LIKE almost every aspect of the referendum, yesterday's march and rally for independence through Edinburgh had no sooner got under way than it was swiftly embroiled in a row.
Police Scotland and the city council estimated barely 8000 people had tramped from the Royal Mile to Calton Hill, while the organisers claimed more than double that.
Unionists sniped the numbers were pitiful when set beside the million-plus crowds that fill the streets of Catalonia for independence. While among those on Calton Hill, there was disbelief verging on contempt for the police figure - regarded as a gross under-estimate. There was a similar dispute last year.
However, there can be no quibbling over the attendance figures for all the marches and rallies demanding a No vote. We know that number precisely: zero.
Better Together and the anti-independence parties may scoff at the efforts of their opponents, but they have yet to test the strength of their own support the same way.
It is hard to imagine that is accidental. If Better Together was confident of eclipsing the Yes campaign in a show of numbers, it would surely have made the attempt by now.
That it hasn't tried indicates private doubts. And although yesterday's gathering was no game changer for the Yes side, it was nevertheless a powerful statement of support and intent.
People of all ages and backgrounds from all parts of Scotland came together to express a common desire for a better future.
They put their hearts on their sleeves and made an effort, and looked more inclusive and less guarded than their opposites as a result. Of course, Better Together could argue such events are driven by desperation, and that as the underdog the Yes side is forced to try and whip up support by every means necessary. But in the current context, with the public's interest in the referendum growing now that the final year milestone has passed, that would be a dangerously complacent attitude.
Yesterday's march was not just about the Yes side feeling good about itself, it was an enormous advert to the undecided voters who are the key to the outcome of the referendum. Such events count, especially if unanswered.
Besides the bigger crowd than in 2012, the rally also brought out some vital intangibles.
The mood had shifted: there was more crackle, more excitement, a keener sense of purpose.
If that change were to mesh with the public's growing receptiveness to the referendum debate then the result would be wide open.
For a Yes vote, next year's rally must be an order of magnitude bigger, but yesterday's showed the potential and momentum is there.
We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis. If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules, which are available here.
Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.