I HAVE voted in every election since I turned 18 – council, HolyroodWestminster and European.

I confidently voted Yes for devolution and, while I have changed my political allegiances and views over the last 26 years, I have never struggled to know which candidate to back. Thus, it was a great shock in September 2014 to discover, in the voting booth, that I did not know where to place my cross.

As I held the stubby pencil, I was pulling towards Yes: Scotland was rich enough, resourceful enough, strong enough to be independent.

I wasn’t swayed by arguments that the oil would run out (I didn’t think we should be basing our economic strength on a finite and damaging resource) or the lack of certainty over the currency (someone would have the answer to that one).

Yet I kept sliding back to No: would we remain part of the EU? And what about defence? I felt a tremendous burden to get it right.

Scotland could be independent for decades – even centuries - as a result of my vote.

I knew that change was needed – social, economic and environmental – but I wanted that change to be for the whole of the UK, not just Scotland.

Like most people living in Scotland, I have friendships and family ties across the four nations.

I voted No. I reasoned that if I was not definitively certain that Yes was the right answer, I must take the cautious approach. I have regretted that decision many times since.

Changing to Yes has not been a single step. Brexit was a big shove; I felt hugely betrayed by those who had voted me out of the European Union – when I had backed No primarily to stay in the EU. But the tipping point was realising that the Union did not work anymore. Especially not for Scotland.

As vastly expensive projects which Scotland had rejected (the renewal of Trident, HS2) were pushed repeatedly through Westminster, the marginalisation of Scotland grew worse.

There is no hope for a successful Union when a London-centric government tells Scotland to put up and shut up. Scotland’s priorities are different from England’s.

We need a migrant workforce, employed across all sectors. We need an inclusive immigration policy to address the problems caused by an ageing population, dropping birth rate and the so-called “brain drain” effect.

We need markets and trade agreements that meet the needs of our farming and fishing communities.

In becoming a definite Yes voter, I have recognised Scotland’s strengths and advantages.

Our natural resources and expertise in renewable energy; our enterprising, skilled and educated workforce; our ingenious engineering; our world class brands and products; our water; our sense of fair play and justice.

I now firmly belief that it is only as an independent country that Scotland will be able to thrive. In a second referendum I shall vote Yes.

Morven Ovenstone-Jones, 44, Anstruther, Fife