Sturgeon celebrates stunning year for the SNP

SNP Depute Leader Nicola Sturgeon has thanked the people of Scotland for their support for the SNP over the last twelve months and for their ambitions for Scotland’s future.
 
The SNP ends its best ever year having won 69 seats in the Scottish Parliament elections in May, becoming the first party to form a majority government in Holyrood.
 
The party ends 2011 on 51% in the polls, backed by over half of the people of Scotland and 25 points ahead of Labour.  In contrast the SNP began 2011 16 points behind Labour in the opinion polls.
 
And through 2011 the SNP won over half of the council by-elections, winning 9 local authority contests, taking on the leadership of Aberdeen City Council as the largest party and ending the year with success in by-elections in Glasgow and South Lanarkshire.
 
With the SNP’s membership now reaching over 20,000 Ms Sturgeon said:
 
“This has been a momentous year for Scottish politics and for the SNP.
 
“The festive period is a hopeful time and, as we celebrate the end of one year and the beginning of another, I want to thank everyone across Scotland who has placed their trust in the SNP and have helped create the opportunity for Scotland to move forward toward independence.
 
“Across the country, and at every level of government, people chose to back our record, our team and a vision for Scotland that, thanks to their support we will now put to the people, in the second half of this parliament.
 
“As is clear from our historic win in the Scottish Parliament elections, and our local government successes, people increasingly recognise that Scotland can be more successful.
 
“Our 20,000 membership milestone is the icing on the Christmas cake for the SNP as we look towards the local Government elections next year.
 
“With 20,000 members all working to make Scotland better, the SNP is now the largest party in Scotland and is increasingly the natural choice of those wanting to build a better Scotland. We are winning new members and public support as voters recognise the successes of the SNP in Government and our commitment to make Scotland smarter, fairer and wealthier.
 
“While 2011 was difficult for many, we must look back on this year with the knowledge that brighter days are ahead of us – because although our challenges are great, we have firm foundations to build on as we move into a new phase for our nation.
 
“We, the people of Scotland, have the greatest stake in our future. That is why we are best placed to govern ourselves. Now is a time for Scotland to keep moving forward, and if we do, prosperity and opportunity will come.”