General election: Here’s a simple way to stop Boris Johnson winning in Edinburgh – Angus Robertson

You don’t have to be that old to remember Edinburgh Tory MPs like Malcolm Rifkind and Michael Ancram. Do we really want to see Boris Johnson, an international joke like Donald Trump, back in Downing Street, asks Angus Robertson.

Tuesday, 10th December 2019, 6:00 am
Malcom Rifkind and campaign helpers including Daphne Sleigh and Brian Meek on general election polling day in Barnton in April 1992

Only a few days remain until the general election when we can lock Boris Johnson out of Downing Street and the Conservatives out of Edinburgh and Lothian seats. While the polls show the Tories have a lead in England, there is still a lot of volatility in predicting local races. In Scotland, the SNP is in pole position and there is every chance that the Tories will not win a single seat in Edinburgh or the Lothians.

It wasn’t always like that. When I was growing up in Stockbridge, the Tories held Edinburgh Central, Edinburgh West, Edinburgh South and Edinburgh Pentlands. You don’t have to be that old to remember that Edinburgh had Tory MPs like Malcolm Rifkind, James-Douglas Hamilton, Michael Ancram and Alex Fletcher. Now they don’t have a single MP in the Capital. Let’s make it stay that way.

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Given that an overwhelming majority of Edinburgh voters opposed Brexit, it’s hard to see why anyone would want to follow BoJo’s mantra and get it done. Scotland’s capital voted three to one against Brexit. Every single Edinburgh MP in the last Westminster parliament opposed Brexit.

As we know from the weekend Panelbase poll for the Sunday Times, a majority of people in Scotland would vote for independence if Brexit goes ahead. Boris Johnson says his Brexit plans are oven-ready, when in truth they are over-cooked and inedible. How ironic that the Tories who oppose Scottish independence are making that outcome more likely with their hardline Brexit campaign.

Every vote counts

If you are one of those people who are still not sure how you will vote, but do know that you don’t want Brexit or a liar and charlatan as Prime Minister then the choice in Scotland is pretty clear – it is a contest between the SNP and the Tories. Only the SNP has gone into this election pledging to block BoJo, oppose Brexit and give the people a choice about their future. The Labour leader who wants to renegotiate a new Brexit deal (!) won’t even say how he will vote in a future referendum. The Liberal Democrats want to refuse people in Scotland a decision on Scotland’s future – which is hardly liberal or democratic at all. The Greens cannot win in Scotland with the unrepresentative UK electoral system. All of which should make your choice easier.

The Tories have not won an election in Scotland since 1955 and they shouldn’t start now. With so many marginal seats however, every vote really counts. Edinburgh and the Lothians should show the red card to the Conservatives. There is a good chance that the SNP will win additional Lothian seats from Labour and hopefully defeat the illiberal anti-democrats in Edinburgh West, in addition to retaining Edinburgh East, Edinburgh North and Leith, Edinburgh South-West, Linlithgow and Livingston.

Your vote in this general election really matters. In Scotland it is a straight choice between the SNP and Tories. Do you want to see further years of chaos at Westminster under Boris Johnson? Do you want someone as Prime Minister who disdains Scotland and Scottish democracy? Do you really want to be represented internationally by someone who is a figure of ridicule, just like Donald Trump?

We have a choice in Scotland on Thursday’s general election between the SNP and the Tories. I will choose a better future with the SNP.