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Tuesday, 24 September, 2002, 16:56 GMT 17:56 UK
Nationalists talk 'potential'
Mr Swinney was speaking ahead of the party conference
The Scottish National Party has unveiled its new campaigning slogan aimed at convincing voters of the need for Scotland to break free from the rest of the UK.

Party leader John Swinney hopes that the "Release our Potential" slogan will attract floating voters to the cause of independence.

Mr Swinney said he wanted to convince the electorate that devolved Scotland does not have enough power to improve the lives of its citizens.

He was speaking as his party prepared to meet for its annual autumn conference, which this year is being held in Inverness.

He said: "The message we will put forward at the conference and in the run-up to the 2003 election is to say to the people of Scotland that we can aspire to a better quality of life by releasing our potential.


We can only make our country the best it can be through the normal powers of independence

SNP leader
John Swinney

"It gives people a definition of what we believe independence is about.

He said: "We can only make our country the best it can be through the normal powers of independence."

The SNP leader denied his party was turning its back on its core support in a bid to win next year's Holyrood elections.

And he hit out at his critics, who claim he has watered down his commitment to independence for fear of scaring off floating voters.

He said: "Anybody that suggests that after my political history somehow or other we are not on a strategy that is pointed to Scottish independence is observing a different political debate from the one I am involved in.

Swing voters

"I did not want a campaign that would just appeal to our core voters.

"I wanted a message that was able to bridge our core voters and potential swing voters."

SNP research has shown that at the last election 18% of voters who were sympathetic to the party's target of independence ended up voting for Labour.

Mr Swinney said he was convinced that the party's new slogan and its election campaign would resonate with the electorate and deliver a nationalist government.

As well as the new slogan, the party also unveiled the new colour which forms part of its election posters between now and next May.

Party bosses chose the colour, heather, after extensive research conducted among its own supporters as well as the wider electorate.

New campaign posters featuring Mr Swinney and other senior party figures are set to appear on billboards up and down the country over the next seven months.

See also:

20 Sep 02 | Scotland
15 Sep 02 | Scotland
20 Sep 02 | Politics
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