Ten ways Willie Rennie made Scotland smile during #sp16

Many of the defining images of the election in Scotland have come from Willie Rennie. He has had a lot of serious points to make during this election, highlighting the need to invest in education, transform mental health, stand up for civil liberties, protect the planet from climate change and stop the SNP’s suffocating control and centralisation of public services, but he’s had tonnes of fun illustrating them.

In 2006, his by-election victory in Dunfermline was helped by an image on the front page of the Courier from the top of the Forth Rail Bridge. He’s had some similarly fantastic photos and videos this campaign.  On Monday he went go-karting and his photo on the podium afterwards, doing the “Schumi Jump” that Michael Schumacher always used to do when he won, made it into virtually every paper.

His bright and exuberant campaign has had loads of coverage and has caught people’s imagination. You know you are on the right track when people start repeating your campaign messages on the doorsteps. From a very challenging outlook, he has brought the party to the very real possibility of gaining a constituency seat against the SNP tomorrow. The media is watching Edinburgh Western and Alex Cole-Hamilton.

A lot of these photo-ops were very risky. Some could have been disastrous. Imagine the headlines if the canoe had capsized. Of course, one did go memorably wrong, but a few packets of Percy Pigs later, the journalists were laughing with rather than at us.

The manifesto launch was bright, exuberant and unforgettable. He got interviewed on a slide, for goodness sake.

There was the day they let him fly a plane.

And get in a canoe

And ride a zip wire

Much simpler this time – standing by a big clock to say that Scotland can’t afford to wait for the SNP to get round to doing stuff that actually matters:

They warn against working with children and animals, but Willie makes it work:

He even sings along with a nursery class

And here he is with animals – meeting a therapet to highlight the need for better mental health care:

Actually, that’s not the best picture of him with that particular dog. Here’s this from an earlier encounter with them, posted for entirely gratuitous reasons:

Willie and Therapet

 

And when it did go wrong, he showed he had a sense of humour:

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

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