Referendum countdown: ‘Once on a generation’ opportunity for Scots

Alex Salmond has pledged not to hold another referendum if Scots vote No
Alex Salmond has pledged not to hold another referendum if Scots vote No
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Alex Salmond has said the independence vote is a “once in a generation” opportunity as he pledged not to bring back another referendum if Scots choose to remain in the UK.

Alex Salmond has said the independence vote is a “once in a generation” opportunity as he pledged not to bring back another referendum if Scots choose to remain in the UK.

As a series of polls indicate the vote on Thursday remains too close to call, the First Minister said one vote would be enough to win, but insisted the Yes campaign was hoping for a “substantial majority”.

He said that work was already under way to assemble a team of specialists to negotiate terms with the rest of the UK in the event of a vote for independence.

Several new polls show a slim lead for the No camp, with one suggesting the pro-independence side had a lead of eight points - the reverse of the picture in a poll commissioned by Better Together.

Mr Salmond told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show: “Harold Wilson famously (said) one vote is enough in a referendum but we’re not aiming to win by one vote, we’re aiming to achieve a substantial majority if we can.”

He added: “If you remember that previous constitutional referendum in Scotland - there was one in 1979 and then the next one was 1997. That’s what I mean by a political generation.

“In my opinion, and it is just my opinion, this is a once in a generation opportunity for Scotland.”

Asked if he could pledge not to bring back another referendum if the Yes campaign does not win on Thursday, he said: “That’s my view. My view is this is a once in a generation, perhaps even a once in a lifetime, opportunity for Scotland.”