A NEW front has been opened in the independence battle - poetry.

A craze for referendum rhymes swept across Twitter yesterday with pro-independence and pro-UK supporters presenting their arguments in verse.

The new genre - dubbed indyrefpoetry - was of question­able literary quality. However, it was "trending" in Glasgow at one point, meaning it was among the most talked about subjects on the micro-blogging social network.

Contributors included Nationalist MP Pete Wishart, Carolyn Leckie, the former Scottish Socialist MSP and Women For Independence campaigner, Rob Shorthouse, the communications director of Better Together, and the non-aligned Electoral Reform Society.

Dozens of bloggers and cam-paigners also swapped polemic for poetry, posting odes to freedom and devolutionary ditties using no more than Twitter's 140 character limit.

The fad follows polls showing both sides losing support, prompting claims they needed to find new ways of exciting and inspiring voters. That was probably just a coincidence though, as most Twitter protagonists used the new indyrefpoetry medium to direct insults at each other as usual.

Among those printable in a newspaper were Ms Leckie's ode:

Canae dae this,

Canae dae that,

Can we start from aye we kin?

Henceforth: improve the craic.

But tweeter Rebecca Garrett penned this paean to the Union:

Roses, daffodils,

shamrocks, thistles

grow deep within my veins

300 years of Union

Deep-rooted, embedded, ingrained.

The Electoral Reform Society wrote:

Whate'er the vote

The future is ours

Politicos please note

Ours not yours

A few tweeters also used verse to voice frustration with the level of debate. Malcolm Harvey wrote:

We're all in the same boat.

Don't know how to vote.

It's getting on my goat.

Should I get my coat?

Or move to... Catalonia?

In similar vein, Talat Yaqoob mused:

This poetry lark is fun

The debate was becoming glum

Let's not make it a shame

Let's up our game

Mudslinging is proper dumb.

The craze is thought to have been sparked by a poem posted on the website of National Collective, a pro-independence campaign group of artists and writers.

Michael Gray, of National Collective, said: "It's great that National Collective has inspired some creativity and a little bit of fun."

A Better Together spokesman said: "Judging by some efforts on Twitter, it will be a long time before we produce another Robert Burns. But it is great to have some much needed light-relief in the campaign."