Mhairi Black predicts a surge in support from teen voters

Mhairi Black of the SNP being sworn in as the MP for Paisley & Renfrewshire South .
Mhairi Black of the SNP being sworn in as the MP for Paisley & Renfrewshire South .
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SNP MP Mhairi Black has predicted a surge in support for the party from teenage voters.

Votes will be given to 16 and 17-year-olds in the local government elections for the first time next week.

Speaking on the campaign trail in her home town of Paisley, Renfrewshire, the SNP MP said: “Since the independence referendum, it’s been very clear that young people have a voice in matters and they are starting to recognise that.

“The council elections are the first time 16 and 17-year-olds are going to have the opportunity to vote.

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“I think they are going to use their vote wisely and I think there will be a lot of increase in support for us.”

She added: “This year we’re not short of elections.

“First of all for the council elections, I can say first-hand from doing canvassing in the area that a lot of people are realising that it’s the SNP have a record of protecting people from the cuts coming from Westminster. So, I think the support for us is incredibly strong.

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“In terms of the General Election, I think it’s even stronger in the sense that people realise that this a fight between the Tories and the SNP.”

The MP was joined by her party’s council election campaign co-convener, councillor Susan Aitken, who said she hoped the SNP would be in charge of a “a lot more councils” following the election on May 4, including toppling Labour from their decades-long stronghold in Glasgow.

She said: “We realise that’s quite a big task.

“It’s not a task we underestimate and we certainly don’t take it for granted.

“But that is our ambition, we see no point in being under-ambitious for the city of Glasgow or for the SNP.”

Ms Aitken said if the party was a minority administration it would talk to other parties about coalitions, but ruled out any deal with the Conservatives.

She urged Labour to “come clean” on whether they plan to go into council deals with the Tories after the elections

Ms Black’s comments come as Nicola Sturgeon faces renewed calls to spell out her “next steps” on independence before the public goes to the polls on June 8.

Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson said Ms. Sturgeon had a “duty” to make clear her plans for a second independence referendum so that voters can make a judgement on them at the General Election.

“A second referendum isn’t needed and it isn’t wanted. We will continue to stand up against the SNP’s plans,” she said.