THE last All Under One Banner march of the year is expected to be the organisation’s biggest yet with up to 250,000 people forecast to attend.

Organiser of next month’s Edinburgh event, Neil Mackay said the march is “a once in a lifetime opportunity”.

He added: “If people haven’t been [to a Yes march] before, what a first time to come along. It’s going to be the biggest one yet. We’re expecting at least 100,000 but more likely 250,000 will attend. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

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The October 5 march will start at Holyrood Park at 1pm and will then proceed through Queens Drive, Horse Wynd, Canongate, High Street, Lawnmarket, George IV bridge, Forrest road, Middle Meadow walk and The Meadows.

All Under One Banner (AUOB) plans to have 300 Yes Bikers leading the march and has printed 30,000 new flyers for the event. “There will be 300 [bikers] at the start of the march – they will be ahead of the Yes band and will drive off to the meadows,” Mackay explained. “I’m meeting the council on Monday about that.”

A fundraiser that ended yesterday raised £8000 of its £10,000 target and a further £2000 came from the Scottish Independence Foundation. Costs include portaloos, a stage, transport and barrier fencing.

It’s AUOB’s seventh march of the year with previous ones held in Glasgow, Galashiels, Inverness, Ayr, Campbeltown, Aberdeen and Perth.

How does Mackay feel about this being the last march of the year? “I feel good because it has been a success,” he said. “We have completed the schedule of the national tour. Most people will only see what happens on the day. Most people won’t see the work behind it. It is good for us as a team to get a rest after this.”

Volunteers are encouraged to help out, with a meeting held tomorrow at the Edinburgh Yes Hub on Liberton road from 1pm-4pm.

Mackay believes marches are “crucial” to win independence and is glad the SNP are embracing them.

He said: “They [the SNP] are recognising this now as a game changer. Without the marches we wouldn’t be in the position we are in today.

“Independence wouldn’t be at the front of people’s minds. To attempt to find out how many votes it changes and doesn’t change would be immense but it isn’t about that. Its purpose is to build on support that already exists.”

Mackay said it is important that people attend next Saturday whether it is their first march or not. He added: “I want to issue a real call out to everybody. It’s really important to make it along to Edinburgh. The bigger it is the more energy it has and the more impact it has. The public team up and make the marches what they are. Scotland has never been let down by Scottish people.”