Scotland politics

Election 2015: Scottish political parties mark 100 days to vote

Election sign Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption The UK General Election takes place on 7 May

Scotland's political parties mark 100 days to go to the General Election by promoting some of their key messages.

The SNP argues it can be a powerful voice promoting Scottish interests.

Jim Murphy said Scottish Labour votes could "help end Tory rule" while the Conservative Party said it would further reduce household benefits.

The Scottish Liberal Democrats said they could deliver a strong economy and the Scottish Greens said it was the party connecting with voters.

Deputy leader of the SNP, Stewart Hosie, insisted that people had 100 more days to make "Scotland's priorities Westminster's priorities".

He added: "Scotland needs and wants an alternative to austerity cuts, cancellation of the horrendously expensive Trident renewal, the real powers of Home Rule, protection for our oil and gas industry, and safeguarding our place in Europe by ensuring that all four UK nations would have to vote for EU withdrawal before the UK could exit.

"And we are prepared to vote for a Bill to restore the NHS in England to the public service, publicly accountable, it was always meant to be - which will help safeguard Scotland's budget."

'Fresh start'

Mr Murphy said that current polling suggested the general election was "neck and neck between Labour and the Tories".

He added: "Scotland is changing, and Scottish Labour is changing with it. It's a fresh start for Scottish Labour and the path to a better nation runs through May 7 and getting the Tories out.

"Only the biggest party after the general election can form a government.

"In the referendum whether you were Yes or whether you were No, most Scots know it's time for the Tories to go. Only Labour is big enough and strong enough to defeat David Cameron. Scotland can protest against the Tories by voting for any party but only Labour can replace them."

Image caption Voters will go to the polls in 100 days time to decide who their MPs will be

The Conservative Party will be focusing on the economy and have confirmed that the first act of a new Tory government would be to reduce the total amount of benefits any household could claim from £26,000 to £23,000.

Prime Minister David Cameron rejected claims the new cap would plunge more families into poverty, saying members of the public had repeatedly complained that it had been set too high.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "This is a basic issue of fairness. I don't think a family should be able to get more in benefits than someone going out to work, working every day, and trying to do the right thing for them and their family."

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie is due to join activists in Edinburgh to set out the party's priorities for the next five years.

He accused Labour of being in denial over its role in the economic crisis.

'Eye off ball'

Mr Rennie added: "The Tories will only ever stand up for the wealthy and want to cut our public services to the bone.

"The SNP may try to pretend otherwise, but people know they took their eye off the ball during the referendum and will always put securing independence first.

"Only the Liberal Democrats can deliver the stronger economy and fairer society that we want to see and help provide opportunity for everyone."

The Scottish Green Party said it expected to stand in about 30 of Scotland's 59 Westminster constituencies.

Its co-convener Patrick Harvie explained: "Whether it's fracking, publicly-owned railways or the unfair TTIP trade deal, it's clear we're connecting with voters on key issues, with the other parties hurrying out new positions in response.

"Greens across the UK have long challenged the Westminster consensus on austerity; our vision of an economy with good jobs, better wages and strong public services is gaining momentum as we head towards an election like no other."

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