Salmond Issues People-Power Appeal

The people of Scotland will hold power in their hands tomorrow as they vote to determine their country's future, the First Minister said in a personal letter to the electorate.

With just hours of referendum campaigning left, Alex Salmond made a direct appeal to voters to use that power to back independence, urging them "let's do this''.

He asked Scots to step back from the political arguments and statistics that have defined the two-year campaign and trust in themselves as they step into the polling booth.

Mr Salmond said: "The talking is nearly done. The campaigns will have had their say. What's left is just us - the people who live and work here. The only people with a vote. The people who matter.

"The people who for a few precious hours during polling day hold sovereignty, power, authority in their hands. It's the greatest most empowering moment any of us will ever have. Scotland's future - our country in our hands.

"What to do? Only each of us knows that. For my part, I ask only this. Make this decision with a clear head and a clear conscience.''

The First Minister said he had confidence that voters would dismiss "increasingly desperate and absurd scare stories'' which he claimed were being generated by Downing Street.

In contrast, a Yes vote would bring "the responsibility to work together to make Scotland the nation it can be''.

He said: "Does every country make mistakes? Yes. Are there challenges for Scotland to overcome? Undoubtedly.

"But my question is this - who better to meet those challenges on behalf of our nation than us? We must trust ourselves. Trust each other.''

Mr Salmond said that the campaign had changed Scotland forever, bringing "confidence, belief and empowerment'' to communities across the country.

An independent Scotland could be "a global success story, beacon of economic growth and champion of social justice'', he said.

In a final appeal, he asked Scots to think about how they will feel on Friday morning when deciding how they will vote on a "truly historic'' referendum day.

The First Minister said: "Women and men all over Scotland looking in the mirror and knowing the moment has come. Our choice, our opportunity, our time.

"Wake up on Friday morning to the first day of a better country. Wake up knowing you did this - you made it happen.

"This vote isn't about me, it isn't about the SNP, the Labour Party or the Tories. It's about you. Your family. Your hopes. Your ambitions. It's about taking your country's future into your hands.

"Don't let this opportunity slip through our fingers. Don't let them tell us we can't. Let's do this.''

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