First Minister Alex Salmond has urged his party to use their record in government to help make the case for full Scottish independence
He told the SNP conference: "Winning the argument for independence and delivering good government in Scotland are two sides of the same coin.
"The better we govern, the stronger the case."
His speech to the first confernence in the party's history as a party of government was greeted with a standing ovation before he began, and a longer four-minute ovation when he finished.
The mood of the 700 delegates who watched in the main conference hall, and hundreds more who watched from an overflow hall was celebratory but self-controlled, with applause but no rapture, cheers but no whooping. The tone of Mr Salmond's speech was likewise celebratory within bounds, and otherwise serious and businesslike.
The speech contained two policy announcements - a pledge to complete the missing link of the M8 Glasgow-Edinburgh motorway, and a promise to scrap a quarter of Scotland's 200 quangoes.
The M8 is mostly motorway but is dual carriageway for a stretch through Lanarkshire and Mr Salmond said this was "not acceptable in the 21st century", adding: "I can therefore tell this conference there will finally be a complete end-to-end motorway between two of our great cities."
Of the quango cull he said the minority SNP administration came to power in a Scotland "dominated by a lobbying culture, a country almost frightened to know itself, always nervously glancing over its shoulder to Westminster".
One result of that was a crowded public sector with 200 national bodies created by legislation."It is our intention in the course of this parliament to reduce the number of quangoes and government agencies in Scotland by a quarter - smaller, fitter and better government for Scotland, more money for people's priorities.