SNP is ‘miles in front’ of the other parties, claims Joanna Cherry

There is no need for a pro-Remain electoral pact in Scotland as the SNP is "miles in front" of the other parties, a senior Nationalist claimed today.

Joanna Cherry, the Nationalists' home affairs spokeswoman before parliament was dissolved, said her party's strength in recent opinion polls proved that voters had just one realistic choice if they wanted to reject Brexit.

Debate about electoral pacts has raged ahead of the December 12 poll, with dire warnings about the consequences of splitting the vote between pro-Remain or pro-Brexit camps.

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Yesterday, Boris Johnson was accused of an "unholy alliance" with Nigel Farage after the Brexit Party leader U-turned on a threat to challenge Conservatives across the country.

Joanna Cherry said the SNP was 'miles ahead of the parties in Scotland'. Picture: PAJoanna Cherry said the SNP was 'miles ahead of the parties in Scotland'. Picture: PA
Joanna Cherry said the SNP was 'miles ahead of the parties in Scotland'. Picture: PA
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And the Scottish Greens faced criticism from the Conservatives after local branches decided not to run candidates in several key SNP marginals in Fife and Tayside.

But speaking to Sky News today, Ms Cherry - who is defending a 1,097 majority in Edinburgh South West - said there was no need for any pacts in Scotland.

She said: "In Scotland, the SNP are miles in front of the other parties. We either hold all the seats in Scotland, or are the major challengers in the seats that we don't hold. There isn't a need for an electoral pact north of the Border.

"After the election, then the SNP will work with progressive parties to keep the Tories out of power. We have been very clear about that.

"Given the strength of our position in the opinion polls in Scotland, then it's a very clear choice for voters - do they want SNP Remain voices at Westminster, or do they want Tories. And the opinion polls tend to indicate the answer is voters in Scotland want the SNP, and see the SNP as the party of Remain.”

Kirstene Hair, Scottish Conservative candidate for Angus, said: “The SNP is setting itself up for a huge fall - the SNP lost 21 seats and half a million votes at the last Westminster election in 2017 but they still haven’t listened.

“Voters overwhelmingly rejected independence in 2014, yet, here we are in 2019 and the entire SNP campaign is based on a re-run of that ‘once in a generation’ vote.

“Scots have had enough of the division and we just want to move on.

“Only the Scottish Conservatives are strong enough to stand up to Nicola Sturgeon and beat the SNP.”