There may be more than 480 days before voters go to the polls, but Falkirk district has already become a referendum battleground.
Campaigners from both the Yes and No camps can regularly be seen in Falkirk High Street or outside the district’s train stations as they put their case for or against Scotland becoming an independent country to the public.
Apart from the importance of the issue at stake, one noticeable difference between this campaign and more regular elections is the make up of the people involved.
Falkirk’s councillors, MSPs and MPs can be expected to make their presence felt as the day of the referendum draws closer.
But much of the legwork – on both sides – is already being carried out by people with little previous experience of campaigning.
Ross McGregor (21), from Polmont, is a member of Yes Falkirk, the local branch of the pro-independence campaign.
He said: “I’ve been a member for around two months. I wanted to help spread the message about something that I believe in.”
Yes Falkirk has an active presence on social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter but also realises the importance of more traditional campaigning methods such as leafleting and hosting information stalls.
Rae Cahill (21), from Falkirk, is a committee member of the local Better Together campaign, which is arguing in favour of Scotland’s place in the UK.
She said: “We have a committee that is made up of people from different parties but, more importantly, also has people with no party political affiliation at all. Our campaign is very much grassroots-based.
“You’ll find us on Falkirk High Street every weekend from May 25, and we’ll be manning stalls in town centres in the run up to the referendum too.”
September 18, 2014 is the day of decision
The referendum will take place on Thursday, September 18, 2014. Voters will be asked one question: ‘Should Scotland become an independent country?’
For the first time in a national election, those aged 16 on the day of the ballot will be eligible to vote in the referendum
Both the Yes and Better Together campaigns are actively looking for volunteers from the Falkirk district to join them
For details on how to join, visit www.yesscotland.net or www.bettertogether.net.