Scottish election 2021: A round-up of our On the HolyRoad election video series with political candidates across Scotland

The Scotsman has just concluded its On the HolyRoad series, which featured interviews with candidates from all the main parties.

Filmed across Scotland, the series offers a unique insight into the political leaders vying for the public vote.

The series saw The Scotsman take part in activities the candidates were passionate about, whether that be trapeze with the Greens’ Lorna Slater or officiating drills with Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross.

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All six episodes are now available to view online on our website.

Scottish Labour Leader Anas Sarwar answered questions in a dentist

Here is our round-up of what we did, who we did it with and what they are pitching to voters.

Episode One - Lorna Slater

We first took part in a trapeze class with the Scottish Greens co-leader Lorna Slater, who is contesting the Edinburgh Northern and Leith constituency seat at the Scottish Parliament.

Combining rope work with a call to action, Ms Slater suggested only her party offered a “radical” view of independence, saying there was “no point” to leaving the UK if it maintained the status quo.

Angus Robertson is running in Edinburgh Central

She said: “We don’t think there’s any point to being independent if we’re just going to keep everything the same.

“We would invest properly in our renewable industry, phase out oil and gas, change how the balance works in communities, so communities have the right to say what happens around them, rather than siding with developers as the SNP so often have.

“We really want to put in place radical policies like universal basic income, national care service. These things that will make Scotland a completely different country and shift the balance of the economy.”

Episode Two- Anas Sarwar

We then spoke with Anas Sarwar in a dentist in Glasgow, giving the Scottish Labour leader a chance to show off the skills of his former profession.

Spending much of the interview spraying water at the interviewer, Mr Sarwar still found time to label Scotland the “best country in the world”, but to insist the nation could be better.

He said: “I am passionate about Scotland, I love Scotland. Scotland is the greatest country in the world as far as I’m concerned, and Glasgow is the greatest city in the world.

“Scotland is a phenomenal place and so is Glasgow, but can we do better? Of course we can.

“I want everyone across Glasgow and everyone across Scotland to be able to fulfil their potential.

“I want us to be an example, not just to the UK, but to the whole world.”

Running against Nicola Sturgeon in Glasgow Southside, Mr Sarwar also revealed he still got homesick going on holiday.

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Episode Three- Angus Robertson

Going dog walking with him and his gorgeous labradoodles Freyja and Marnie, the Edinburgh Central candidate claimed both Brexit and Boris Johnson were drivers of support of independence.

He said: “Boris Johnson, he is the personal embodiment of the politics that we've rejected in Scotland. And, of course, the Tories haven't won an election in this country since 1955, but they're still running it, which is preposterous.

“People's opinions are clear and people have every right to feel as strongly about him as I do. I don’t think he’s fit for public office, let alone being Prime Minister of the country."

The University of Aberdeen graduate urged voters not yet convinced by independence to still support his party, citing the SNP’s domestic record and insisting they could decide on leaving the UK when the time came.

He explained: “On the constitutional question, for those people who are not persuaded yet to support a yes vote in a referendum, that’s something they can decide about when we have a referendum.”

Episode Four- Willie Rennie

The North East Fife MSP goes running most mornings at 5am, and tweets videos of his thoughts on the campaign while doing so.

Speaking in Cupar at a more sociable hour, Mr Rennie explained his tendency to be involved in bizarre photo opportunities.

The Lib Dem leader has been punched by a dog, grappled a ram, gone down children’s slides or been snapped with an oversized deck chair.

He explained: “I don’t take myself too seriously – too many politicians do.

“I like to laugh. Politicians are a bit stuffy sometimes, I like to break through that and to get people to talk to me.

“That’s what politics is all about being able to connect to people, relate to their concerns and sort it out.

“I always take my politics seriously.”

Since the video was filmed, Mr Rennie made an announcement while having a karate lesson.

Episode Five- Paul Sweeney

The fifth episode was with former Glasgow North East MP Paul Sweeney, who was speaking at the historic Springburn Winter Gardens, which have lain derelict since 1983.

Now trying to restore the location, he is also a Labour candidate for the Glasgow regional list at next month’s Scottish Parliament election.

Challenged on why the SNP continue to soar in the polls, the former engineer claimed Nicola Sturgeon’s party were succeeding through offering an “unattainable vision” of an independent Scotland.

He said: “They’ve got a sense of purpose behind them that is unattainable at the moment.

“Whatever model of an independent Scotland you want, you can have it, however contradictory these objectives are, so it kind of pulls these nefarious bands of people together, whether they're kind of Tories or socialists.

“They’re all unified by a clear purpose. That’s not something Labour has got.”

Episode Six- Douglas Ross

Speaking in Elgin, the MP who is now running to be an MSP justified his decision by insisting it was about “giving something back”.

Mr Ross explained: “It's about trying to give something back to your communities.

“I've been privileged to grow up in a wonderful part of the country, but I think for my own son I want him to have the same opportunities as I had at our local schools here in Moray and I don't think after a decade and a half of the SNP being in power our young people have the same opportunities as I had a couple of decades ago.

“There's so much more we can do here locally and across Scotland to improve things for people.”

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