The pair were almost overwhelmed in a scrum for selfies and handshakes on Thursday as Salmond praised the "tremendous, enthusiastic, good-natured movement of people in Scotland towards a yes vote".
A gathering in Buchanan Street, one of the city's main shopping districts, of more than 100 Yes Scotland activists bearing multicoloured balloons and banners soon attracted supportive passersby. Three young women leaning out of the second-floor window of a nearby hairdressing salon yelled: "Go on yersel', Nicola", before starting up a chant of "Yes! Yes! Yes!" that resounded from the crowd.
When a couple of stray no supporters arrived with placards reading "tax cuts for the rich", the yes campaign swiftly deployed their tallest activists to stand in front of them with more sympathetic signage. "We can rise above it!" exclaimed one man – literally.
On the day that Ed Miliband returned to Scotland to galvanise pro-union support in Labour's heartlands and deliver the message that voting no is the best route to a fairer country, Salmond warned that the ground was shifting under the Labour leader's feet. A YouGov poll this week revealed that support for independence among Labour voters had risen from 18% to 30% in the past month.
"The problem with Ed Miliband is his lack of credibility on these issues. This is someone who is in bed with David Cameron; he is in a joint alliance with the Tory party, and at Westminster they have pledged to continue Tory austerity policies," Salmond said. "That's why we've seen a mass movement of people who normally vote Labour towards the yes campaign."
Saying that he was confident the yes campaign could win the referendum in two weeks, he added: "At the grassroots, Labour people in Scotland are turning their back on the Westminster elite, and that includes Ed Miliband."
Salmond said the Labour leader was mistaken in pitching this as a battle between Labour and the SNP. "What Ed Miliband doesn't seem to understand is that this is not about the SNP. This about the opportunity the people of Scotland have at each and every future election to get the government of our choice."
Asked specifically about Miliband's criticism of SNP policy on corporation tax, Salmond insisted that a 3p cut would generate 27,000 jobs in Scotland and increase economic growth. Asked whether he would raise the top rate of income tax, as Miliband has pledged to do, Salmond said it was the wrong time because the country was still experiencing austerity.
At an event marking a decade as Salmond's deputy, it was inevitable that Sturgeon was asked whether she would consider party leadership. "That's not in my mind at all at the moment," she said. "I'm very much focused on getting people to vote yes."
Asked where she would like to be in 10 years, Sturgeon laughed that she had no idea. "If you'd told me that on our 10th anniversary we'd be two weeks from a referendum, I'd have wanted to believe you but would I have done? I don't know. I'll let the future, in terms of my own personal career, take care of itself."
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