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EDITIONS
Wednesday, 25 September, 2002, 05:55 GMT 06:55 UK
Conference launches campaign
SNP logo
Heather is the party's new colour

For the Scottish National Party at least, the election campaign starts this week in Inverness.

The conference stage features its new "fresh" heather colour.

The new campaign slogan "Release our Potential" is in evidence too - in English, Scots and Gaelic.

SNP leader John Swinney
John Swinney: "Credible party"
As the party leader, John Swinney, says: "This pre-election conference will be about presenting the SNP as the credible party for power."

How successful the party is in meeting that aim will partly depend on Mr Swinney's performance.

He will use his conference speech on Friday to set out his vision.

There will be other keynote speakers too - expect a rousing welcome for Margaret Ewing, the popular Moray MSP, who is returning from a fight against breast cancer.

The Westminster leader, Alex Salmond MP, could use his address to raise concerns about a possible war against Iraq.

Nurses' pay

And SNP president Winnie Ewing MSP always goes down well with the party faithful.

Debates on the conference floor will help refine the party's manifesto for the Scottish Parliamentary elections next May.

The main focus is on what the SNP describes as the people's priorities: justice, health, education and the economy.

Casualty nurse
Nurses' pay will be on the agenda
There will be calls for parental compensation orders to ensure parents take some responsibility for the actions of their offspring, proposals to increase nurses' pay and a pledge to reduce primary school class sizes.

A series of campaign posters will be unveiled to highlight what Scotland could achieve under the SNP.

The conference fringe is busier than ever.

There are workshops for aspiring politicians, and discussions about homelessness, GM crops and electoral reform.

By the time the last drop of whisky has been drunk, and the closing strains of 'Scots wha hae' are fading away, the SNP hopes it will have released its own personal potential.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Political correspondent Kirsten Campbell
"The SNP wants to present itself as a credible party of government"
See also:

25 Sep 02 | Scotland
24 Sep 02 | Scotland
20 Sep 02 | Scotland
15 Sep 02 | Scotland
20 Sep 02 | Politics
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