote possible? Independence depends on it.
There’s no gods and there’s precious few heroes
But there’s plenty on the dole in the land o the leal
And I’m damned sure that there’s plenty live in fear
Of the day we stand together with our shoulders at the wheel
Time for shoulders at the wheel.
Image by Simon Baker