Willie Rennie has claimed the Scottish Liberal Democrats will “make the difference” between a Holyrood parliament focused on recovery rather than an independence referendum.
He projected his party would gain seats at the polls on Thursday.
Rennie claimed previous SNP and independence supporters were switching to his party as they “recognise” now is not the time for a referendum, with coronavirus still damaging the country.
He told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge On Sunday: “It’s the Liberal Democrat seats in this election that will make the difference between the parliament being focused on recovery, which the Liberal Democrats want, and the parliament being focused on independence, which is what the SNP want.
“I never put any limits on the number of seats that we’re going for.
“I just know we’re going to grow with the number of seats that we’re going to gain in every part of Scotland.
“If you want to put recovery first, then you need to vote for the Liberal Democrats in every corner of Scotland.”
The Scottish Lib Dem leader claimed he would vote against holding another referendum even if the SNP win a majority at the Holyrood election on Thursday.
He said it was “very democratic” because that is the position his voters were backing.
Rennie added: “I’m against another referendum because I think it will distract the country at a time they need to build recovery.
“If people vote for me on the basis that I’m clear – crystal clear – in an election campaign, it would be bizarre if I did the opposite after the election.”