14 Sep 2014

Sturgeon hails ‘flowering of national confidence’

Nicola Sturgeon tells Channel 4 News she is confident of victory in Thursday’s independence referendum, and warns nationalists not to get involved in negative campaigning.

Nicola Sturgeon

Scotland’s Deputy First Minister distanced the yes campaign from a demonstration outside the headquarters of BBC Scotland over allegations of bias in thje broadcaster’s coverage in the referendum.

Up to 1,000 nationalists marched from the city centre to the BBC’s Pacific Quay offices in Glasgow, claiming the BBC’s reporting has been slanted against independence.

Ms Sturgeon said: “That was not a yes Scotland protest today. My message to everybody who supports a yes vote is, over the next four days, don’t spend a single second protesting or campaigning against something. Get out there and campaign for something.”

She added: “We are now going into the final four days neck-and-neck in the polls, and with the momentum firmly with us.

“What we are seeing right now is the Westminster establishment throw every fear, smear and scare story they can find at the Scottish people.

“What we have seen in Scotland over the these past weeks is a flowering of national confidence.”

Salmond: no repeat of referendum

Earlier today, the leaders of both the yes and no camps said the vote would be a “once in a generation” chance for Scots to change the country’s constitution.

Speaking to the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, first minister Alex Salmond said: “Harold Wilson famously (said) one vote is enough in a referendum but we’re not aiming to win by one vote, we’re aiming to achieve a substantial majority if we can.

“If you remember that previous constitutional referendum in Scotland – there was one in 1979 and then the next one was 1997. That’s what I mean by a political generation.

“In my opinion, and it is just my opinion, this is a once in a generation opportunity for Scotland.”

His remarks suggest the SNP would not push for another referendum for some years if they lose the vote.

Better Together leader Alistair Darling agreed the referendum would have to “decide this for a generation”.

With both sides campaigning hard ahead of the referendum on Thursday, the latest polls reveal a slim lead for the No camp, with one suggests the pro-independence side has a lead of eight points – the reverse of another commissioned by Better Together.

On Monday, David Cameron is expected to return to Scotland for his final campaign visit before the vote, and he is due to issue a stark warning to waverers that there could be “no going back” if they chose to “break up our family of nations”.