GLASGOW, Scotland – Scottish National Party (SNP) leader and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will today mark the final day of the general election campaign in Edinburgh, making the case for “Scotland’s voice [to be] heard at Westminster more loudly than ever”.
Speaking in Scotland’s capital, Ms. Sturgeon said: “With less than 24 hours until the polls open, Scotland has the opportunity to have more power and influence at Westminster than ever before.
“The SNP are the only party offering a positive vision for Scotland – and the only party offering an alternative to the harsh Westminster cuts that have caused real pain across these islands for the past five years.”
Reiterating her party’s landmark policy proposals, the First Minister continued: “The SNP will vote to scrap Trident renewal […] investing instead in health, education and childcare.
“And our plans to end austerity would see an increase in health spending across the UK of £24 billion by 2020/21 […] including £2 billion in Scotland.”
The latest opinion polls indicate that the SNP are on course to achieve a landslide victory north of the border. According to a seat projection analysis by YouGov president Peter Kellner, the SNP will win 50 out of Scotland’s 59 parliamentary seats, making them the third largest party in the House of Commons. Labour are on course to be left with five Westminster MPs, losing 36 out of the 41 Scottish seats it won in 2010 to the SNP. The Liberal Democrats are expected to pick up Scotland’s remaining four seats.
Braced for a rude awakening, Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy chose to mark the final day of campaigning with a visit to a nursery in Greenock, where he emphasised to voters that a vote for the SNP will do more to aid the electoral fortunes of the Conservative Party than further the cause for social justice.
Speaking ahead of the event, Mr. Murphy told the BBC: “It’s now clear that if David Cameron has just one more seat than Labour he will use it to try to cling on to power.
“Scotland can’t afford to let [Mr. Cameron] do that. Tomorrow, don’t gamble with the SNP, vote to guarantee change with the Labour Party.”
Like Nicola Sturgeon, Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson chose to make her final speech of the election campaign in Edinburgh, where she urged Scottish voters to keep “Scotland at the heart of our United Kingdom.”
Referring to last September’s referendum victory and Ms. Sturgeon’s refusal to rule out a second independence vote, Ms. Davidson is reported by the Herald to have said: “[The Scottish Conservatives] are the party of the quiet majority. And a party that is rock-solid, 100 per cent behind the union and will never do anything to put that in danger.
“A vote for the Scottish conservatives is a vote for the union.”
Travelling across Scotland – Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg has been making his way from Lands End to John O’Groats on his party’s campaign ‘battle bus’ – the Lib Dems are seeking to surprise pollsters and voters alike with a shock ‘better than expected’ performance in Thursday’s poll.
Stopping off at a nursery in the greater Glasgow town of Bearsden, Mr. Clegg told theBBC: “At the beginning of this campaign we were written off and yet tomorrow, when the polls close, the Liberal Democrats will be the surprise story of this general election campaign because we are going to win.
“I’ll tell you why we are going to win – because we work harder than any other political party [and] because our values are right.”