LDV Top Tip: If you’re going to accuse your opponent of negative campaigning, don’t call him names

Edinburgh Western’s SNP candidate Toni Giugliano has been telling anyone who’ll listen that his Liberal Democrat rival Alex Cole-Hamilton has been fighting a negative campaign. He certainly went to town on that particular theme when interviewed by a Herald journalist who was writing a profile on the seat.

The first words in the article are Giugliano’s:

“HE’S spineless,” says the SNP’s Toni Giugliano of his Liberal Democrat nemesis Alex Cole-Hamilton. “He’ll do and say anything to get elected.”

The problem is that in Scotland these days, any criticism of the SNP is seen by them as negative campaigning. Holding the Government and elected representatives to account is a vital part of any healthy democracy and the SNP’s record in West Edinburgh has given cause for concern. The current MP, who narrowly defeated our Mike Crockart last year, resigned the SNP whip pending an investigation over property deals. She took 9 months to open an office in the constituency.

The main features of Alex’s campaign have been first and foremost to promote him as the candidate, to outline Lib Dem policies like the penny on income tax to invest in education, improving mental health care, meeting our climate change targets (important as two of the roads in the constituency are the most polluted in Scotland) and putting local accountability back into policing. Thirdly, it’s to emphasise what people know only too clearly from last year – that the constituency race is between Alex and the SNP. Fourthly, it’s to hold the SNP to account on its record locally and nationally.

You can tell that he’s getting somewhere when the Press and Journal highlighted Alex as one of the candidates to watch across Scotland.

Also the odds on him winning were 20-1 at the start. Now they are 3-1.

On Thursday, Alex had an interesting conversation with Colin Fox, the leader of RISE (a socialist/left coalition):

Clearly the 45% of the vote that they are predicted to get isn’t enough for them.

No chickens are being counted in the writing of this post. Who has time to count poultry when there is so much to do before Thursday.? Seriously, a couple of weeks ago, we were thinking this campaign had been going on forever with no end in sight – and now we’re thinking “Yikes, we’ve got so much to get done in these last few days.” But we know that we could pull off a game-changing result and we’re going to give it our absolute best shot.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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One Comment

  • Scott Berry 30th Apr '16 - 7:03pm

    Good luck. Starting to rebuild against the SNP isn’t just about this election either, it’s also key to the next general election for our party. Sounds like you’re all doing great work!

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