Nicola Sturgeon will promise a campaign “brimming with optimism” from the SNP as the battle for Holyrood reaches its final days.
The SNP leader will be in Edinburgh on Saturday to launch two campaign buses – urging Scots to give both their votes on Thursday to her party.
While the SNP is almost certain to win most MSPs in the constituency section of the vote, all parties are pushing hard to pick up additional seats via the regional list section of the ballot.
Sturgeon, who has led the Scottish Government throughout the coronavirus pandemic, will appeal to people to vote for her to provide the “experienced leadership and serious government” which she will say is needed “to keep Scotland safe at this crucial time”.
While she will say that “last year our world changed” when Covid-19 hit, she will insist that “this year can be a year of hope and optimism – as we work not only to keep Scotland safe, but to build a better country”.
She will insist that a government led by her can build a recovery that will “make future generations proud”.
But she will also stress that Scots should have “the right to decide their own future” with a second vote on independence.
Sturgeon will say: “Thursday’s crucial election is about who has the experience to lead Scotland out of the pandemic and into recovery. Only the SNP is putting forward a serious programme for government to remobilise our NHS, rebuild our economy and help our communities recover.
“And only the SNP wants Scotland’s recovery to be in Scotland’s hands – not Boris Johnson’s. After all we’ve been through, people deserve better than to be subjected to years more of Tory cuts handed down from Westminster which will hurt our NHS and choke off recovery.
“I know that we have the natural resources and human talent to build a sustainable recovery from this pandemic which can make future generations proud.
“My focus will continue to be fully on tackling the pandemic – but when the crisis has passed, people in Scotland have the right to decide their own future, and whether Scotland would be better off with the full powers of an independent country.”
Sturgeon will continue: “The SNP campaign over these final few days will be brimming with optimism in contrast to the relentless negativity of the opposition.
“On Thursday make it both votes SNP for experienced leadership, a serious programme to kick-start the recovery and the right for people in Scotland to decide their future.”