JOHN Swinney says the SNP will aim to win all 73 Holyrood constituencies in May’s election in the most comprehensive campaign his party has ever fought.

Addressing delegates at the close of the party’s spring conference in Glasgow, the Deputy First Minister said every single person with a connection to the internet would be contacted by the SNP in the next 52 days.

“Our campaign will be built on the foundations of traditional door-step campaigning – house by house throughout the country – that has been the hallmark of the Scottish National Party,” he said. “But we will also add to that a stronger digital campaign to expand the scale, the scope and the reach of our message of hope and aspiration for Scotland.”

Swinney was announced as the SNP’s campaign director last year, taking over from Angus Robertson, who has steered the party through the last two Scottish Parliament elections. In many ways, it was his conference. Just the mere mention of his name prompted standing ovations from the thousands in the SECC’s hangar-like conference hall.

Before he came on stage, Derek Mackay, the SNP’s business convener, said his negotiation with the Treasury over the Fiscal Framework had earned him the title Superman.

Swinney, like many other politicians before him, said the party aimed to win every seat in which they were standing a candidate. Unlike those before him, there’s every chance the SNP might fulfill his claim.

A poll in the Times on Saturday gave the SNP 49 per cent in the constituency vote, with Labour and the Tories both on 19 per cent.

In the regional list, the SNP had 43 per cent, the Tories 19 per cent with Labour behind on 17 per cent. The Greens were on eight per cent and the Liberal Democrats on five.

Swinney said: “I want to make absolutely clear that in this election, the SNP is fighting for every vote in every seat. Unlike other parties, we don’t believe in safe seats. We don’t believe in target seats. Because to believe in safe seats is to take for granted the support of some. And to believe in target seats is to ignore others. So we fight hard to win in every seat we contest, because we will never take any part of Scotland for granted.”

Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said the thought of “73 constituency nationalists plotting their next referendum” should worry “anybody who wants the next Parliament to focus on raising educational attainment”.

The Deputy First Minister’s speech also gave an indication of how important Nicola Sturgeon will be to the party’s overall electoral message. Three times Swinney told conference that anything other than “both votes SNP” would risk losing Sturgeon as First Minister.

His speech came after the conference debated a topical resolution submitted by members on the importance of list votes to the SNP. Despite the strength of the polls, the party are clearly worried about losing regional list votes to RISE or the Greens. Central Scotland MSP Clare Adamson even engaged in a panto like call and response with the crowd, asking them to repeat the “both votes SNP” mantra back to her.

The Deputy First Minister ended his speech and invited all candidates for Holyrood’s election on stage before handing over to Sturgeon for the final word.

“Let us take our record in Government, out policies for the future, our vision for this country, to the people on every doorstep in the land,” she said. “Let us say loudly and clearly, both votes SNP. Let us get out there and win for Scotland.”