Nicola Sturgeon will spearhead a renewed drive to build support for Scottish independence this summer, pledging to turn the 45% who voted to leave the UK in the 2014 referendum into “a strong and positive majority”.
To a rapturous reception from about 3,000 delegates at the Scottish National party’s spring conference in Glasgow on Saturday afternoon, the party leader and first minister cautioned supporters: “We will not achieve our dream of independence just by wishing that the outcome of the referendum had been different – or wishing that we could do it all again next week.”
With just seven weeks to go before May’s Scottish parliament elections, she said: “We will achieve independence only when we persuade a majority of our fellow citizens that it is the best future for our country.”
The first minister appeared to put the brakes on moves towards a second independence referendum at the party’s main conference last November by declaring that the Scottish government would hold fire until “strong and consistent evidence” emerged of a change in public opinion.
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