Parties should campaign on own merits – Scottish Greens co-leader

8 November 2019, 14:24 | Updated: 8 November 2019, 14:32

Patrick Harvie
Patrick Harvie. Picture: PA

Patrick Harvie was speaking at the party’s election launch, in which it vowed to put climate change at the centre of its campaign.

Political parties should stand on their own merit in the General Election campaign, Patrick Harvie has said, after his counterparts in England and Wales entered a “Remain alliance” with the Liberal Democrats and Plaid Cymru.

The Scottish Green co-leader said it is down to each party to “campaign positively”, rather than try to “bully and intimidate” others off the ballot paper.

An agreement between Remain-supporting politicians in England and Wales will see the Greens, Liberal Democrats and Plaid Cymru stand aside in certain seats if one of the others have a better chance of winning.

The Scottish Greens opted not to follow suit with parties in Scotland, and they unveiled a swathe of their own candidates on Friday to fight in more than 20 constituencies.

Speaking at his party’s General Election campaign launch in South Queensferry, Mr Harvie told the PA news agency: “Everybody knows that the political landscape is different in Scotland than it is in some parts of England and Wales.

“We know, for instance, that the Liberal Democrats and the SNP have no interest in working with each other.”

Mr Harvie said there are voters in Scotland who believe other parties are not doing enough to fight climate change – an issue the Greens have put at the centre of their campaign ahead of the December 12 vote.

He said: “I think a lot of voters understand the scale of the change that is necessary in relation to the climate emergency and they understand that the other political parties are not taking that radical, transformational action, like investing in a Scottish Green New Deal.

“That’s why the Scottish Green candidates will be out there campaigning to demand climate action, which I think a great many voters know is overdue, urgent and absolutely vital.”

SNP supporters have accused the Greens of hampering their chances in marginal seats, possibly splitting the vote and allowing anti-independence candidates an easier race.

Mr Harvie said parties should focus their energies on campaigning and winning the votes of the public.

He said: “I think every political party, in this election and every other one, should be campaigning positively and on their own merits, not taking other people’s votes for granted.

“There’s a bit too much of that in this election, with some political parties thinking that they’re entitled to the support of every voter, regardless of the policies they’re putting in place.

“Greens know that we have a responsibility, a duty, to put the climate emergency at the front and centre of this campaign, and that’s what we’ll do.

“If other political parties want to win seats, they need to campaign positively, instead of trying to bully or intimidate other political parties off the ballot paper.”

Happening Now