Nicola Sturgeon in first minister appeal as she unveils SNP election manifesto


Nicola Sturgeon made a personal plea for Scots to elect her as their first minister as she launched the SNP's Holyrood election manifesto.

With voters going to the polls to elect a new Scottish Parliament in two weeks' time, the SNP leader said the package she is putting forward is "brimming with ideas and policies to move our country forward".

She said it was her "job application" to be installed by the public as first minister

Ms Sturgeon added: "The decision voters will make in just 14 days is this - who should form the next government of Scotland and who should be the next first minister of our country?

"That is what this election is about. It is not a battle for second place or a game of chance with the electoral system - it is about choosing a government and a first minister that you can trust to lead the country forward for the next five years and into the next decade.

"For me, this bold, ambitious and reforming manifesto represents my job application.

"I am asking the Scottish people to give me a personal mandate to implement these policies and make our country even better. I am asking you to elect me as your first minister."

The manifesto pledges to increase NHS funding by £500 million more than inflation over the five-year course of the next parliament, with Ms Sturgeon describing this as "part of a package of investment and reform to equip the NHS for the future".

The SNP will also commit to "baby boxes" full of essentials to parents of all newborns and set an ambitious new target to cut emissions by 50% by 2020 as part of the fight against climate change.

Speaking in front of 1,400 activists at the launch in Edinburgh, she said: "It is the most ambitious programme for government that the SNP has ever published and I am proud to put it before the Scottish people today."