Yes and No campaigners
“We couldn’t have worked any harder locally. I did my best for the weeks I was involved but people had been putting in work for years and years before it.”
For the Better Together campaigners, the feeling was slightly different.
While there were cheers as results came in, they were tinged with an overriding sense of relief rather than joy.
“I remember standing with a Yes supporter at Cathkin Primary on the day,” says Taylor. “He was adamant they would win 60-40 because the polls didn’t take into account those who had just registered, and you start to think to yourself ‘is that right?’
“There was a feeling we had preserved something rather than achieved something. If things are staying the same, it’s a different kind of celebration.”
The gift of time has allowed for a lot of soul-searching on both sides and Taylor admits Better Together failed to get to grips with battle.
“Clearly there was a big shift and in that sense you have to say the Yes campaign was more effective. I don’t agree Better Together was always negative but they seemed reluctant to make a positive case. I think it’s right to emphasise the risks, people have the right to know that, but we would have fared better if we had a more positive, overarching vision, which is what the Yes campaign seemed to have, even if it was built on sand.”
For many on the Yes side, the blame for their loss lies with the press. Katy adds: “A lot of it was to do with the way the media portrayed it. I still think people struggled with the idea that independence was not some sort of end point. They wanted definitive answers, but any change is a leap of faith and I think a lot of people were not really ready for that, one way or another.”
Taylor is less convinced: “The BBC are always going to put you under pressure. You need to give people an idea that everything is going to be better when you make a big change like that.”
One thing both agree on is that the opposing sides failed to understand each other.
Many No supporters dismissed the Yes campaigners as anti-English while there was a tendency on the pro-independence ranks to label all No voters as “fearties.”
“People misunderstood the nationalist movement,” says Katy. “It’s about civic nationalism and the core belief the people of Scotland are best placed to know what’s best for Scotland. We’ve got the talent and the resources.