Was it simply a victory for fear over hope?
How did the Better Together campaign come so close to losing it?
How did the Yes campaign come so close to winning it?
What can the people of Scotland – and other aspirant nations – learn from this seismic democratic event? Scotland’s independence referendum on 18 September 2014 was the most significant ballot in Scotland’s history. The 100 days up to 18 September was the official campaign period and the world’s media was watching. David Torrance was there throughout, in front of the cameras, on the radio, in the newspapers, at the debates and gatherings, privy to some of the behind-the-scenes manoeuvrings.
A passionate federalist at heart, described disparagingly by the outgoing First Minister as ‘Tory-leaning’, Torrance made a valiant attempt to remain ‘professionally neutral’ throughout. His commentary and analysis as the campaign went through its many twists and turns was always insightful, if not always popular.
'Reading this diary back during the editing process it was clear that, like (Nate) Silver (the US polling guru whose view was that the Yes campaign had virtually no chance of victory), I got a lot of things wrong (including the likely margin of victory) but also many things broadly correct. At least I can plead, as journalists often do, that I was probably right at the time.'
His diary is deliciously gossipy, entertainingly indiscreet, and a must-read for political geeks as well as those who want to see what goes on behind the scenes of Scotland's politi and media.
STEPHEN DAISLEY, STV
David Torrance has emerged as one of the campaign's most important commentators… [his] unauthorised biography of Alex Salmond, Against the Odds, has become the prescribed text for the flying columns of English-based and overseas journalists converging on Scotland in this our hour of destiny.
KEVIN McKENNA, Scottish Review of Books
Torrance has secured himself a prominent position in the referendum debate, partly through the strategic use of nice jumpers and expertly crafted hair, but largely on merit … [he deserves] far better than the lazy impossibilist critiques to which [his federalist] proposals have been subjected.
RORY SCOTHORNE on Britain Rebooted
F*** sake… David Torrance on again. Is the greasy weasel never aff the telly?
CALUM FINDLAY [on Twitter]