Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond has told SNP activists the "nonsense" of Scotland being governed by Westminster will end in 2014.
The Prime Minister and Scotland's First Minister have signed a deal to grant Scotland the power to hold a referendum on independence.
Eurocrats in Brussels have long dreamed of a "Europe of the Regions" and it may be about to happen, but not quite in the form they imagined.
Labour has narrowed the gap with the SNP to five points, according to a new poll by Ipsos Mori. Among those certain to vote:
- 40% will vote SNP, down 5 points
- 35% will vote Labour, up 3 points
- 13% will vote Conservative, up 1 point
- 8% will vote Liberal Democrats, up 2 points
An new Ipsos Mori polls shows that support for Scottish independence has fallen since Alex Salmond and David Cameron agreed to a 2014 referendum.
- 30% think Scotland should be an independent country, down 5 points
- 58% of Scots say they would vote 'No' in the referendum, up 3 points
- 12% of Scots are undecided, up 2 points
The four-day conference will focus on the opportunities the SNP believe independence will bring Scotland, with Nationalists seeking to contrast these with the consequences of remaining part of the UK.
Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond is set to give a welcome address when the conference kicks off later.
Scots will vote for independence when the referendum is held in two years' time, the country's Deputy First Minister is expected to say later.
Nicola Sturgeon is due to speak out as the Scottish National Party (SNP) annual conference was getting under way in Perth.
It comes days after First Minister Alex Salmond and Prime Minister David Cameron signed a deal which will deliver a legally binding referendum on independence in 2014.
An ITV News Index Poll conducted by ComRes appears to show 42% of the British public oppose independence for Scotland, compared with 29% who support it.
Scotland Office Minister David Mundell said the Government is confident that the argument for Scotland staying in the UK can be won.
Mr Mundell told the House of Commons:
Now the Governments have agreed the process for the referendum, it is vital we get on with the real debate about the most important political decision people in Scotland will ever take.
The UK Government has already started to prepare the analysis and evidence which people in Scotland are calling for. Over the next year, this Government will publish thorough, evidence-based information which will set out the key issues in the independence debate.
I fully expect it to show Scotland is better off within the United Kingdom and the rest of the United Kingdom is better with Scotland in it.
The latest ITV News Index Poll conducted by ComRes appears to show that over half of Scots believe that Scotland’s economy would suffer if it became an independent country.
Just over a quarter of British adults also agreed that the rest of the UK would suffer economically if Scotland gained independence.
Of those interviewed:
- 55% of Scots felt Scotland would suffer economically if it became independent
- 40% of Scots said the rest of the UK would face that fate if Scotland left the UK
- 58% of Brits said an independent Scotland would suffer economically
- 27% agreed the rest of the UK would suffer financially if Scotland left
ComRes interviewed 2,097 British adults online between 12-14 October.