Scottish voters go to polls as multiple seats up for grabs
Scotland’s political leaders will be among the first to cast their votes as polling stations open across the country from 7am.
SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon will be joined by her husband Peter Murrell in Glasgow while Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson and Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale will attend polling stations in Edinburgh.
While the nationalists remain well ahead in the polls it is unlikely that the party will be able to match its landslide success at the 2015 General Election, winning 56 of Scotland’s 59 available Westminster seats.
Ms Sturgeon used an eve of poll address to appeal to supporters of other parties to switch to the SNP to avoid ‘’splitting the anti-Tory vote’’.
She said: “A vote tomorrow for Labour or the Liberal Democrats, parties who are third and fourth position in Scotland, risks doing one thing and one thing only - splitting the anti-Tory vote and allowing a Tory MP in the back door. Let us not take that risk.”
The polls also suggest Scotland could see a Tory resurgence on the back of Ms Davidson’s consistent message of opposition to a second independence referendum.
The Conservatives are aiming to make gains in areas including the Borders and North East Scotland - with the SNP’s depute leader Angus Robertson in Moray among the big hitters the party hopes to topple.
Ms Davidson’s message on the day before polling was to say that only her party was “serious” about keeping Scotland in the UK.
“With us it’s clear - no to a second referendum, no to more uncertainty, and no to the division it would cause our country,” she said.
Labour will be focused on holding on to the party’s only Scottish MP Ian Murray in Edinburgh South but are also hopeful of capitalising on a surge in polling support to gain East Lothian.
The party is heading into the election amid a row over a claim by Ms Sturgeon that Ms Dugdale had offered to drop her opposition to an independence referendum after the Brexit vote.
Ms Dugdale said: “By voting Labour today, people across Scotland can send Nicola Sturgeon a message to drop her plans for a divisive second independence referendum.
“Scottish Labour will never support independence or a divisive second independence referendum.
“A vote for Labour today will tell Nicola Sturgeon to get back to fixing the mess she has made of our schools and hospitals.”
Meanwhile the Liberal Democrats are targeting several key seats including Edinburgh West and East Dunbartonshire, and Greens co-convener Patrick Harvie will be hoping to become the next MP for Glasgow North.
Polling stations will close at 10pm with the results expected from the early hours of Friday.
Voters in the Holyrood constituency of Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire will also be voting to choose their MSP in a by-election triggered by the resignation of Conservative John Lamont to fight for the corresponding Westminster constituency seat.