Gearing up for General Election in the Islands

editorial image

Santa is going to be delivering a new government as well as presents this Christmas with the news that a General Election will be held on Thursday, December 12th.

Western Isles MP Angus MacNeil voted against the General Election bill when it was debated at Parliament on Tuesday night, the only SNP MP to vote against, and one of only 20 MPs who stood against an election taking place.

Talking about his reasons for this to the Gazette, he said: “I was against a General Election at this stage because I think it is too soon in Boris Johnson’s period as Prime Minister.

“He will have a ‘honeymoon’ period which will make it easier for him to win an election now, I think, than when he wanted in April or May. I hope I am wrong in that.”

He added: “The General Election is coming now, and it will all be decided on December 12th. I think everybody on the opposition side voted with the best of intentions.

“Obviously, the best outcome for Scotland is to send as many SNP MPs back to Westminster as possible.

“Labour is a very feeble party with a feeble leader who has very little credibility and the Tories are no better.

“Scotland needs the SNP voice, otherwise it will be completely ignored in the UK.”

However, the Western Isles Labour Prospective Parliamentary candidate, Alison MacCorquodale, says that her party’s message on Brexit will become clearer during the campaign and apart from Brexit their manifesto is set to be dynamic.

She said: “For a lot of people on the doorstep, they did find Labour’s message on Brexit difficult to understand, but that is because Labour were the only party trying to do the best for everyone - whether they voted Yes or No on Brexit - Labour have tried to represent the people.”

She added: “Labour are strongest when campaigning, we ran a dynamic campaign in 2017 and this year’s manifesto - although I don’t yet know everything that is in it - looks like it will have even more potential to change lives.”

Apart from the Brexit question some of the issues most pressing for islanders are funding for public services, investment in ferries and renewable energy potential in the Islands.

It is perhaps these areas, more than Brexit, which will be more interesting to voters when deciding who to back at the ballot box on December 12th.