Election 2015 Scotland

Election 2015: Campaigning continues in Scotland

Nicola Sturgeon, Jim Murphy, Willie Rennie, Ruth Davidson

Scotland's political parties are continuing to put their key messages to voters ahead of the general election.

The SNP launched its youth manifesto at an event in Cumbernauld, while Labour insisted that a vote for the nationalists will "put Scotland on the road to a second referendum".

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson focused on her party's "biggest ever doorstep campaign".

Deputy Lib Dem leader Sir Malcolm Bruce has been campaigning in the north east.

'Fairer economy'

Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy visited a school basketball court in Edinburgh and challenged Nicola Sturgeon to "come clean on her plans for a second referendum".

He said: "The priority for SNP MPs after this election won't be improving the economy, it will be planning the second referendum campaign.

"A vote for Scottish Labour will put Britain on the road to a fairer economy. With Scottish votes, Labour can get the Tories out of power, stop austerity, ban zero-hours contracts and end the need for food banks.

"Only Labour can stop the Tories being the largest party.

"The choice is simple - the road to a second referendum with the SNP or the road to a fairer economy with Labour."

Youth manifesto

Meanwhile Ms Sturgeon joined actor Martin Compston to commit her party to policies "to support and empower our young people".

The SNP youth manifesto states that 16 and 17-year-olds should be entitled to vote in all elections, as well as pledging to increase the minimum wage for under 18s by £1.20 an hour and create 30,000 modern apprenticeships each year.

The party said it would also continue to oppose the introduction of tuition fees for Scottish students at universities north of the border, and that its MPs would vote in favour of reducing tuition fees across the UK.

Ms Sturgeon said: "The biggest investment we can make in Scotland's future is in our young people - and as first minister I am determined to do everything I can to support and empower them.

"We are doing all we can to strengthen and grow our economy to provide more opportunities for young people close to home.

"In numbers at Westminster we go further - pushing for an increase in the minimum wage for under 18s by over £1.20 an hour to ensure more young people are better paid.

"A strong team of SNP MPs will stand up for the rights of young people at every turn and deliver the progressive action that is needed to support more of our young people into work, education or training."

'Ground war'

Elsewhere on the campaign trail, Scottish Conservative leader Ms Davidson has been highlighting what she calls her party's "ground war".

She said: "This is the biggest doorstep campaign ever run by Tories in Scotland and the best planned, regimented, resourced and recruited campaign we've had since 1992."

Speaking on BBC Scotland's Sunday Politics Scotland programme, Ms Davidson also commented on the issue of a second independence referendum.

She said: "I've been saying since January that Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon are half way down the aisle to a deal, what's this going to mean, is there going to be second referendum?

"And people in Scotland are genuinely worried about this. I have been doing street stalls all across the country and people have been walking up to me and saying they are genuinely scared about this."

'In our DNA'

For the Liberal Democrats, Sir Malcolm has been campaigning in Aberdeen.

He set out Lib Dem plans to build "a stronger, greener economy to create jobs and protect the environment". He said protecting the environment was "in Liberal Democrat DNA".

Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie also appeared on the BBC's Sunday Politics Scotland programme. He accused the Conservatives of stirring up English nationalism.

He said: "I think it is despicable what the Conservatives are doing in this campaign.

"I think they way they are trying to use Alex Salmond and the SNP to represent Scotland, to demonise Scotland, is festering English nationalism."

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