he SNP will kick off its annual conference in Aberdeen on Sunday following the most difficult six months the party has faced in its history.
Hundreds of SNP delegates will gather at The Event Complex as politicians including Stephen Flynn, the party’s Westminster leader, deputy First Minister Shona Robison and party leader and First Minister Humza Yousaf address attendees.
A strategy for independence will top the bill of discussion topics over the three-day conference.
On Sunday, Mr Flynn will tell attendees to ask the Scottish people to “put trust in themselves”.
He is expected to say: “The real choice at the general election actually boils down to this.
“The Westminster parties are asking the Scottish people to trust them to fix the unfixable – broken Brexit Britain.
“We are asking something – and we are offering something – deeply different.
“We are asking the Scottish people to put trust in themselves – to take powers and our future into our own hands.
“We are offering the opportunity to build a new, independent Scotland.”
The conference comes against the backdrop of an ongoing police investigation into the SNP finances, the fractious leadership election earlier this year and the huge loss at the Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election last week.
These are just some of the issues that will have been weighing on the mind of Mr Yousaf, who won the leadership election back in March.
This week, the SNP leader saw one of his MPs defect to the Tories and an Aberdeen councillor resigned from the party after she was accused of racism.
Dr Lisa Cameron, the Conservative MP for East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow, left the party over allegations of bullying and a toxic atmosphere within the Westminster group.
And, in Aberdeen, councillor Kairin Van Sweeden stepped back from the party after she was accused of racism by Labour councillor Deena Tissera.
The First Minister will lead a debate on the party’s independence strategy on Sunday.
He is expected to tell delegates “listening, campaigning and persuading” is the key to winning Scottish independence.
He will put forward the argument to colleagues that “Vote SNP for Scottish independence” should be the first line of the party’s general election manifesto.
So it is our duty, our solemn obligation, to set out how independence can bring about that better future
Mr Yousaf is expected to tell delegates: “People are crying out for a better future.
“They want to get rid of a Tory Government, but are far from convinced by Keir Starmer.
“So it is our duty, our solemn obligation, to set out how independence can bring about that better future.
“That’s why I am proposing that page one, line one of our manifesto should read: ‘Vote SNP for Scotland to become an independent country.’
“Because it is through independence, and only through independence, that we can extract ourselves from a failed, Brexit-based UK economy, and win the powers we need to build a stronger, fairer future.”
He will deliver his keynote address to attendees on Tuesday October 17, the final day of the conference.