“WE’RE still waiting for the announcement though,” Andrew Haddow told The National as he left the the SEC shortly after Nicola Sturgeon’s speech.

“We’re expecting one,” he said.

“It’s getting closer,” he added hopefully.

His wife, Susan was more upbeat: “It’s more on the edge now,” she said

“There are so many decisions to be made. There’s just the feeling it’s all getting near”.

Jack Marshall from Bo’ness, who first joined the party in 1969, had a wider perspective than most others in the hall.

“It’s absolutely amazing what’s happened over the years,” he said.

“When I joined there was about 2% support, and you didn’t tell your neighbours you were a nationalist, honestly.

“That’s changed a we bit now.”

Sturgeon’s speech was inspiring, he said. “It was honest and it’s holding great hope for the future.”

Stewart McLintock from Kilmarnock had already been nobbled by other media by the time The National pinned him down. They asked him if he thought Sturgeon had mentioned independence enough.

“It’s not a problem,” he said. “It’s inevitable for independence. The ageing demographic means that people that voted no will pass on their place. And the young generation coming up are almost three-quarters independence. It’s not a case of if, but a case of when.”

Beathag Mhoireasdan from Glasgow thought the First Minister had successfully managed to reassuring the party faithful in the hall that independence was “still on the table”.

“But it’s not the right time and a lot of work has to be done,” she told The National.

“And there’s work to be done on people who are not sure about things.”

The First Minister was, she thought, “assessing what’s going on at the grass roots, all these marches and a feeling of impatience with the thousands and thousands of people.

“She sees all that and realises they want her to tell them when it’s going to happen. When is this going to happen. But I can understand it really because it’s not the right time. We don’t know what’s going to happen and of course she wants to be sure that we will win.”

Catriona MacDonald, from Edinburgh welcomed the SNP leader’s promise to hike bursaries for student nurses up from £6,500 to £10,000.

“Everyone gasped around us when they heard it,” she said. “I think that’s the best thing to have come out of it, certainly.”

On independence MacDonald said she wasn’t impatient: “I agree with what Nicola said, it’s quite clear that the momentum is building but it’s our job to go out and be positive and build the momentum until it becomes inevitable.

“That’s the point we have to reach. And we’re not there yet.”

“We’re very nearly there,” she added.

Jack Deeth, from Edinburgh agreed: “It’s just kind of a case of we can’t call a referendum yet, but we need to be prepared for it, and keep convincing people, and building up momentum.”

“Yeah it’s still too soon to say the referendum is going to happen on this date,” he added.