Jo Swinson’s election car-share

It is a truth pretty much universally acknowledged that East Dunbartonshire is one of the key battlegrounds and best hopes for a Lib Dem gain in the UK. Our Jo Swinson is fighting to regain the seat she lost to the SNP in 2015. I’ve been in the constituency twice this week and have been impressed by the number of Jo Swinson posters in people’s gardens. It feels much more visible than it did back in 2005 when she was first elected.

The Scottish Sun has done an election car-share type thing with her in which she talks about life in and out of politics – including her early days of campaigning back at school.

I tell you what I did crusade on at my school Douglas Academy. I was on the school council and one of the campaigns I ran was for uniforms to be changed so that girls could wear trousers if they wanted to.

“I didn’t particularly want to wear trousers but I thought it a matter of principle. I made my case about how it would be warmer if they could wear them in the winter.

“And I remember the assistant head saying to me quite pointedly, ‘Well it might be warmer than a very short skirt’.

She also talked about her experience working in the lingerie department of Marks and Spencer’s.

Elsewhere, Dani Garavelli has written a profile of the seat for Scotland on Sunday.

Two years on, however, she hopes her pro-UK, pro-European stance will go down well in a constituency where 61 per cent of voters opted to stay in the UK and 71 per cent to stay in the EU. She is urging former supporters to return to the fold and overturn Nicolson’s 2,167 majority. Swinson’s confidence will have been bolstered by the local elections, where the Lib Dems doubled their councillors from three to six. The SNP, meanwhile, lost a councillor, but still eclipsed Labour to become the biggest party. For the first time ever, East Dunbartonshire local authority is being led by a minority SNP administration.

Senior party figures have been rushing to the seat to help Jo. Tim Farron kicked off his Scottish tour here a few weeks ago. Sal Brinton was there to help last night:

Today Willie Rennie is making another visit there, where he will say:

This election is important to people. We’ve been really surprised at quite how many people have told us on the doorsteps that they’re getting fed up with the SNP.

Last time the SNP won 56 out of 59 seats in Scotland. People don’t want that again. They want to send the SNP a message that they can’t have everything their own way.

It is the Liberal Democrats who can spearhead that in places like East Dunbartonshire, Edinburgh West, North East Fife, the Highlands, Argyll and the North East.

Votes for the Liberal Democrats will send a message to stop yet another divisive independence referendum from the nationalists.

The Scottish economy is teetering on the edge of a recession, the performance of Scottish education is dropping down the international rankings and mental health services are failing to deliver the care we expect.

People should use their vote to change the direction of the country away from anther divisive independence referendum.

People can make their vote count in favour of education, mental health and long term investment in our economy by backing the Liberal Democrats.

* Newshound: bringing you the best Lib Dem commentary published in print or online.

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