Commenting on the surge in people across Scotland who have been signing up to the electoral roll to vote in the independence referendum – many who will be voting for the first time in their lives – Alex Salmond said that the unprecedented scale of new voters adding themselves to the register could prove a decisive factor on September 18.
He urged those who have not yet done so to make sure they are added to the register by Tuesday’s deadline.
Mr Salmond said: “All across Scotland, more people are starting to recognise the huge opportunities an independent Scotland will bring – and that is being matched by a surge in people signing up to vote.
“People have been adding themselves to the electoral roll in record numbers. Many of these people will be voting for the first time in their lives, which shows just how much this referendum campaign has re-energised the democratic process right across Scotland.
“But people only have until Tuesday’s deadline to get their name on the register, so it is vital that those who want to vote but have not yet registered make sure they sign up over the next couple of days.”
Mr Salmond added: “This referendum is a unique and historic vote, and those who never normally take part in elections – Scotland’s missing million – are set to play a decisive part in our nation’s decision on September 18.
“David Cameron says he is “nervous” about the referendum result, and he is right to be so, because people across Scotland are about to speak as they have never spoken before.
“For far too long, far too many people have felt excluded and disenfranchised by the traditional political process, and their voices have not been heard – but the missing million are poised to speak, and when they do it will make the Hampden roar seem like nothing.
“This referendum is the biggest democratic opportunity Scotland has ever had – and the opportunities offered by an independent Scotland are the reason so many people are registering to vote for the first time.
“We don’t need to rise and be a nation again – we just need to register to vote, and then to believe in ourselves.”
Over the weekend, Yes local groups were out in force in a bid to have as many people as possible able to vote. More than 200 events took place during the weekend – encompassing door-to-door canvassing and street stalls – where voter registration was top priority.