Glasgow would ‘definitely’ vote for Scottish independence again, says YES group

Glasgow would ‘definitely’ vote in favour of Scottish independence again, according to a local YES group.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon wants to hold another Scottish independence referendum in the next two years. Pic: David Cheskin/Getty Images.

What’s happening: First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said she wants to hold a second Scottish independence referendum before the end of 2023 - although not before all Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted.

Glasgow was one of just two parts of Scotland to vote Yes in the 2014 referendum, with 53.49 per cent voting for independence - earning a thank you message from then First Minister Alex Salmond.

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And Malcolm McInnes, convener of YES Southside - one of the independence groups across Glasgow - believes that the percentage of Glaswegians voting in favour of independence would be higher the second time round.

Why does he think that: Information published after the 2014 vote showed that women, older people, those in more affluent circumstances and those who were born outside of Scotland were more likely to vote No.

Malcolm believes that events that have transpired since then - including the Brexit vote - will influence more women and those not born in Scotland, especially people born in the EU, to vote Yes.

Building momentum: Malcolm said he was “quite excited” about the prospect of another referendum before the end of 2023, and said Yes groups needed to start campaigning, even if a decision on a vote has yet to be agreed.

Speaking of campaigning in 2014, he said: “We expected hundreds of folk out with us. We had half a dozen of us. But by the end we had hundreds of people out. There was a lot of enthusiasm and a lot of mass campaigning.

“We need to get a focus on the timescale so we can build some momentum.

“You need a catalyst (to get new members). I would like a lot of street stalls, targeting train stations and colleges. Those are the things we can do if we can get the numbers up.”

Malcolm admitted that he is “a wee bit reluctant” to get involved in independence marches with Covid-19 numbers as high as they are, and said others could be put off taking part as well until it feels safe to do so.

Benefits for Glasgow: The arguments for and against Scottish independence are long and have been repeated numerous times - but what about the benefits for Glasgow?

For one, Malcolm does not believe Glasgow would have “a subway system dating back to the 1880s” if it was the largest city in an independent nation.

Warning: Malcolm said the response the YES Southside team - made up of a couple of hundred members - is getting at stalls is “good”, however, he raised concerns about rising “hostility”, which he says was not the case in 2014.

“We need to be careful about the messages going out,” he said. “We can do this in a respectful manner. It is a democracy after all.”

Find out more: You can learn more on the YES Southside Facebook page.