AS a new year approaches and Scots reflect on 2023, we asked several groups to share their five wishes for the Yes movement in 2024.

Jamie Hepburn MSP was appointed as Scotland’s first-ever minister for independence in April this year, to both praise and criticism.

SNP and Yes supporters were pleased to see the position created in Humza Yousaf’s first cabinet, while opponents continue to claim it is illegal for the SNP to spend “UK taxpayers’ money” to plan for a second referendum and promote the case for independence.

Labour peer George Foulkes attempted to instigate a probe by officials in the Treasury and the Office of the Advocate General of Scotland to look into money spent working on Scottish independence which, as a matter of the constitution, is reserved to Westminster.

READ MORE: Scottish independence events and marches to attend this year

However, civil servants in Scotland continue to work on papers for independence and Hepburn shared five wishes for Yes on behalf of the Scottish Government.

1. Conversations about independence with people on their doorstep being led by independence campaigners in every community across the country

Like Common Weal’s Rory Hamilton wished, peer-to-peer campaigning tops the list.

Hepburn, a member of SNP since he was 18, is regularly seen on the doors and the party recently released new leaflets for activists on a range of issues including pensions and currency.

2. Differences of opinion not overshadowing unity of purpose

As activists regularly disagree on the route to independence as well as policy in an independent Scotland, cross-party participation can prove a challenge when online division flares. This became increasingly clear for groups such as All Under One Banner when inviting others to collaborate at events.

Local Yes groups continue to increase in size and number, with non-party political local groups leading the charge in unity.

The National: Humza Yousaf

During one of the days of action hosted by non-party political group Believe in Scotland, activists from Alba and SNP united to campaign in Skye, with many in the movement praising them as an inspiration.

3. More papers in the Scottish Government Building a New Scotland prospectus series

There are now nine papers in the Building a New Scotland series, the most recent focused on social security.

While the papers answer some pressing questions on policy and the way an independent Scotland would be governed, activists continue to seek a way to deliver the messaging to the public.

It is understood energy will be one of the key policy areas in the upcoming white papers.

4. Lots of converts to the independence cause

Yes support has continued to hover around the 50% mark in 2023, with polls ranging from 36% to 52%, with undecided included.

Ipsos Mori polling from November showed that among those who would vote in a referendum with undecided voters removed, 54% would vote Yes in an immediate referendum, while 46% said they would vote No.

5. Victory at a general election

With the country going into 2024, it is no clearer when the nation will head to the ballot box, however, party’s are getting ready.

Research commissioned by the SNP Westminster group is guiding their General Election campaign to focus on the cost of living crisis and the NHS.

In the latest Scottish Political Monitor, run by Ipsos Mori and STV News, the SNP remains the dominant party in Scotland and support for independence remains strong.

READ MORE: Here's what the latest Scottish political polling tells us 

Voter preferences at a Westminster General Election remain similar to a previous Ipsos poll in May, with the SNP at 40% (-1) while Labour are at 30% (+1). 

Elsewhere, the Conservatives are on 15% (-2), LibDems on 6%, Greens on 3% and Others on 5% (+2).