Scottish Greens to '˜stand fewer than 10 candidates' at General Election

The Scottish Greens are expected to contest fewer than 10 constituencies at the General Election after notifying broadcasters the party will not meet eligibility quotas for an election broadcast.

Patrick Harvie, co-convener of the Scottish Greens, saw his party return a record 19 councillors at last week's local authorty elections. Picture: John Devlin/TSPL

It was confirmed yesterday the Greens would not stand in Moray, where SNP Westminster leader Angus Robertson faces a challenge from the Conservatives, and it was later announced the party would field no candidates in the Highlands and Islands.

A full list of Green candidates will not be revealed until later in the week.

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But a letter received by STV today suggests there will be no more than nine. To qualify for an election broadcast, a party must be standing in at least one-tenth of the 59 seats in Scotland.

The Greens have increased their representation at the Scottish Parliament to six MSPs in 2016 and returned 19 councillors at last week’s local authority elections.

A Green party spokesman said: “Green campaign teams around Scotland are focused on building on the progress we made in last week’s council elections including our breakthroughs in the Highlands and Islands, with our newly elected councillors determined to protect local services.

“By targeting resources in key constituencies, such as Glasgow North where Patrick Harvie will be our candidate, we can build on our strong support to win Scotland’s first Green MP, offering a bold alternative to the other parties.

“Greens not only reject the damaging hard Brexit, deeply conservative agenda of the current Westminster government, we fight for Scotland’s right to decide our own future and offer a positive alternative for the kind of society we can be.”

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Tommy Sheppard, SNP MP for Edinburgh East, that they risk splitting the pro-independence vote by putting up candidates in seats that the Tories are actively targeting.

Scottish Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser said: “This is the Green party reaffirming themselves as a pointless presence in Scottish politics.

“The propping up of the SNP is embarrassing and a complete disservice to their voters.

“Quite simply, they might as well not exist.

“If they are so determined to become the SNP, they should disband and merge with the nationalists.

“It’s utterly regrettable that a party previously committed to issues like the environment have become nothing but a support mechanism for the SNP.”