Referendum countdown: Spanish Ayes from Catalonia

English teacher Marta Vallbona is gathering up pro-independence leaflets and checking off names on a list.

Wednesday, 17th September 2014, 12:45 pm
Independence is also an issue in Catalan

She is heading out to canvass ­voters, hoping to convince them to vote in favour.

But Ms Vallabona has never lived in Scotland, nor is she eligible to vote. She has travelled from Catalonia, Spain – which has its own independence movement – to help with the final three weeks of the Yes campaign.

She said: “I can hugely identify with Scotland. In Catalonia, we can only imagine the powers of full democracy which the people of Scotland could have.”

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Independence is also an issue in Catalan

She is not the only overseas volunteer at the Glasgow Kelvin hub. One woman travelled from Australia to add her weight to the pro-independence lobby.

Organiser Patrick Grady, who has taken three weeks leave from his charity job to be the “lead volunteer” for the Kelvin area, said the group attracts 20 campaigners a night to talk to householders.

“It’s a form of polling, but it is canvassing as well,” he said. “We ask people how they think they will vote, but we’re also there to inform them about the campaign. A lot of our supporters have never been interested in politics before, but feel strongly that Scotland should be independent – and that has an impact on the voters they’re speaking to.”

He spoke of one man who, entirely off his own bat, nipped out to Argos to buy a couple of trestle tables and set up a voter registration stall in Partick.

Data from forms is entered into spreadsheets, giving a clearer picture of exactly where and how strong support for Yes is.

There have been more than 175 campaign sessions from his office since May. And Mr Grady is confident of success.

He said: “A lot of people are going to go into that polling ­station not sure or planning to vote No. Then they will look at the words on the ballot paper: ‘Should Scotland be an independent country?’ Then they will change their minds.”