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Trudging to the top floor of my last tenement on an afternoonʼs campaigning in Lochee, and feeling encouraged by the results so far, I hoped to finish the session on a high note. A man, about ages with me, came to the door and willingly answered the survey questions, and was duly added to Joe Fitzpatrickʼs growing list of Dundee West supporters.
When asked how heʼd vote if there was a referendum on Scottish independence, without a momentʼs hesitation he replied "Aye - Iʼd vote for that. Itʼs time in Scotland we took our own decisions." As I have joined in door knocking sessions around Scotland over recent months, I have been greatly encouraged by the large numbers of people who are expressing such strong support for independence.
As the clock ticks steadily towards 3 May we can feel confident that the SNP is better resourced and better prepared than weʼve ever been in the run-up to an election. As of the end of January, for instance, weʼd already spoken to three times as many voters as that stage in the last Scottish Parliament campaign. And the lists of SNP supporters, and supporters of independence, have continued to grow throughout February and into March, thanks to the hard work of SNP members across Scotland.
The polls have been in our favour, but we know that thereʼs only one poll that counts and thatʼs Thursday 3 May. Thatʼs why everything we do from now until then must be focussed – focussed on getting a massive SNP vote and winning enough seats to take us to power in our own Parliament. Tony Blair, in a flying visit to Scotland, has continued the Unionist tradition of scaremongering and talking Scotland down. He reportedly claims that the consequences of Independence would "disastrous and so negative", asserting that the Great British Union is a "partnership that works".
Strange, is it not, that so many small independent countries are prospering, and making much more of the opportunities afforded by EU membership than we in Scotland currently are. Actually there is nothing strange about it. Being independent is the norm in Europe, and an independent Scotland would find many allies among the present 27 independent member states. We and we alone are responsible for winning this election. We owe victory to the generations of Scottish patriots who, over the centuries fought to retain our countryʼs identity and a duty to secure the very best future for future generations of Scots.
We have a tremendously important opportunity on May 3rd. A win for the SNP will begin the process of restoring real political power and influence to Scotlandʼs parliament. Let us make the most of that opportunity, and make sure that our positive campaign message is delivered to every household in Scotland.
Most of all, letʼs keep our eyes on the prize of Scottish Independence - weʼre so very nearly there.