Desperate SNP ‘running scared’ after plea to Greens

26 Apr 2017

Ross Thomson

The SNP is “running scared” after begging the Greens not to stand candidates in seats it thinks could be vulnerable.

MP Tommy Sheppard said the Greens would “have to choose” when it came to certain constituencies in a bid “not to split the pro-Yes vote”.

The Greens’ “co-convener” Maggie Chapman has already hinted at support for “non-Green candidates” in parts of the country, so long as they’re backing separation.

In 2015, 31 Green candidates stood in the General Election, losing the deposit in all but three seats.

The Scottish Conservatives have warned the party to “put up or shut up”, adding that its core voters wouldn’t forgive lying down to the SNP.

Scottish Conservative candidate for Aberdeen South Ross Thomson said:

“The Greens have to put up or shut up.

“They can’t pretend to be a proper party while sitting this election out and begging its voters to back someone else.

“That’s a shameful approach, and any genuine Green voter will be disgusted with it.

“It’s also very telling that the SNP has taken this step.

“It shows the party is rattled and running scared, and its MPs right across Scotland are terrified of losing their seats.

“So they should be. People are sick of the nationalists’ rabble-rousing on separation, and this latest intervention will just put more people off.”

  • Maggie Chapman said that she would be happy to support ‘non-Green candidates’ and that the Party would not stand in constituencies that it had previously lost its deposit in. ‘I would be quite happy for us to support non-Green candidates if it meant getting Tories out of Scotland and making sure we had elected representatives who walk the walk of the politics of the new Scotland we want to see…. I think what we need to do is use this as an opportunity to talk about the kind of Scotland we want to see, the kind of politics we want to see, and I’m hopeful we can agree to say let’s back the candidates who offer those kinds of views and that kind of outlook for Scotland. I don’t see us standing in seats in areas where we lost deposits last time.……I’ve always advocated political co-operation. I think it’s an important element of how we do politics as Greens and this is possibly an opportunity for us to put this belief into practice, to work with it to make sure we see a more forward and outward-looking representation for people.’ (The National, 19 April 2017, link).


  • Patrick Harvie said that the Greens had to ‘weigh up’ reducing the number of Scottish Conservative MPs and staying true to their ‘principles’ and ‘the reasons we’re in politics at all’. ‘The question of course for independence supporters is how the cause can be advanced in the context of this snap election…. Few people would wager a pint of beer against the SNP winning most of Scotland’s constituencies in June, but I dare say not many would bet heavy on them winning 50 per cent of the vote single-handed…. So as all our parties approach an election we didn’t expect, we have a lot to weigh up. How to minimise the Tory presence in all our lives, and the reach of their odious policies. How to successfully reassert the mandate for an independence vote. And how to stay true to our principles and the reasons we’re in politics at all’ (The National, 20 April 2017, link).


  • The SNP have ordered the Greens to not split ‘the pro-Yes vote’ and to stop ‘targeting’ SNP marginals. Tommy Sheppard said: ‘I know the Greens will want to stand some candidates but I also know they have never stood everywhere. So they are going to have to choose. They will want to stand some candidates as they are a national party and will want to put their case to their base, but in deciding which seats to contest and not to contest I think they should be mindful of not splitting the pro-Yes vote and certainly not splitting the anti-Tory vote.’ Referring to Edinburgh South particularly he said ‘It’s not a four way marginal with the Greens, it’s a three way marginal and in those circumstances I don’t think the Greens should be targeting that sort of seat.’ (The National, 26 April 2017, link).


  • Patrick Harvie has recently said that the Greens could enter into a formal coalition with the SNP in the Scottish Parliament. ‘Absolutely. I think the idea of remaining in opposition for all time isn’t one that’s attractive to any political party. If you believe in proportional representation you believe in a fair balance of political parties across parliament and coalition is the most likely way for a government to form a majority. The previous session, where there was a single party majority, was, I think, an aberration, and I don’t think it’s likely to happen again.’ (Daily Record, 18 April 2017, link).


  • In the 2015 General Election the Scottish Greens stood candidates in a record 31 constituencies. However, they were only able to save their deposit in three Edinburgh East, Edinburgh North and Leith and Glasgow North (Scottish Greens, 22 February 2015, link).