Scottish independence: Indyref campaign groups gear up again


The starting gun has been fired on a possible second Scottish independence referendum and campaigners have hit the ground running. Already Yes and No groups are seeking support - ranging from petitions, slogans and crowdfunding to projects for fact-checking and documenting the referendum.


Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon's move to confirm plans for a second referendum may have come sooner than expected, but it was far from unpredictable.

Within minutes, the SNP announced the launch of a campaign site, complete with fundraiser, social media details and supporter heat map.

After only two days, the funding plea has raised more than £200,000 towards its £1m target.

Image source,


The SNP didn't steal the march on referendum campaigns, although the focus of the Scottish Conservatives is to stop a campaign happening altogether.

They already have a petition running stressing that the 2014 vote should have been a "once in a generation" choice.

In the previous referendum vote, the Tories, Labour and Lib Dems joined forces to create the official Better Together No campaign.

Image source, Scottish Conservatives


Labour has condemned moves for an indyref2 as bringing division and uncertainty to Scotland.

The party has indicated it has no plans to join forces again with a Better Together-style cross-party No campaign.

It too, however, has its own Together We're Stronger pledge site calling for a block on a second vote.

Image source, Scottish Labour


The Scottish Parliament is set to give majority backing to Nicola Sturgeon's call for a Section 30 order to allow Holyrood to legislate for an independence referendum.

Parliamentary arithmetic means that the minority SNP government can make the move with the support of the Scottish Greens.

The Greens have already indicated they will provide this, and have their own Green Yes website.

Image source, Scottish Greens


The 2014 referendum campaign was notable in the range and breadth of campaign groups and saw the rise of several new media ventures.

Among these were the Common Space news site and an offshoot Common Weal think tank.

The Common Weal is now running a White Paper Project: Version 1.0 to "renew the case" for Scottish independence.

Image source, Common Weal


Another recent addition to the Scottish media landscape is the investigative journalism site The Ferret.

It has specialised in longer-form, in-depth pieces on Scottish and international social issues and campaigning journalism.

The Ferret is also in the process of establishing a "non-partisan fact-checking project" which is due to launch soon.

Image source, The Ferret


Scotland in Union is one of the main non-party organisations to recently become active on the anti-referendum front.

It also cites the 2014 vote as being a divisive point in the country's history and aims to portray a positive view of Scotland in the UK.

The group has launched a fund-raising drive and #ProjectListen - a campaign to put forward a message they say "can't be ignored".

Image source, Scotland in Union


On the other side of the argument is Business for Scotland, one of the original networks from the first referendum.

Its aim is to "build Scotland's prosperity" from the position of supporting independence.

The group has set out a determination to get "back in full campaign mode" in the weeks, months and years ahead.

Image source, Business for Scotland


Another group said to be garnering funds for the ballot box battle is the low-profile Constitutional Research Council (CRC).

Its chairman Richard Cook is reported as saying pro-Union figures are prepared to donate six-figure sums towards "a new and positive campaign".

Northern Ireland's DUP party also received funding from the CRC last year to spend on pro-Brexit advertising throughout the UK.

Image source, DUP advert


And back outside the mainstream media, two sites well known and likely to provide an active focus for the Yes side are Bella Caledonia and Wings over Scotland.

News and comment blog Bella Caledonia has come through some funding difficulties and most-recently teamed up with The National newspaper to produce a monthly magazine.

Wings over Scotland - the vehemently pro-independence blog - styles its output as a media digest and monitor, and keeps an often highly-critical eye on the Scottish political scene.

Image source, Bella Caledonia/Wings over Scotland

And finally...

This appears to be only the start, but there is plenty of time to see a re-emergence of Yes Scotland, National Collective, No Borders, Farming 4 Yes, Academics Together, Better With Scotland, Let's Stay Together or even Florists for Yes.