Scotland politics

Scots campaigns focus on council vote

Scotland's political leaders have been on the campaign trail with only 48 hours to go until Thursday's local government elections.

Each party set forth a pitch to voters for the coming council vote, clashing over local issues as well as constitutional ones.


SNP

Image copyright PA
Image caption Nicola Sturgeon campaigned at an SNP stall in Leith

Nicola Sturgeon campaigned alongside SNP candidates for both the council and general elections in Leith.

She said "council elections should be about local services", urging people to back her party to protect local services.

She said: "One of the key pledges at the heart of our manifesto is community empowerment. We want to see at least 1% of all council budgets devolved right down to community level, so that through participatory budgeting local people get the opportunity to say how that money is spent.

"I think it speaks volumes that you've got the Tories and Labour going around the country saying that local elections are all about independence - they haven't put forward a single positive policy."


Scottish Conservatives

Image caption Ruth Davidson said the Scottish Conservatives were "ready to serve"

Ruth Davidson gave a speech in Edinburgh, declaring her Scottish Conservatives to be "ready to serve" right across Scotland.

She said her party would prioritise devolution to local areas, criticising an "SNP power grab which has sucked power out of local communities".

She said: "We say at this election: let's restore energy, vitality and power to those cities, towns and villages.

"Because that's where Scotland's powerbase really lies - not in Holyrood or Nicola Sturgeon's first ministerial office. It's in our communities, in the lives and actions of people across our country."


Scottish Labour

Image caption Kezia Dugdale urged voters to "send the SNP and the Tories a message"

Labour's Kezia Dugdale also gave a speech in Edinburgh, telling voters to "send the SNP and the Tories a message" in Thursday's elections.

She said each Labour councillor would act as "a local champion" who would protect local services against both the Edinburgh and London administrations.

She said: "On Thursday, send the Tories a message - tell them that Scotland does not want their austerity.

"And send Nicola Sturgeon a message as well. Tell her to abandon her plan for another divisive referendum and get on with the day job.

"You can protest against the Tories and protest against plans for a second referendum on Thursday with one vote. By voting Labour."


Greens

Image caption Ross Greer urged younger voters to turn out

The Scottish Greens urged teenage voters to turn out on polling day.

Ross Greer, who was elected as an MSP aged 21 in 2016, said: "Young people lose out because too few of us turn out on polling day. This is the first local election where 16 and 17-year-olds can vote and it's an opportunity to change things.

"Our councillors make decisions about local schools, housing, public transport and a whole range of areas which have a huge effect on young people's lives. Green councillors would stand up, not just to defend these services but to improve and invest in them.


Lib Dems

Image caption Willie Rennie said the Lib Dems had a "unique" position on constitutional matters

Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie hit the streets in Leven in Fife, telling voters about his party's "unique" position on the UK and the EU.

He said the momentum was with the Lib Dems heading into Thursday's elections.

He said: "We're growing in support and we're going to gain more seats, because people want a local champion for their community, not a cheerleader for independence.

"We're standing up for Scotland's place in the United Kingdom, and the United Kingdom's place in Europe - we've got a unique position, and that's why more and more people are coming to the Liberal Democrats."

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