SNP candidate asks Tory voters to help beat Labour

THE SNP have been accused of “rank hypocrisy” after it emerged that the party’s East Renfrewshire candidate has written directly to Tory voters asking for their help in keeping Labour out.

Kirsten Oswald. Picture: Contributed
Kirsten Oswald. Picture: Contributed

The letter entitled “lend me your vote” was sent to Tory voters by SNP candidate Kirsten Oswald who hopes to unseat Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy.

It comes despite First Minister Nicola Sturgeon claiming that she wants an “anti-Tory alliance” and to put Ed Miliband into Downing Street and “lock the Tories out”.

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But in her letter Ms Oswald said she “respects the values” of the Tories and pointed out that independent polls showed that the SNP is “the party with the best chance of beating Labour”.

She went on that if the Tories lent her their votes then then they would have an MP “who understands your values, your concerns and your priorities.”

Labour have argued that Ms Sturgeon and the SNP have been encouraging people across the UK to vote “anything but Labour” including the Greens in England and Plaid Cymru in Wales.

And with Mr Miliband saying he would not form a Labour government if it depends on SNP votes, the party has claimed that the SNP’s secret agenda is to have a Tory government in Westminster so they can force a second referendum.

Scottish Deputy leader Kezia Dugdale said that the letter confirmed the “hypocrisy” of the SNP.

She said: “That an SNP candidate should be begging Tory voters to help unseat a Labour MP shows the depths of their desperation.

“After weeks of telling Scots that they’ll do everything to keep the Tories out of power, they’ll tell Tory voters that they now ‘respect their beliefs’ when it helps them try to seat Jim Murphy.

“This is rank hypocrisy from the SNP, whose empty rhetoric on standing up to the Tories is now plain for all to see; they’ll say whatever they need to get a second referendum.

With senior Labour figures already claiming they need to save some of their 41 seats in Scotland for the party to be the biggest in Westminster and able to form a minority government, Ms Dugdale said that if the SNP manage to to win 50 or more seats, as suggested in the polls, it will help David Cameron get back in Downing Street.

She said: “The irony is that David Cameron is rubbing his hands with glee at the thought of Scotland sending more Nationalists to Westminster, because every SNP MP makes it more likely he’ll sneak into Downing St by the back door.

“In just five days time the people of Scotland face a choice, the road to a fairer economy with Scottish Labour or the road to a Tory government and a second referendum with the SNP.”

However, Ms Oswald insisted she was trying to contrast voter values with the current negative Tory tactics focusing on the SNP holding the balance of power.

She said: “The point being made is the contrast between what were shared values across the political spectrum and the appalling Tory Party campaign which Gordon Brown has described as ‘anti-Scottish’. That is what the Tory Party has become.”

Text of letter

Dear [Conservative voter],

When we spoke to you sometime ago you told us that the Conservatives are the party you most identify with.

I respect that. I respect the values of hard work, responsibility and public service which the Conservative party has traditionally stood for.

In our constituency, independent polls show that the party with the best chance of beating Labour is the SNP.

A vote for me is a vote for a committed local candidate who understands your values, your concerns and your priorities.

People who live in our local area deserve to be confident that their MP will stand up for them, and be available and accessible to local people.

If I am elected, I will be a full time local MP, with the interests of East Renfrewshire and all our communities at heart. I will commit to serve the full term of parliament.

On the 7th May, I’m asking for your vote, for everyone in East Renfrewshire, and for a stronger Scotland.

Warm regards,

Kirsten Oswald SNP