Nicola Sturgeon rejects 'ludicrous' claims Tory surge could stop referendum bid

Laura Christensen
May 18, 2017

Elections are being held to decide who will run Scotland's councils - with Nicola Sturgeon the first of the party leaders to cast her vote.

If replicated at the general election on 8 June, this swing would see Mr Robertson lose his seat to the Tories, providing what Scottish Conservatives' leader Ruth Davidson has said will be "a real Ed Balls moment" in reference to the former Labour Chancellor, who was spectacularly unseated in 2015 from his Morley and Outwood seat.

Lib Dem leader Tim Farron brought his campaign bus to Scotland on Monday and said the choice was between electing the SNP as "cheerleaders for independence" at Westminster or his party, which would oppose independence and a hard Brexit, and fight for cash for mental health and education.

Ms Sturgeon said earlier that a vote for the SNP will protect local services.

The general election for Scottish voters would be a straight choice between the Conservatives, who are likely to win power at Westminster on the back of their support in England, and the SNP, who would "stand up for Scotland's interests", she said. Therefore, although the Labour Party is down I don't think it is yet out.

As a result, it could well face a particularly strong challenge from the Conservatives in such key seats as Moray, now held by Angus Robertson, and in Perth and North Perthshire, where the incumbent is Pete Wishart. They came second in the election and the SNP came first.

In a surprise result, Labour also lost one Glasgow seat to a 20-year-old Conservative candidate.

Although it marked the first time that the SNP had managed to outpoll Labour in local elections, the outcome of those elections was, in truth, widely regarded as something as a disappointment for the nationalists.

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Meanwhile, the SNP have not had any difficulty increasing their vote in local by-elections during the last two years; on average the party's share of the vote has been up ten points on 2012 in such contests.

But the Tories have gained 26 seats, winning a total of 42 councillors.

First the local election results will give them an idea of where the Tory surge is going to come at the general election.

"This is absolutely game on".

"Tory MPs from Scotland will be a rubber-stamp for Theresa May, for her reckless approach to Brexit and the cuts we know the Tories will want to impose".

"Just because the Scottish Parliamentary voice that you hear on the television says that they want to break up the United Kingdom and that Scotland wants to leave, it doesn't mean that the majority of Scottish people believe that".

As party leader Ruth Davidson launches the Scottish Conservative campaign for the general election in Edinburgh today (May 8), Ms Hair said she would be putting opposition to a second referendum at the heart of the local constituency battle in Angus. They ignored the overwhelming result of the European Union referendum in Scotland.

Other reports by My Hot News

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