Election 2015 Scotland

Election 2015: Leaders campaign after TV debates

composite Image copyright Thinkstovk

The rural economy, investing in young people and opportunities for women are among the issues on the Scottish election campaign trail.

Both the Scottish Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats set out how they will help rural businesses.

Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy met young apprentices in Cumbernauld.

And in Midlothian, SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has explained how the party will boost opportunities for women.

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson visited a farm in Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire.

Ms Davidson outlined her party's rural action plan, including a pledge to give rural communities a "fair break".

The Scottish Conservatives have called for freedom of contract between tenant farmers and those in a position to let land, and the removal of restrictions which limit land tenancy agreements.

The party believe this policy will ensure better use of land across Scotland.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Nicola Sturgeon campaigning in Midlothian
Image caption Jim Murphy met some apprentices while in Lanarkshire
Image copyright ALAMY
Image caption Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson spent the day focussing on the rural economy
Image caption Jo Swinson highlighted the Liberal Democrats' record in government

Jo Swinson of the Liberal Democrats joined Argyll and Bute candidate Alan Reid at a local farm shop to promote her party's record in government on helping businesses.

Ms Swinson said Labour and SNP economic plans, and proposed Conservative cuts pose a grave threat to the future funding of the NHS and other public services in Scotland.

Meanwhile, Mr Murphy visited the Scottish Power Training Centre in North Lanarkshire and said Labour would invest £1bn to help young people, including free bus travel for Scottish apprentices.

Mr Murphy said the package would be funded through "fair taxes", such as a tax on bankers' bonuses.

The party also pledged a guaranteed job or training for all Scots aged between 18 and 24, free university tuition and a £100m investment in Scotland's colleges.

Ms Sturgeon explained how the SNP would boost opportunities for women through a "modest increase" in public spending when she set out her party's policy, as she joined Midlothian candidate Owen Thompson at an after-school club in Loanhead.

Ms Sturgeon said the SNP's ''50:50 by 2020" pledge will urge all public, private and third sector bodies to achieve a 50:50 gender split on boards by 2020.

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