Helensburgh ‘poster wars’ between SNP and Tory supporters

The SNP campaign headquarters in Helensburgh occupies the ground floor of the waterfront building, while the occupants of the first floor have made their differing political views clear. Picture: Chris McCall
The SNP campaign headquarters in Helensburgh occupies the ground floor of the waterfront building, while the occupants of the first floor have made their differing political views clear. Picture: Chris McCall
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Posters are a long-standing feature of UK general election campaigns. But in one quiet Scottish coastal town, supporters of two rival parties have been locked in a battle for visual supremacy.

When the local SNP campaign team in Helensburgh established itself in the ground floor premises of a prominent seafront building, it naturally decorated the windows with various party posters.

That prompted the tenants on the building’s first floor to deck their own windows with Union flags - a clear message they did not support the re-election of Brendan O’Hara as Nationalist MP for Argyll and Bute.

But this light-hearted inter-floor rivalry intensified this week when the first floor occupants draped a large Vote Conservative banner from their balcony.

“We thought the SNP office in Helensburgh needed some external redecoration,” one supporter wrote on Twitter.

Not to be outdone, the SNP activists quickly arranged for their own banner to be hung directly underneath - which claimed a vote for the Tories was a vote for “cuts, pension inequality, more cuts and hard Brexit”.

The Conservative banner above was then swiftly removed.

“A typical Tory u-turn,” joked Michelle Van der Stighelen, political education officer at the local SNP branch.

She added: “It’s all just a bit of banter and fun. Something light-hearted during a serious election campaign.”

It remains to be seen how the first floor occupants will respond - if at all - in this unlikely battle of the posters before polling day.

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