Scotland election odds: Who you can vote for – FIVE main parties and what they stand for

Scotland ‘can’t afford to be independent’ says Scottish voter

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Scotland’s next general election is just days away as voters descend to the ballot box. Scots will have the chance to vote in democratically elected representatives who will work on their behalf across a number of devolved issues including health, education, housing, justice and the environment. Everyone in Scotland is represented by eight MSPs, comprised of one for their constituency and seven more for the larger electoral region within which they live. The SNP has been in power since 2011 after which it formed Holyrood’s first majority government and largely dominates the political scene in Scotland – here’s who else is standing for election and what they represent.


The SNP is led by the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, and looks well on track to win a fourth term in office following this election.

The party is seeking an overall majority to gain a strong mandate for independence, which is one of its central policies.

The SNP also wants to:

  • Increase NHS frontline spending by more than £2.5billion
  • Create a National Care Service
  • Freeze income tax and bands
  • Provide free school lunches and breakfasts to primary school children
  • Pilot a four-day working week
  • Build 100,000 new homes by 2032, keeping 70 percent of those for social housing

Scottish Conservatives

The Scottish Conservative party is headed by Douglas Ross, who opposes Ms Sturgeon in her aim to leave the UK.

As well as being against another independence referendum, the Scottish Tories want to:

  • Rebuild the country from the Covid pandemic crisis and “end division”
  • Invest an additional £2billion in the NHS
  • Tackle unemployment by making it the top priority of the next Government, including a £500 ‘Retrain to Rebuild’ grant
  • Create at least 200,000 jobs, investing in improving roads and railways
  • A full-fibre broadband rollout for the country
  • Make an education catch up plan, including bringing on more than 3,000 additional teachers
  • Focus on more local policing

Scottish Labour Party

Scotland’s Labour faction is led by Anas Sarwar, who is also against a second independence referendum in Scotland.

Instead, Mr Sarwar says he and his party aim to shift the focal point away from IndyRef2 and onto a recovery program for Covid.

The party, if elected, aims to:

  • Restart the NHS post-pandemic, with a focus on prioritising cancer patients, improving mental health and increasing pay for carers
  • Guarantee a job for every under-25 in Scotland, equating to 60,000 new jobs
  • Put in place a ‘personal comeback plan’ for every school child after the pandemic
  • Double the Scottish Child Payment to £20
  • Invest in green jobs by retrofitting all homes by 2030 and building energy efficient council houses
  • Create a community recovery fund to invest in local areas

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The Scottish Green Party

The Scottish Greens have two co-leaders, Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater, and is another pro-independence party.

The Greens are heavily focused on tackling climate change and devolved issues by:

Providing fast-action on the climate emergency, including a quick rollout of low carbon domestic heating and supporting the onshore wind sector
Bigger investment in Scotland’s railways and an integrated transport system
Creating jobs through the energy transition to net zero emissions
Paying health and social care workers at least £15 per hour
Swapping school exams for a model of continuous assessment
Doubling the new Scottish Child Payment to £20

Scottish Liberal Democrats

The Lib Dems in Scotland are led by Willie Rennie and is the smallest of the five main political parties in the country.

The Lib-Dems are pro-union, meaning they don’t want independence, and instead wants to push for federalism.

The Lib Dems’ main policies are:

Invest in mental health by directing 15 percent of health spending to the issue, training more specialists for hospitals, workplaces and schools
Guarantee a job for every qualified teacher in Scotland under an education bounce-back plan
Double the Scottish Child Payment to £20
Tackle homelessness by building 60,000 affordable new homes
Declare a ‘nature emergency’ alongside the climate emergency and create a green jobs revolution
Guarantee a job or training for young people aged up to 24

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