Published: Tue, April 25, 2017
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

Nicola Sturgeon: Election will be 'two-horse race'


"The Tories have taken an extreme position, demanding an end to any opposition at Westminster if they win the election", the SNP leader will say at the congress.

The Brexit factor is a particular threat to Robertson, the SNP's Westminster leader and elections guru, because his Moray constituency polled the most support in Scotland for leaving the European Union previous year.

"The hard-liners have taken over the Tory Party".

"They've done all this with a small majority".

Nearly half (47 per cent) of those who voted Yes in 2014 want a second referendum to be held by spring 2019 but, in contrast, 72 per cent of No voters indicated they did not want there to be another vote.

Ms Sturgeon said the Tory vision for the future of the country "should be ringing alarm bells loudly and clearly across Scotland right now".

Her 20-minute address focussed firmly on the "catastrophic" threat posed by the "hardline" Conservatives, as she cast the election battle in Scotland as a "two-horse race", with Mr Corbyn's party not in the running.

Sturgeon will warn of a double hit to Scottish families under a "hard-line" Tory party - with tax rises and more austerity.

She added: "But it is policies like this, and other attacks on the most vulnerable in society - including pensioners, the disabled, vulnerable young adults and the bereaved - which would be pursued by a Tory Government with a bigger majority". And we will give schools and colleges, those engines of opportunity, the funding they need.

Jeremy Corbyn has said the SNP is "obsessed" with independence and only his party can keep the Tories out of power.

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The Scottish Conservative Party has opened up a 10 percentage point lead over the Scottish Labour Party in an opinion poll, reaching 28 percent, while the Scottish National Party remains in front on 43 percent, pollster Survation said on Sunday (Apr 23). "It's the people versus the powerful".

Corbyn is expected to tell delegates in Aviemore: "While the timing of the election was unexpected, the choice is clear and the stakes are high. We are absolutely up for this fight".

A Labour government would "challenge the rigged system that is holding our country back" and would "stand for the many not the few".

The Trade Union Act, passed in 2016, applies uprecedented restrictions to the rights of workers to organise, including new vote thresholds for industrial action.

"We will also be using the debate to repeat our calls for the SNP to provide more support services for women who have suffered sexual violence".

He will say: "We will open inquiries into blacklisting and Orgreave".

The Scottish Government would also be urged to set up its own inquiry into the actions of the police in Scotland during the bitter dispute.

The SNP is seeking to hold on to the 56 Westminster seats it won in 2015.

"Only Labour will negotiate a Brexit deal which protects the interests of working people".

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