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“So now we vote," says Neil Mitchison, the Scottish Liberal Democrat in the Scottish Parliamentary elections today (Thursday May 6).

On their campaign Facebook Page yesterday evening, he said: "We can vote for the Tories, whose only argument seems to be “stop the referendum” - with little idea that maybe, just maybe, we need some policies to get the recovery going. But no, their tune is “vote for us to stop a second referendum”, accompanied by the absurd, and frankly dishonest, idea that somehow they are better at doing that than the other Unionist parties.

"We can vote for the SNP, who will subordinate every other policy to their referendum. Of course it may be difficult for them to run the country when most of the Scottish Civil Service is taken up planning this referendum; but they are full of things they will do, and only slightly embarrassed when asked why they haven’t done them during the 14 years they’ve been running Scotland. Their record, on their own key indicators such as educational achievement, is pretty poor - and spectacularly poor on the question of ferries; but they are trying their best to be judged, not on their record, but on their promises. And even there, they have a difficulty. Suppose they get their referendum, and lose it? I confidently expect a “we weren’t quite ready, so we need a third referendum”.

"We can vote for Labour. I have a lot of respect for the motivations of Labour supporters, and for Labour’s historic commitment to the least privileged; but they are still fundamentally the party of the big cities, and of the trade unions, and they have rather lost their compass in today’s Scotland, particularly in the rural areas. And on some key issues - Brexit most clearly - they don’t know where they’re going.

"Or we can vote for the Lib Dems, who have a long tradition in the Highlands and Islands of standing up for the least privileged in the remote and rural areas, as well as a long history of campaigning to empower local communities. All the other parties are centralising ones, who believe that power should be exercised in London or in Edinburgh; we stand for local initiatives and local democracy, rejecting the “one size fits all” approach.

Name of Candidate

Description of Candidate

ALLAN, Alasdair James

Scottish National Party (SNP)

BERKENHEGER, Gavin

The Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

FRASER, Shaun Alexander

Scottish Labour Party

MACMILLAN, Callum Ian

Time for Change

MITCHISON, Neil

Scottish Liberal Democrats