Willie Rennie targets every Holyrood seat for Lib Dems

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has become campaigning for every seat in the Scottish Parliament. Picture: Toby Williams

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has become campaigning for every seat in the Scottish Parliament. Picture: Toby Williams

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Willie Rennie has said his party is aiming to win “every single seat” in the Scottish Parliament.

The Scottish Liberal Democrat leader admitted such a stance may see him dubbed a “crazy optimist” but said he wants his party to build on the “big impact” it has had over the last five years at Holyrood.

The party took five of the 129 seats up for grabs at the 2011 Scottish election, down from the 16 MSPs it had before voters went to the polls that year.

Mr Rennie, who became leader of the Scottish Lib Dems after that election, said he wants the party to be a strong force in the next parliament.

Speaking on BBC Radio Scotland one month before Scots cast their votes in the 2016 election, Mr Rennie said: “I’m aiming to win every single seat in the Scottish Parliament.

READ MORE: Q&A: Willie Rennie, Liberal Democrats leader

“You may call me a crazy optimist but that’s what I’m trying to do.

“I’m trying to progress the party so that we’ve got a powerful force in the Scottish Parliament, because we’ve seen what we’ve done over the last five years, we have made a big impact and I think we could do more of that with more MSPs.”

The Lib Dem leader, who took part in a phone-in on the Call Kaye programme, was responding to a question which pointed to polling suggesting the Conservatives could become the second largest party at Holyrood.

READ MORE: Andrew Whitaker: Scottish Lib Dem plans may not be enough

Mr Rennie told the show: “It would be a dismal prospect if the SNP and Scottish Conservatives were to dominate Scottish politics because the division over the constitution would continue for the next five years.”

Asked who he believed would come second in the ballot, he said: “I’m not a psephologist, I’m not going to start making predictions about anything.

“What I want to see is more Liberal Democrats because I’m the leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats.”

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