Scotland politics

SNP conference 2012: Yes campaign 'to contact every referendum voter'

Blair Jenkins
Image caption Blair Jenkins said 2014 would be the "year of yes"

The man leading the campaign to persuade Scotland to back independence wants to contact every voter in the in the run-up to the referendum.

Blair Jenkins, the chief executive of Yes Scotland, said the UK was now "one of the most unfair and unequal" countries in the Western world.

He pledged to run a grassroots campaign across Scotland for independence.

The former BBC boss predicted Scots would vote to leave the UK, declaring that 2014 "will be the year of Yes".

Mr Jenkins argued there was a "national movement" and "national groundswell" towards independence.

Addressing the SNP annual conference in Perth, he said: "Yes Scotland is going to be very much a grassroots campaign, a groundswell campaign right around the country."

He promised all of Scotland's 32 council areas would have a Yes Scotland group working for independence by the end of this year.

He said: "I intend that we will be campaigning in every street in every community.

"If I have my way, my vision is that every household in Scotland will have contact from the Yes Scotland campaign over the next two years.

"We will engage people in conversation about why independence is the right thing for this country."

Mr Jenkins addressed the issue of polls which suggests people in Scotland would not currently vote for independence.

He said: "Frankly I don't pay much attention to polls right now."

Mr Jenkins argued that if everyone who supported independence could convince just one other person to vote Yes in the referendum, then the campaign would be successful.

He told the conference: "On any opinion poll statistically it is true that if everyone intending to vote Yes can persuade just one other person, then we win.

"Your job over the next two years is to persuade just one other person - I think we can do that."

He insisted that with the referendum approaching, it was now the time to "stand up and be counted".

Image caption Yes banners were held aloft at the SNP conference

Mr Jenkins went on: "I do believe we can see beginning to emerge a vision of what an independent Scotland could be and would be like.

"I think we are going to see a definite distinction between the way the UK is evolving and the way the people of Scotland wish to travel.

"The UK has become one of the most unfair and unequal societies in the developed world.

"That has happened not as an act of God, but as an act of policy.

"I believe that the people of Scotland want to change direction and in two years' time we reach a fork in the road where the choice of direction is clear.

"And I believe the people of Scotland will choose independence."

'Hold Scotland back'

He attacked the "pessimism" and "paranoia" of those aiming to keep Scotland in the UK, led by the Better Together campaign.

He hit out: "On the evidence so far the No campaign is exactly that, no vision, no ambition. The only thing holding them together is the desire to hold Scotland back."

Mr Jenkins declared: "If ever there was a campaign this is our campaign. And if ever there was a year then 2014 will be our year, 2014 in Scotland will be the year of Yes."

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