SNP's election messages chalked on Edinburgh pavements outside polling stations broke the rules

Tories complained after SNP activists in Edinburgh Eastern jumped the gun and chalked election messages on the pavement close to polling stations before the permitted time.

Thursday, 6th May 2021, 7:00 am

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The Capital’s election rules do not allow A-boards, posters or chalked slogans outside polling stations until polling day.

But over the weekend the stencilled messages appeared in at least two locations, near Northfield Parish Church in Liberton and Willowbrae Parish Church at Jock’s Lodge.

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One of the chalked messages on the pavement

John McLellan, Conservative councillor for Craigentinny/Duddingston, said: "There were clear instructions from the council that this was not to be used before polling day but they ignored it. Whether or not that was maverick activists I don’t know, but the bottom line is in Edinburgh Eastern the SNP broke the rules.”

The incidents were reported to the city council’s election officials, who issued a stern warning to candidates and agents about “graffiti” being “unacceptable” and warning the matter would be referred to the police.

However, it is understood no police action was required and the messages were removed.

A council spokesperson said: “On polling day, political parties are permitted to have A-boards, posters and chalk signage outside polling places. On Monday it was brought to our attention that some chalk signage – originally reported as graffiti - had been installed prematurely in error. A reminder notice was sent out to all parties and it was agreed that the signage would be removed until polling day.”

The SNP had a majority of 5.087 in Edinburgh Eastern at the last Holyrood election in 2016.

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