Readers’ Panel: ‘More powers could sway voters’

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MEMBERS of our Evening News readers panel gave their views as the big day finally arrives

Robert Thornton, 64, self-employed shopkeeper in the Grassmarket, is a former Labour supporter who decided some time ago he was going to vote Yes: “I think it has been a very negative campaign by the No side, but I have not seen or heard anything to deter me from voting Yes.

“I know it’s going to be hard, but I’m quite prepared for that. We’re still in a bit of a recession and I think it will be made hard for us in the negotiations.

“But I’m happy my pension will be secure.”

He was not impressed by the pro-UK parties’ pledge of extra powers for Holyrood if there is a No vote.

“I’m not convinced,” he said. “With just days to go, they sprung that on the electorate. It looked extremely panicky. There’s nothing down in black and white and whatever they do come up with will have to go before Tory MPs and the House of Lords.”

Jonathan Law, 41, from Brunstane, owner of Saks Hairdressing in Jeffrey Street, says he is a floating voter and has still not decided which way to go: “I started out as Don’t Know, then I was No, then I was Yes and now I’m floating in no man’s land. I just can’t make my mind up. It’s going to be a last-minute thing.

“I think there is a nervousness in the air. Floating voters want to say Yes, but they’re scared and now the Tories and Labour are talking about more powers – whether you believe them or not – so that could sway people to No

“Scotland feels it is perfectly capable of managing itself and doesn’t want to feel it needs England. But even if we go independent there are lots of ways in which we will still be united.”

Livvi Robertson, 16, a pupil at The Mary Erskine School, was tending to Yes but says she will probably now vote No: “It’s just too uncertain. If there was a more reliable set of facts and figures from the Yes campaign I would 
probably feel more confident, but because it’s so uncertain, I don’t want to risk it and for everything to go wrong.

“I spoke to my grandparents and that made me think more about it – and quite a lot of people at school are No voters,

“It seems a little risky. It’s a bit like ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’.

“I think I’m going to vote No, but I wouldn’t be too upset if it went the other way.”

Tina Woolnough, 52, a community campaigner from Blackhall, has cast her postal vote for Yes.

Previously undecided, she said: “I just felt there were so many people coming forward and saying ‘We could do this’. And I was so annoyed at the patronising establishment and the Westminster politicians rolling into town.

“My mother is from Finland – I have seen what small democracies can do.

“It’s going to be a lot of hard work and the whole population will have to put its shoulder to the wheel, but I think we can do it.”