THE Scottish Independence Convention (SIC) is today launching its much-anticipated campaigning organisation which will be tasked with raising support for independence to well above 50%.

Many months in gestation, the new organisation will be launched this morning in Edinburgh by SIC convenor Elaine C Smith, accompanied by members of the board appointed to run the new group.

Vice-convenor Dave Thompson is a member of Highlands and Islands for Independence and a former MSP. We can reveal that he will chair the new campaign group which SIC is describing as an “umbrella coalition”.

The launch will take place in a venue on the Royal Mile not far from the Holyrood Parliament in which First Minister Nicola Sturgeon yesterday pledged a second independence referendum in the lifetime of this Scottish parliament.

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The National can reveal that a co-ordinator for the new campaign group has been recruited and will be named at the launch. His task will be to recruit the campaign team who will be expected to form links with the many pro-independence groups across Scotland and begin the process of campaigning before the second referendum.

The National can also reveal that as the result of many months of investigation and consultation, the new campaign organisation will have a specific role in targetting what one activist has called the “mebbes” – people who may have voted No last time but are now open to persuasion.

The SIC has already stated its target and has described the genesis of the new organisation.

“As a wide ranging coalition of independence-supporting organisations and individuals we have been very active,” said SIC, “laying the foundations on which we will build our campaign to lift indy support to 60 per cent or more.

“Over the past three years, since the SIC was reformed in 2016, we have held many meetings of the council of SIC and our sub-groups and organised two ‘Build’ conferences to involve the grass-roots and help develop our planning and strategy as we move towards the next Independence referendum.

“We have also been busy developing research work on independence with Heriot Watt University, attending local Yes groups to encourage the formation of regional yes/indy groups, who have since joined us as voting members, and generally promoting independence.

“Since January 2018, we have concentrated on developing the best way to promote the independence message and have forged ahead with the creation of a dedicated campaign organisation. This has been made possible by the generous donations from independence supporters across Scotland, and beyond.

“All of this has been achieved by volunteers who have many other commitments. For the avoidance of doubt, all of the money raised from our Fundraiser last autumn (£105K) is going towards development of our independence campaign with no payment being made to any of our SIC council or executive committee members or company board members.

“We are now ready to formally launch your new dedicated campaign organisation – thank you to everyone who made this possible.”

Dave Thompson said: “Last year in The National we, the Scottish Independence Convention, announced that we would set up a new civic, people-powered, non-party political, campaign organisation that would be built and designed to speak to those in Scotland who are persuadable towards independence and have doubts about where the UK is leading us.”

Today that organisation becomes a reality. The National will report online from the scene of the launch.