By a Newsnet reporter
First Minister Alex Salmond has hailed the referendum campaign as the “most exciting, participative and powerful debate in Scottish political history”.
Ahead of a series of campaigning events in Dundee, Mr Salmond called on the so-called ‘missing million’ voters to seize the “wealth of opportunity” offered by a Yes vote, ahead of Tuesday’s deadline for people registering to vote on September 18th.
With 16 days of campaigning left, the First Minister has said that the debate about how wealthy Scotland is has long been won, and the only debate left is who is best placed to make Scotland’s immense natural and human resources work for the people of Scotland.
Commenting, Alex Salmond said:
“With just 16 days of campaigning left, people who want to vote but aren’t yet on the electoral roll have just 24 hours left to sign up to take part in Scotland’s date with destiny.
“The truth about Scotland’s immense wealth is reaching people and communities across the country, who are waking up to the huge wealth of opportunity offered by a Yes vote.
“Hundreds of thousands of people, many of whom have never voted in their lives, are now engaged in the most exciting, participative and powerful debate in Scottish political history.”
Recent estimates have suggested that as many as one million people eligible to vote have either failed to register or have let their initial registrations expire. Many are from disadvantaged backgrounds and have become disillusioned with politics.
Canvas returns from several groups have suggested support for Yes amongst this sector of society far outstrips backing for a No vote.
Mr Salmond added: “Even the most ardent No supporters now accept that an independent Scotland would be one of the richest nations per head on earth – with human and natural resources that most countries can only dream of – but for too many people living here, it doesn’t feel that way.
“Independence won’t be a magic wand, but it will give Scotland the full tool-box of powers to help create more jobs, protect our NHS from the effects of Tory-led privatisation south of the border, and build a fairer and more prosperous nation.”
Labour’s Shadow Scottish Secretary Margaret Curran MP said: “There are just 17 days to go until Scots vote in the independence referendum, and many people are already voting by post.
“Two years of work is about to culminate in two weeks of all out campaigning for every last vote. And in these two weeks, the Labour Party will be spelling out again our vision for the future of Scotland.
“I’ve been involved in Scottish politics for 40 years, but this isn’t like any campaign I’ve ever taken part in before. And that’s because the stakes are so high.”
The referendum race has tightened with polls showing support for Yes increasing following a dramatic TV debate which saw Better Together leader Alistair Darling struggle against Mr Salmond. Mr Darling’s performance led to UK Prime Minister making a hasty visit to Glasgow in order to try to bolster support for No.
The Prime Minister admitted to being nervous about the outcome of September’s ballot.
Mr Salmond said: “David Cameron said this weekend that he is ‘nervous’ about the referendum result – and he is right to be so, with the most recent polls putting a Yes vote within touching distance, and hundreds of thousands of Labour voters set to back independence as momentum is now firmly with the Yes campaign.
“If you have friends or family who want to vote and are not registered, they have just hours to do so – this is their last chance to seize the wealth of opportunity offered by Scotland’s historic referendum.”
Details on how to register to vote can be found here: https://www.aboutmyvote.co.uk/register_to_vote/electoral_registration_applica.aspx