THE YouGov poll that was carried out in the areas of main Conservative support in Scotland makes for very interesting reading. It is a sign that things are beginning to change in the castle of Unionism. Here is the main point, I think: “The polling, which was conducted exclusively in Conservative-held constituencies across Scotland, points to a 14% drop in the party’s vote share in these seats, down from 44% to 30%. Meanwhile, the vote share for the SNP is predicted to rise from 34% to 42%.

“The poll shows a majority of voters in these constituencies would vote to keep the UK in the EU in a new referendum, by 63% to 37%, excluding non-voters and don’t knows.”

The independence movement has the opportunity to make a breakthrough if we can have the courage and foresight to wipe

the slate clean and welcome anyone thinking of voting for independence no matter what their political persuasion. The prize of independence is too precious to waste bickering

about party politics and what came before.

It is now crystal clear there are a growing number of Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Labour voters who could be open to voting Yes to independence, maybe only once and then go back to their party of choice in a free Scottish Parliament; but once is enough.

I think the SNP need to make a public commitment now, that once Scotland is independent, there will be a free vote within a year where anyone can vote for whatever party they like. I get the feeling some people think the SNP would rule unchallenged after independence. This is simply not true and worth repeating.

At the moment some people may feel rejected by the loud dismissive voices they hear from certain sections of the indy movement. We should also remember that Jane Lax, Nigel Farage, and other trolls of this world are the extreme 1% – they make a lot of noise but are not representative of more enlightened Unionists. Many have been brought up in a pro-Union family or society and now feel they would like to think for themselves or are feeling doubtful after being deceived by Westminster over the 2014 promise to remain in the EU if they voted no to independence. If all they hear is “Tory Tory Tory out out out”, then they are unlikely to leave their comfort zone to seek more information.

When someone finds themselves painted into a corner, they may see how they got there but be too embarrassed or fearful of what their peers might think of them to come back out of that corner. The kindest and most courageous thing to do is to offer such a person a way out that will not make them feel undermined. Sometimes that is all it takes.

The ideal situation would be that someone respected from within the Unionist argument comes out with a Scottish version of their Westminster party. It would only take one or two high-profile voices to start the ball rolling. Could a poll be done of Conservative/LibDem/Labour voters in Scotland about how they would vote if a Scottish version of their party was available to vote for? That would plant a few ideas in various heads I would hope.

Due to the unwarranted constant attack on Nicola Sturgeon by the Unionist media in the UK most non-SNP voters have a knee-jerk reaction to her. This is why I feel someone else, a trusted Unionist, would be the one to give the curious Unionist a way out of their corner.

We are at a crucial tipping point. Time to stop the cat calling and pointless abuse; we are all Scotland and I want to hear every voice represented in the Scottish Parliament even if I disagree with them. It is up to us as active supporters of Scottish independence to lead the way. Less of the “get thee behind me Unionists” and more “come in and let’s talk” is all it could take to change minds.
Charlie Ambrose