Lively debate takes place on Independence

Speakers at the Independence Debate: Councillor Richard Thomson, Gillian Martin - Women For Independence, journalist - Christine Jardine, Scoreman Group Chairman - Charles Ritchie
Speakers at the Independence Debate: Councillor Richard Thomson, Gillian Martin - Women For Independence, journalist - Christine Jardine, Scoreman Group Chairman - Charles Ritchie
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With less than a month to go to the independence vote, both camps were taking positives from the recent debate organised by Ellon Community Council.

More than 200 people filled the town’s Victoria Hall last Tuesday evening to hear speakers from the respective sides argue their case.

Supporting the Yes campaign were Ellon and District SNP Councillor Richard Thomson and Gillian Martin, representing the Women for Independence group.

Backing Better Together were Gordon Liberal Democrat candidate, Christine Jardine, and businessman Charles Ritchie, from Peterhead company Score Group.

Community council officials were delighted by the turnout.

Chairman Sandy McDougall said: “More than 230 people attended to hear the four panellists answer a variety of challenging questions from the audience.

“Amongst the topics covered were currency, border controls, defence, economy, support for the oil industry and support for families.”

According to polling on the way in, people responded: Yes 42%, No 36% and Undecided 22%.

Following the debate, the figures were: Yes 56%, No 35% and Undecided 9%.

A spokesman for Yes Aberdeenshire said: “”Although just a straw poll, this is still a very encouraging set of results.

“It confirms that undecided voters tend to become ‘Yes’ voters once they have a chance to get the facts on independence for themselves. There’s all to play for in September’s Scotland-wide vote but this is just another indication that in Ellon as in everywhere else, the momentum is firmly with those seeking a ‘Yes’ vote.”

Ms Jardine said: “There were terrific questions from the audience and one of the positive things about this referendum, for me, has been the turnout at meetings like this and the way we have seen the public engage.

“The disappointing aspect was that we did not hear anything new, or any detail from the Yes campaign which is why for me the positive approach is to keep building up the powers of the Scottish parliament, give us increased control over our own affairs, within the UK.”