ACTION for Independence (AFI), the political grouping aiming to maximise Yes votes on the Holyrood list in next year’s election, has unveiled its “route-map” to Scottish independence.

Its statement of intent, published today, lays down the principles set out when it was founded, putting indy “at the heart of its manifesto for the Holyrood ‘independence’ election in 2021”.

The party – which is still awaiting an Electoral Commission ruling after it ordered AFI to change its name – will promote smaller pro-indy parties and Yes groups to “Max the Yes” on the regional list vote by encouraging people to vote SNP1 and AFI2.

“AFI shall campaign for a majority of pro-indy MSPs, at the ‘independence’ election, to affirm a mandate for indyref2 in 2021, with or without Westminster’s co-operation,” it said.

It will also campaign for a simple majority of the pro-indy vote across the constituencies and lists, and “for such a majority to be understood to be a mandate for independence itself”.

READ MORE: Independence should be the focus, not party political point scoring

Interim leader Dave Thompson told The National: “We’ve come down very firmly on the simple majority because we’ve only posed it as a question previously – would a simple majority next year be a mandate? What we’re actually saying is we’ll campaign and have that in our manifesto that it shall be. We basically turn next year’s election into a de facto referendum or plebiscite. I think that’s the important change in our position.”

Thompson added that a referendum should not have to depend on Westminster: “We’re trying to appeal to voters and this is restating Scotland’s position and ours that we shouldn’t need to ask permission from Westminster to have our indyref and we should have it whether or not they say it’s okay.

“So, it’s really pressing the SNP I suppose to accept that a majority of pro-indy MSPs, irrespective of whether Westminster accedes to a Section 30 order, would actually lead to an indyref next year.”