NICOLA Sturgeon has urged independence supporters to “win more hearts and minds” in the run up to indyref2.

Writing exclusively for The National’s souvenir Summer of 2014 magazine (available in our online store at, the First Minister says she is sure that Scottish independence is coming.

Sturgeon says the 2014 vote transformed the country “fundamentally for the better".

It was, she writes, an event “that saw Scotland come alive, not just with impassioned debate, but alive to the possibilities of the kind of country we could be, contributing in our own small but significant way to making a better world”.

She adds: “That might sound lofty and idealistic but it perfectly captures the spirit of 2014.”

Sturgeon says one of her abiding memories of the campaign was on September 18 in Glasgow when a man at her local polling station gave her a box of chocolate biscuits and thanked her, “simply, quietly but emotionally, for being given the opportunity to vote for independence”.

She explains: “It was the first time he had ever exercised his right to vote. It was a small moment in a big day, but it is a memory that lingers and one that says so much.

“Indeed, the sight of the empty box – the contents had been eaten by hungry activists – had me in tears when I saw it in the campaign office a few days after the vote.”

The First Minister’s comments about the last independence referendum come as Scotland moves closer towards a second.

Framework legislation which will pave the way for a future vote is currently working its way through the Scottish Parliament and the government is keen to have it on the statute books by the end of the year.

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Sturgeon has already said she would like to indyref2 in the second half of 2020.

The SNP leader says that half a decade on from that first campaign, “the question of Scotland’s future burns as brightly and urgently as it ever did”.

Sturgeon says that “independence is coming” but those who support it still “need to win more hearts and minds and do so through positive persuasion while holding firm to the democratic and constitutional route for which 2014 provides clear precedent.”

There was little sentimentality for the referendum anniversary from interim Scottish Tory leader Jackson Carlaw.

He said the SNP were still “unable to understand that Scotland clearly voted No to independence”.

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Carlaw added: “Instead of focusing on the day job, Nicola Sturgeon has focused to the exclusion of all else on the only thing that matters to her and her party: how to overturn the people’s verdict and run it all over again.

“It has been the longest hangover in political history – and it is Scotland that has suffered.”

Labour’s Shadow Scottish secretary Lesley Laird, said the decision of 2014 had been “definitive”.

“It is a referendum result that has never been accepted by the SNP. Ever since they found out that they lost, they have been agitating for the referendum to be rerun,” she said.

LibDem boss Willie Rennie, who backed his party’s decision that it would revoke Article 50, said it was disappointing that the SNP had not “stood by the Edinburgh Agreement after the legal, fair and decisive vote”.

To mark the anniversary, the Scottish Greens called for the Queen to surrender the Palace of Holyroodhouse to the people to host an elected second parliamentary chamber.

MSP Andy Wightman said given its proximity to the Scottish Parliament, the royals’ Edinburgh base would be “ideally situated”.

He said: “The Scottish Greens believe Scotland should be a normal, independent, European republic where the power is invested in all the people, not simply in those who have been born into a particular family.

“When Scotland does regain its independence it will be because the people have chosen that path and I think it would be particularly fitting if at that point the people and their institutions were returned to complete democratic control.”