A NO voter who has moved to Yes is hoping to oust Labour rebel Daniel Johnson in Edinburgh Southern at next year's Holyrood election.

Michael Sturrock, who grew up in Mayfield in the capital, has thrown his hat into the ring to be selected as the SNP candidate for the seat currently held by Richard Leonard's party.

Sturrock believes he is the first potential candidate to have voted against independence in 2014 to have come forward.

He said his journey will form a central part of his selection campaign – and bid to challenge Labour should he win the SNP’s nomination.

“Edinburgh Southern—where I grew up—has always been a key Labour and pro-Union stronghold”, he said.

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“But there are now many like me who are livid at the blatant lies of the Labour-backed Better Together campaign. They promised us the only way to keep our EU membership was to vote against independence.

"The Tories, Labour and Lib Dems issued ‘the vow’ and promise of a fully federal UK within two years.

“The exact opposite has happened.

"We have a likely No-Deal Brexit, a decade of right-wing Tory Government presiding over unforgivable levels of inequality; and only this week we saw a fresh attack on devolution with the internal market proposals.

"It’s clear to me and many others now that the only way of achieving a socially-progressive, cooperative, European Scotland is through independence."

Undecided voters who believed No campaign’s economic scaremongering in 2014 are enraged by Boris Johnson’s hard-Brexit recklessness and are reconsidering independence.

Sturrock, who joined the SNP in 2018 and is a member of the party's Newington branch, said his candidacy chimes with a growing consensus in Scotland following the UK’s vote to leave the UK, but that Scotland needs more pro-independence voices to win a future vote on the issue.

“For a number of months, we have seen consistent polling in favour of independence. Clearly, I am not alone in moving to the Yes side.

"Not only this, the growing number of undecideds shows us that independence is very much back on the table for even the most ardent No voters from 2014.

"We need candidates who have made the move from No to Yes to show that the party and the movement is open-armed towards anyone who believes in an independent Scotland in Europe, regardless of how they voted in 2014."

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The 26-year-old believes his experience as Head of Public Affairs for a business trade association — for which he represents over 1000 organisations to governments and parliaments in Brussels, Westminster and Holyrood — gives him the right credentials to help win others from No to Yes.

“I have real experience working on behalf of business with politicians across the political divide to make policies that modernise and grow our economy. From this I know the business argument for independence is stronger than ever.

"Undecided voters who believed No campaign’s economic scaremongering in 2014 are enraged by Boris Johnson’s hard-Brexit recklessness and are reconsidering independence.

"It is vital we have a candidate who can speak frankly about political and economic realities and opportunities to turn those undecided voters into committed Yessers. I believe I can do this."

Sturrock is one of six contenders who have put themselves forward in the selection contest.

The others include activists Doug Thomson and Catriona MacDonald, and councillor Alison Dickie.