Edinburgh council elections 2022: Nicola Sturgeon joins hen party on campaign visit to Portobello

Nicola Sturgeon donned a “See you Jimmy” hat after she gate-crashed a hen party on Portobello beach during a local election campaign visit.

By Ian Swanson
Sunday, 1st May 2022, 5:54 pm
Updated Sunday, 1st May 2022, 5:56 pm

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The First Minister posed for selfies as she walked along the Prom, as well as chatting and signing frisbees before darting down to the beach to join the party and try out the tartan headgear.

She was accompanied on the Sunday afternoon visit to the seaside by party activists and candidates from across the Capital ahead of Thursday’s election.

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The SNP is expected to emerge as the biggest party when the votes are counted on Friday, but a repeat of the coalition it has had with Labour over the past five years is in doubt because Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar has said he is opposed to such deals.

Ms Sturgeon said it would be for the Edinburgh leadership to decide what would work best after the election. The SNP has only ruled out coalitions with the Tories. But she told reporters she found Mr Sarwar’s position “almost inexplicable” given the voting system which makes it almost impossible for one party to achieve an overall majority.

She said: "It seems to reveal an oppositionalist mindset, that he wants to lock himself out of actually exercising power or influence at local level.

"We’ll continue to come to arrangements locally that we deem to be in the best interests of those we serve.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon (centre) dons gate crashes a hen-party during a visit to Portobello. Photo: Lesley Martin/PA Wire

Asked about a possible SNP-Green coalition in the Capital to mirror her own deal with the Greens at Holyrood, she said: “You can tell I’m not averse to deals with the Greens. We have to see how the arithmetic works out.”

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