Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie made a final cross-country dash of Scotland in an attempt to win over a target constituency.
The North East Fife candidate tried to get his day off to a flying start in a microlight for a typically light campaign stunt in East Lothian, where they want to shore up a regional vote, before driving five hours north.
The Caithness, Sutherland and Ross constituency is the number one target for the party, with activists and senior politicians all pitching in where polls suggest there could be an upset for the SNP.
Maree Todd, the children’s minister, is trying to hold the seat for Nicola Sturgeon’s party.
The SNP is still on course for a majority, according to exclusive polling for us by Survation. But election expert Sir John Curtice noted there are distinct regional contests in areas such as the Highlands that could yet throw up some surprises.
‘Let’s just focus on recovery’
Mr Rennie acknowledged the party is still split on the constitution but hopes he can work with the SNP and focus on rebuilding from the pandemic.
“People are still genuinely trying to make up their minds about how to deal with the multitude of different, competing issues, from Brexit, the pandemic and the climate emergency,” he said.
“Let’s just focus on the recovery at the moment. Let’s do that.”
Heading to the Highlands, Mr Rennie said he’ll be helping as a “foot soldier” in Caithness, where he claimed the SNP vote is “soft”.
Mr Rennie, speaking after a 20-minute flight in near-zero temperatures, added: “The Liberal Democrat vote, I’ve never seen it as enthusiastic.
“I’ve had people, when I arrive on the doorstep, they clap. It’s a strange feeling – there’s an enthusiasm. I don’t get that on every door, by the way, it’s just a few times.”
Ms Todd was in Alness with SNP candidate Kate Forbes, the finance secretary, and posted updates from the campaign trail in Ullapool.
‘I can deliver’
Ms Todd said: “As someone who lives here and spent 20 years working in frontline health care here, before becoming a government minister, my experience means I can deliver for Caithness, Sutherland and Ross as we emerge from the pandemic and build a strong, locally driven, green recovery.”
She wants to promote renewable energy at Nigg, support NHS staff with a pay rise and make tourism more sustainable in the region.
Ms Todd added: “The Lib Dems will never be forgiven for using the votes of people in this area for their coalition with the Tories, ushering in a decade of austerity that pushed more households into poverty and ultimately led to us being dragged out of the EU.
“Voters in Caithness, Sutherland and Ross can make a real difference with a vote for the SNP in the constituency to elect me as their MSP and a vote for the SNP on the regional list, to ensure that we have the experienced leadership of Nicola Sturgeon at the helm as we get through and out of the pandemic.”