The Scottish Liberal Democrats are “desperate” to win more seats, Willie Rennie said as he set off on a microlight flight to mark the final day of the Holyrood election campaign.
The party leader said he is confident of making gains on the five seats his party won at the last election, but will continue to appeal to voters until the polls close on Thursday night.
In his final media event of the campaign, Mr Rennie was taken on a flight in a two-seater microlight over North Berwick in East Lothian and the Firth of Forth on Wednesday.
After returning from his half-hour flight, he told the PA news agency: “My stomach almost turned inside out on a couple of occasions when [the pilot] decided to do a 60-degree bank, but apart from that it was glorious.”
Asked what his message to voters is on the eve of polling day, he said: “If you want to put the recovery first then vote Liberal Democrat in every corner of Scotland.
“If you want to cut mental health waits, if you want to bounce-back support for education, if you want to create jobs for people desperate for work and if you want to take action on the climate, then you should vote Liberal Democrat.”
Speaking at the side of an air strip near North Berwick run by East of Scotland Microlights, Mr Rennie added: “I think we’re going to gain more seats.
“I feel there’s more people coming towards us; people who have warmed to our positive message and who want to put our recovery first.
“So I’m really looking forward to it tomorrow, I think we’re going to have a whole new host of MSPs for the Liberal Democrats.”
Mr Rennie said he will later be driving up to his party’s target seat of Caithness, Sutherland and Ross, where the Lib Dems are increasingly confident of their chances following the departure of SNP incumbent Gail Ross at this election.
“We’re desperate to win more seats so I’ll be campaigning right up until the polls close tomorrow night,” he said.
UK Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey also told PA that his party is working to prevent a “divisive” referendum in Scotland.
Speaking in his Surbiton constituency in Greater London, Sir Ed said: “Liberal Democrats are going to spend the next 24 hours stopping the SNP.
“We want to stop another referendum on independence. It’s divisive and it’s not what Scotland needs.
“Liberal Democrats have made the argument – with Willie Rennie leading brilliantly – that we need to put recovery first.
“That’s what the Scottish people actually want.
“We’ve had the deepest recession for 300 years, the worst health crisis for over a century, people realise that this debate that the SNP and Tories are talking about isn’t what really they need in their lives and their communities and their businesses and their jobs.”