JO Swinson was clear and unequivocal. The Liberal Democrats’ primary mission now is to campaign to “stop Brexit” in the expected General Election campaign.

She managed only a single passing reference to the People’s Vote in her first leader’s conference speech; the words “a second referendum” never passed her lips.

As expected, it was well-received with the Scot earning a standing ovation when she declared proudly and loudly how she was now the Lib Dems’ candidate for Prime Minister.

At times, Ms Swinson appeared to well up, particularly when she mentioned her late father, who taught her how to relentlessly challenge and question the status quo.

There were the usual easy swipes at her main opponents, Labour and the Tories, the “tired old parties,” which had failed; the SNP failed to get a direct mention.

“People across Britain deserve a better choice than an entitled Etonian or a 1970s Socialist,” she quipped.

Ms Swinson took a direct swipe at Boris Johnson, saying to laughter, how commitment was never his "strong suit," and ticked him off for using putdowns like calling Jeremy Corbyn a "big girl's blouse" and David Cameron a "girly swot".

She told conference: "If he thinks being a woman is somehow a weakness, he's about to find out it's not. When the General Election comes, I cannot wait to take on the collective forces of Nationalism and populism that will be standing on that debate stage: Johnson, Farage and Corbyn."

Interestingly, the MP for East Dunbartonshire, declaring herself to be a proud Scot and Unionist, British and European, made a direct pitch to Remain voters in Scotland to back her party and not to turn to the forces for independence.

“A big vote for the Liberal Democrats in Scotland at the General Election will give us the final push we need. The energy is with us; so, come with us to stop Brexit.”

Her main message was an election rallying cry: the Lib Dems could create a “tipping point” to transform Britain into a fairer country and defeat those forces of Nationalism and populism with liberalism.

Compared with previous conferences, especially the post-Coalition one in 2015 after the party lost 49 of its 57 seats, this one on the sun-kissed Dorset coast the atmosphere smacked of candyfloss, donkey rides and kiss-me-quick hats.

Amid the yellow ties, yellow shirts, yellow scarves and even yellow hair, there was a real sense of excitement. “I’ve never known conference to be so upbeat and united,” declared one veteran of numerous jaundiced party jamborees.

The primary victory for Ms Swinson and the leadership – getting the party to swing behind a policy to revoke Article 50 and so scrap Brexit in the forthcoming election - led to accusations by the SNP of “grotesque hypocrisy”.

Namely, the Lib Dems would countenance a direct vote to get rid of Brexit but not to usher in Scottish independence.

The Nationalist attack, however, was somewhat blunted as a direct mandate for independence is not official SNP policy.

The conference message from the ever-effervescent Willie Rennie was directed at Brexit-fraught Scottish voters; don’t “cut and run for independence” but vote Lib Dem to keep Scotland in the British and European unions.

Yet even this yellow heaven-by-the-sea had siren voices of discontent; most notably over the revoke plan and the quality of vetting the defectors.

No less than Lib Dem grandees Norman Lamb and Simon Hughes warned the party against the plan to scrap Brexit, saying it would entrench society’s deep divisions; a mirror image, if you like, of Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party.

But, generally, for most members of the “yellow peril,” their tails are up: they have a “clear and unequivocal” policy to scrap Brexit and a shiny new leader, who isn’t yet 40, to boot.

The newbees, most notably Chuka Umunna and Luciana Berger, were smothered with yellow love.

“I went to one event and everybody just wanted to kiss and hug Luciana. She never got that in the Labour Party,” purred one Lib Dem sister.

There is, of course, no one as zealous as a convert, so the booted and suited Mr Umunna was wearing his yellow tie while Ms Berger donned a mustard-coloured dress; neither could stop smiling.

But while Ms Swinson told conference there was “no limit to my ambition,” the-sky’s-the-limit message clearly had not quite got through to Mr Umunna, who told reporters his new party could “get more than 40 seats” at the next election; with a two per cent swing, he noted, this could shoot up to 100, and with a five per cent one, 200.

Yet, the party currently has, with its six defectors, just 18; it would need 300-plus to form a majority government and be able to implement its flagship revoke policy.

The late great Charles Kennedy used to say: to be a Liberal Democrat is to be an eternal optimist. But there are limits, surely? 300-plus seats and Ms Swinson in Downing St? Hats will be eaten all over Britain if the yellow peril manages to pull it off.