Ruth Davidson: Forget tactical voting. The choice on June 8 is clear

Ruth Davidson believes the general election is a two-horse race between the SNP the Tories. Picture: Getty
Ruth Davidson believes the general election is a two-horse race between the SNP the Tories. Picture: Getty
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Edinburgh has been a magnet for talk of tactical voting in recent elections.

Whether it’s Edinburgh South, where Labour MP Ian Murray held on by his fingertips in 2015, or in the west of the city where the Liberal Democrats continually find reasons to advocate themselves as the only ones who can win, the Capital has always had its share of the tactical voting debate.

Ruth Davidson, leader of the Scottish Conservatives

Ruth Davidson, leader of the Scottish Conservatives

We will likely see the same again this time around as the city prepares to go to the polls for the Westminster elections on June 8.

I’m not of the view people should necessarily use their votes tactically – I think they should quite simply put a cross on the ballot paper next to the candidate and the party they believe in.

This is why we go into this election with such a clear and simple message: if you value Scotland’s place in the UK and are opposed to a second referendum on independence, there is only one party for you.

Nowhere is that more true than if you live in Edinburgh South West, where my Scottish Conservative colleague Miles Briggs confirmed his candidacy this week.

But it also holds in other parts of the city, too.

I will agree with the SNP on one thing for this election north of the Border – it’s a two-horse race between us and them.

An SNP which has only one political aim and motivation – to tear Scotland out of the rest of the UK.

Or the Scottish Conservatives, who want Scotland to play a more crucial role in our union of nations than ever.

We know Labour want to sell out pro-UK Scots. Jeremy Corbyn’s team accepts the only chance he has of entering Downing Street is by cosying up to the SNP in a post-election alliance.

He says he’s “absolutely fine” with another independence referendum, so we can see why this arrangement will appeal to the SNP; help secure Corbyn’s place in government, then move to break away from the rest of the UK as quickly as possible while Labour look on helplessly.

Well I won’t have that. The idea of these two parties getting into bed together – one wanting to wreak economic havoc north of the Border for selfish political aims, and the other that will happily watch them do it.

People across Edinburgh and the Lothians don’t want another independence referendum, and the best way of opposing that is to vote Scottish Conservative at this election. And backing someone like Miles Briggs in Edinburgh South West is the best place to start.

Ruth Davidson is leader of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party and MSP for Edinburgh Central