POLITICS
20/10/2013 12:58 BST | Updated 20/12/2013 05:12 GMT

Scottish Independence: Trust In Government Is Nationalist's 'Ace Card' Says Alex Salmond

Trust in the Scottish Government will be the Nationalists' "ace card" in the run up to next year's independence referendum, the Scottish First Minister declared.

Alex Salmond closed the SNP final annual conference before that key vote by telling activists that when the ballot is held in 2014 it will be "Scotland's day and Scotland's hour".

He spoke out during a referendum rally at the close of the four day long event.

Voters north of the border will decide if Scotland is to remain part of the UK next September, with Mr Salmond highlighting trust, passion and commitment as being key in securing a Yes vote.

He told them: ""Trust is our ace card as we approach the referendum."

In this regard the SNP leader said the latest figures from pollsters Ipsos MORI showed the Scottish Government had an approval rating of +23% compared to -28% for the UK Government.

He said the job for pro-independence campaigners was now to "transfer that trust in this government on to the referendum campaign".

But he added: "The trust comes because we are a government elected by the Scottish people, that is the connection, people trust the government because it is their government. That is the key."

He went on to state Nationalists had a "passion to improve our nation" which was also an "ace card".

He told SNP activists: "Just think about our opponents in this campaign, their passion seems to be to talk the country down, to talk about what the country can't do. They are entirely in negative.

"They have a negative mindset to the potential of the Scottish people. They won;t be able to match our ambition, our passion, to make this country more prosperous and more just."

The SNP has the ability to "deploy tens of thousands of activists who believe in the cause", Mr Salmond said, describing this as "our greatest weapon, our secret weapon, our wonderful weapon in terms of these campaigns".