SHETLAND’s sole SNP councillor Robbie McGregor has called on local Liberal Democrat supporters to vote tactically in the upcoming European elections and back his party.
Scotland will elect six members of the European Parliament on 23 May in a countrywide constituency.
Voters will be asked at polling stations which party they wish to vote for, rather than one particular candidate.
As such, McGregor believes Shetland’s many Liberal Democrat voters should vote for SNP as the Lib Dems are unlikely to achieve much success in Scotland as a whole.
“Liberal Democrat supporters in Shetland and Orkney may be tempted to vote Lib-Dem as usual,” McGregor said.
“However, because the whole of Scotland is a single constituency and the Lib-Dems’ support nationally is currently well below 10 per cent, it’s highly unlikely that any of Scotland’s six new MEPs will be Lib-Dems, even if the party were to top the poll in the Northern Isles.”
McGregor noted that the SNP was the runner-up in Shetland in the last Holyrood and Westminster elections and is currently polling at about 50 per cent nationally.
“So if local Lib-Dem voters wish to be represented in Strasbourg by candidates who share most of their social democratic values and who want us to stay in the European Union, the logical thing to do is to support the SNP this time around,” the south mainland councillor said.
Shetland Islands Council has reminded people that anyone not registered to vote must do so by 7 May.
The election, however, may not even take place if the UK leaves the European Union (EU) before the vote.
The European Parliament is the legislative body of the EU.
A total of 5,175 votes were cast in Shetland in the last European election in 2014 – a turnout of less than 30 per cent.
Scotland’s six current MEPs are (in alphabetical order): David Coburn, UKIP; Ian Hudghton, SNP; David Martin, Labour; Baroness Nosheena Mobarik, Conservatives; Alyn Smith, SNP; and Catherine Stihler, Labour.