Nicola Sturgeon has begun a whistle-stop tour of a dozen target constituencies across Scotland as the final weekend of election campaigning approaches.
With a week to go until polling day, Scotland’s first minister will travel around the country as part of a final push for votes on May 7th.
Following the last session of first minister’s questions in the Scottish parliament before election day, Ms Sturgeon yesterday left Edinburgh by helicopter for Galashiels in the Scottish Borders.
Later she visited Moffat, in Dumfries and Galloway; in the coming days her tour will take in East Lothian, Dundee, St Andrews, Stonehaven, Inverness, Portree, Glasgow and Largs before ending in Dumfries on Monday.
Her visit to the target seats comes as polls show record levels of support for the Scottish National Party (SNP), which she leads, and as the Scottish Sun declared its backing for the party.
An Ipsos Mori poll for STV News found support for the nationalists at 54 per cent; Scottish Labour had slipped to 20 per cent.
Ms Sturgeon, who has been at the front and centre of the SNP campaign, said she would continue to work hard for every vote.
“There’s now only one week to go until the election and the extent of the opportunity in Scotland’s grasp is becoming clearer by the day, and I’m looking forward to taking the SNP’s positive, anti-austerity message to communities in every corner of Scotland, ” she said.
“But while the polls are welcome, polls don’t win elections: hard work, commitment and positive ideas do, and I will be spending every minute for the next week doing everything I can to win the trust of people across Scotland.
“The SNP will use our influence at Westminster to make sure every part of Scotland has a strong voice in the House of Commons, put an end to the cuts, and advance progressive politics for everyone in the UK, but we can only do that with the support of people in communities across Scotland next Thursday.
“If Scotland comes together on polling day and elects a big team of SNP MPs, we can ensure Scotland speaks loudly and clearly at Westminster, with a voice that simply can’t be ignored by the establishment parties.
“The prospect of a strong team of SNP MPs holding unprecedented power and influence for Scotland at Westminster is now within touching distance, and today I’m asking people in every part of Scotland to unite with us and grab this historic opportunity with both hands.”
Ms Sturgeon's first stop in Galashiels is part of the Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk constituency, where the SNP hopes to beat off competition from Conservative candidate John Lamont to unseat Liberal Democrat incumbent and former Scottish Secretary Michael Moore.
In Moffat, part of the Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale seat, the nationalists hope to oust David Mundell, the only Conservative MP in Scotland during the last parliament. – (PA)