Referendum countdown: First Minister back on home ground

Alex Salmond was born and raised in Linlithgow (Picture: Michael Gillen)

Alex Salmond was born and raised in Linlithgow (Picture: Michael Gillen)

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First Minister Alex Salmond arrived in Linlithgow today to loud cheers from a crowd of Yes supporters assembled on the steps outside the town’s historic Burgh Halls.

There were Saltires aplenty, TV crews, babies in buggies, pensioners and young people desperate to show their support for him and for the campaign for an indpendent Scotland.

He pressed the flesh, was photographed with anyone who asked and then talked to the media.

He explained his disdain of Prime Minister David Cameron’s interference in the Better Together campaign as well as reciting, once again, the Yes campaign message.

Mr Salmond told his home town paper, the Linlithgowshire Journal & Gazette, why independence would be good for Linlithgow.

He said: “The places which will benefit most will be the small towns in Scotland, places like this where I grew up.

‘‘The vitality of the Scottish economy exists in small businesses which employ people; the vast majority of new jobs is going to come from small businesses.

‘‘Linlithgow is a bustling wee town and long may it remain so, but I think independence will give the whole Scottish economy a boost.

‘‘Lots and lots of areas are swinging towards Yes and I think Linlithgow is very much there already.’’

It was a nostalgic return for Mr Salmond who was born and brought up in Linlithgow.

He is proud of being a ‘Black Bitch’, the honorific and in no way pejorative term for one Linlithgow born and bred.

Mr Salmond said: ‘‘I have just been up Preston Road to see my old house.

‘‘In fact my dad left there only last year when he went to live in an Erskine home.

‘‘I haven’t been back since then.

‘‘What I particularly liked was that the houses round Preston, or a large number of them, have Yes posters in the windows so I think Preston Road is going to be leading the way.

‘‘I think Linlithgow and West Lothian will be voting Yes in large numbers. I am hoping my adopted home in the north east will also vote Yes. I will have a competition between the two areas to see who casts more votes for Yes.”

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