Elec­tion eyes will be on R’glen

Ruther­glen must be held by Labour to stop wipe­out

Rutherglen Reformer - - Front Page - Dou­glas Dickie

The eyes of Scot­land could be on Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang to­mor­row ( Thurs­day) night when the re­sults of the Gen­eral Elec­tion start to fil­ter through.

Ruther­glen and Hamil­ton West has been the first Scot­tish seat to de­clare in the past two gen­eral elec­tions.

If that pat­tern is re­peated to­mor­row night, it will give the first in­di­ca­tor of how big a swing there has been from Labour to the SNP.

The Ruther­glen seat is one of the few na­tion­wide where Labour are still seen as the fron­trun­ners.

Tom Greatrex is de­fend­ing a ma­jor­ity of 21,002 but even that doesn’t seem safe with the SNP tak­ing an un­prece­dented lead in the polls into the fi­nal days.

Mr Greatrex will be hop­ing his rep­u­ta­tion as a hands-on MP will see him through, but Mar­garet Ferrier of the SNP will hold gen­uine hopes of tak­ing the seat.

Labour re­main slight favourites with the book­ies, but the odds have nar­rowed as the cam­paign has gone on.

The seat has been ear­marked as a “must-win” by Labour in­sid­ers, while David Clegg, po­lit­i­cal edi­tor at our sis­ter pa­per, the Daily

Record, told the Re­former this week the prospect of los­ing the seat didn’t bear think­ing about for the party.

He said: “Labour – and the SNP – will be keep­ing a close eye on the re­sult in Ruther­glen where Tom Greatrex is de­fend­ing a huge ma­jor­ity.

“A mas­sive swing to the SNP would be the first sign that the night is go­ing to go as badly for Labour as the polls sug­gest.

“If the SNP win the seat, then sug­ges­tions they could com­pletely wipe Labour out might not be wide of the mark.

“It is cru­cial for the Labour Party in Scot­land that they hold Ruther­glen and Hamil­ton West.”

Mr Greatrex said this week: “Like ev­ery other can­di­date here, I have been fo­cussed on get­ting across to vot­ers my record and my party’s poli­cies as we de­cide who will rep­re­sent us in Par­lia­ment for the next five years. As one of the first seats in Scot­land to de­clare, our con­stituency may also give a good in­di­ca­tion of the trends of elec­tion night in Scot­land – but it will also be cru­cial in de­ter­min­ing whether we are sad­dled with five more years of Ge­orge Os­borne’s Tory aus­ter­ity, or a bet­ter and fairer ap­proach from a Labour gov­ern­ment.

“With polls across the rest of the UK neck and neck, who ends up the largest party and there­fore in the best po­si­tion to form the gov­ern­ment looks like it will be determined here in Scot­land. SNP votes can only help the Tories get back into of­fice – and Labour votes can help get the change of gov­ern­ment I be­lieve we need.”

Mar­garet Ferrier said she was con­fi­dent she would win the seat, adding: “In Labour’s safest seat of Kirk­caldy and Cowdenbeath the SNP were in­stalled as favourites fol­low­ing a poll by Ashcroft. We have only the re­ac­tion on the doorsteps to go by and I have to say it is very pos­i­tive.

“Vot­ers are not just turn­ing to the SNP to keep the Tories out, they feel let down by Labour and are vot­ing SNP to keep Labour out as well.

“And that should sur­prise no- one as both Tory and Labour pro­pose fur­ther aus­ter­ity and fur­ther cuts in our ser­vices to the tune of £30bil­lion.

“I ex­pect the re­sult to be close and on Thurs­day we could be in for a long night fol­low­ing a long cam­paign.

“We will be pulling out all the stops in the fi­nal hours to make sure ev­ery SNP vote is cast. If we can achieve that then we can win here, it’s as sim­ple as that.”

The Con­ser­va­tive and Lib­eral Demo­crat can­di­dates, how­ever, said vot­ers had a choice other than Labour or the SNP.

Con­ser­va­tive Tay­lor Muir said: “The only wasted vote is a vote for poli­cies you don’t be­lieve in. If you want the Con­ser­va­tives to be able to form a gov­ern­ment then you need to vote for us. Scot­land in the Union and the re­cov­ery con­tin­ued – if you want it then vote for it.”

Lib Dem can­di­date Tony Hughes said: “The fight be­tween the SNP and Labour has been ex­tremely uned­i­fy­ing and has di­verted at­ten­tion away from the key is­sues of the econ­omy, op­por­tu­ni­ties for young peo­ple and the NHS.

“Lib­eral Democrats have de­liv­ered a stronger econ­omy and a fairer so­ci­ety and have an­chored the UK gov­ern­ment in the cen­tre ground.

“I be­lieve peo­ple in Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang have in­creas­ingly warmed to our mes­sage and I look for­ward to a solid re­sult for the Lib­eral Democrats on Thurs­day.”

Labour Tom Greatrex

CISTA Yvonne MacLean

Con­ser­va­tive Tay­lor Muir

Can­di­dates Lib­eral Demo­crat Tony Hughes and the SNP’s Mar­garet Ferrier

UKIP can­di­date Jan­ice Mackay

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