A vote for the SNP, Greens or Alba is a vote to undermine the recovery, says Lib Dem leader Ed Davey
A vote for the SNP, Greens or Alba is a vote to undermine the recovery, Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey has said.
Speaking at a media briefing, the Lib Dem leader said that no matter when another referendum might be, the uncertainty would “kill” the recovery from COVID.
“Who's going to invest in Scotland when there's uncertainty about the political future?” he asked.
“And at a time when Scotland's trying to recover from the pandemic, trying to recover from Brexit, I can't think of anything worse.
“And even if you laid it at six months, 12 months, 18 months, the threat is there. It will kill the recovery.”
Davey warned that there were “tough times ahead still” and we “cannot afford the division of a second independence referendum.”
“But if you vote SNP, or Green, or Alba, you are voting to undermine the recovery, because you're voting for people who support a second independence referendum.
“If you vote Liberal Democrat, you're voting for a party that's going to stop that second independence referendum and focus on recovery: recovery of the economy, jobs and businesses, health services, mental health in particular, and of course, our children's precious education.
“It couldn't be a clearer choice. It is so clear.”
The Lib Dem leader was positive about the outlook for the Lib Dems, saying they were “excited about making some gains”, with Caithness, Sutherland and Ross and additional list seats among their key targets.
Davey suggested that there was a “mood change” the Lib Dems could benefit from, with unionist voters becoming disappointed with the Conservatives.
“I think … there's a growing disappointment and frustration at the Conservatives,” he said.
“To be brutal, Douglas Ross is no Ruth Davidson.
“I think Conservative voters in the past backed the Scottish Conservatives, partly because of Ruth Davidson, but now they look at Douglas Ross and Boris Johnson and I think they're thinking again.
“I think that's changing their minds. And I think they know there's an alternative unionist party that they can vote for.
“They'll have seen the Boris Johnson scandals in the last couple of weeks.
“And I think they'll remind people that the Conservatives actually aren't this sort of new party that Ruth Davidson tried to portray, but they're the old nasty party.
“And I think Douglas Ross is very similar, to be honest.
“I think they're two peas in a pod, Douglas Ross and Boris Johnson, and I think Scotland deserves better.”
Davey also thought there could be Lib Dem votes to be gained from the SNP.
He said that canvassing in the north of Scotland had suggested the SNP vote was “soft”, and that was even more likely to be the case with the recent trend of declining support for independence.
Referring to the recent poll putting support for independence at 42 per cent, Davey said: “That's the lowest for quite a few years.
“And if support for independence is falling that rapidly, you know, you can be pretty confident that the SNP vote will fall with it.
“And that's one of the reasons why we've got a spring in our step in places like Caithness, Sutherland and Ross, but all sorts of other seats.”