Dugdale appeals to Tory and Lib Dem voters to keep out SNP

Kezia Dugdale has appealed to Conservative and Liberal Democrat voters living in marginal seats to back her party to keep out the SNP at the general election.

Kezia Dugdale has urged voters to send a message to both the SNP and Conservatives by voting Labour. Picture: Neil Hanna/JP License

The Scottish Labour leader made a direct pitch to those undecided how to cast their ballot but wary of a second independence referendum during a speech in Glasgow today.

She referenced constituencies such as Edinburgh South - where Labour’s Ian Murray faces a three-way contest to retain his seat - as well as East Lothian, Midlothian and Rutherglen.

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“I know many of you want to tell Nicola Sturgeon that Scotland doesn’t want another divisive referendum,” she said in a speech at the City Halls.

“You are Conservative voters, Lib Dems and independents.

“Some of you are even former SNP voters who are fed up with Nicola Sturgeon’s refusal to get on with the day job.

“Some of you may never have voted for Labour before. My message to you is this: in many parts of the country, the way to stop the Nationalists is to vote Labour.

“To voters in Edinburgh South, it was Labour who didn’t just hold off the Nationalists last time around, we took the seat off the SNP last year in the Scottish Parliament elections. We are the only ones who can beat them.

“In places like East Lothian, Midlothian and Inverclyde, Labour beat the SNP at the council elections, with the Tories a distant third.”

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Asked if she would continue to support Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader, regardless of the election result, Dugdale said: “There are three weeks of this general election campaign, not three months, to determine what kind of country we want to be. Do we really want to spend that talking about process, and polls, and leadership, and all the rest of it?

“I think people want and desire a proper debate about choice in this election - and there is a clear choice. You can carry on with the Tories as they pursue a hard Brexit, or you can have a Labour government which has a lasting plan to transform this country.”