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2016 Scottish Parliament Election
#1
Campaigning goes here
Andy
Advisor for the Labour Party, the Home Office and the Department for Environment, Communities, and the Regions
Poll wrangler and election psephologist
Scandalmonger

I forget Andy has political opinions. I always just think of him as a Civil Servant in real life - Mac
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#2
Scottish Labour’s Key Messages

In the Scottish economy, too many jobs are low-paid and insecure, many on zero-hours contracts. We will only lose in a race to the bottom on pay and conditions. Instead the Scottish Government should lead by example in creating a high-wage, fair conditions economy. Scottish Labour will ensure that government contracts are only awarded to companies who treat their workers fairly, don’t participate in discriminatory practices, and pay their workers at least the real living wage. Making Scotland a living wage country is a fair deal for workers.

Scottish Labour is committed to working with businesses to create wealth for Scotland through higher productivity, increased connectivity, and certainty for investment. As a long-term partner, we will support Scottish manufacturing with a new Industrial Strategy that secures the long term future of Scotland’s industry. We will provide patient capital and support to Scottish industry, business and Green and High-Tech industries via the Scottish Investment Bank. Scotland can lead the way on innovation through a fair deal for business.

Buses provide a lifeline to many communities, especially in rural areas. However the market is broken with declining services and increased fares. Many rural and isolated communities are becoming cut off from the country by poor public transport. Scottish Labour wants to give bus users, employees, and councils a greater say over services and fares. It is time for the buses to serve people, not profit. It is a fair deal for Scottish communities.

The current SNP administration prefers the blame game to making change in Scotland. We have the powers to transform our future, lift people out of poverty, and give every equal chance to succeed. While the Conservatives slash welfare and hurt ordinary working people, Scottish Labour is determined to put Scotland on a different path. We will ask the richest to contribute a little bit more to reverse cuts to public services, scrap the hated Bedroom Tax, and invest in our future. That is a fair deal for Scotland.

Because Scottish Labour is determined to make different choices on tax, we can afford to protect NHS spending and ensure a health service free at the point of need. With our NHS in crisis with declining standards of care, we need to do more. Our GP practices are increasingly under-staffed and under-resourced as a result of over £1 billion in cuts from the SNP. Scottish Labour is committed to reversing them, and guaranteeing that you can see a GP within 48 hours. It is a fair deal for Scottish patients.

Scottish Labour will make the fair choices for Scotland and its future. Our future prosperity depends on education and skills, so we will invest in it. For too many children, our education system is failing. The SNP’s cuts mean fewer staff in our schools — teachers, support staff and classroom assistants who so often make all the difference. We can do better than this, and that starts with investment. We will protect education spending in Scotland, and increase it in real terms every single year of the next Parliament. Under Scottish Labour, our children will get a fair deal.

A strong and prosperous Scottish economy requires more parents, especially women, to be helped back into the workforce. Everyone benefits from affordable and flexible childcare, particularly children from poorer backgrounds who already face such high barriers. But the current system is inflexible, fails to meet parents’ needs, and lets children down. Scottish Labour will provide the flexible, year-round and wrap-around affordable childcare families need. It is the pro-business, pro-family fair deal that Scotland needs.

Nursery and primary schools are critical to overcome the educational inequality, and gap in development between poor kids and their richer peers. We need to direct more resources into those early-years to ensure that every kid gets the best start and the strongest opportunity to fulfil their potential. Not only will we protect and increase education funding, Scottish Labour will place more of it in the hands of nursery and primary head teachers through a Fair Start Fund.

In every election since 2003, the SNP have promised to scrap council tax. And since 2007, they have broken that promise. Scottish Labour will deliver on it, within the first half of the next Parliament. Around 80% of Scottish families will pay less in the future than under this out-of-date and unfair tax. Crucially exemptions for pensioners, young people, and singles will be maintained. It is time for the reform that you’ve been promised, but only under Scottish Labour will you get it. This is a fair deal for households in Scotland.
Amelia Lockhart
MP for Hull East (2010 - )

Leader of the Labour Party (2016 - )
Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities (2016 - )
Thanks given by:
#3
SNP Scottish Parliament Elections Key Messages List

1. The SNP has achieved much over the past five years at the head of a majority government: Since 2007 every home in Scotland has benefited in some way from SNP government policies. Under the SNP we have seen over 600 school projects delivered, childcare increased, record exam results, free school meals extended; record NHS funding of £13bn, more staff than ever, some of the fastest & best treatment anywhere in the UK; over 30,000 new affordable homes built with an investment of £1.7bn. Only by being re-elected at this election can we continue this record into yet another term in government.
2. The SNP is the only major party that is wholly accountable to the Scottish people: Unlike the Labour and Tory parties, the SNP is the only major party that is wholly accountable to the Scottish people. We’re not merely the Scottish branch of a larger English-dominated party. Only the SNP is committed to fighting for Scotland whether it be at Westminster, Brussels or Holyrood - unlike the Tories and Labour who are virtually indistinguishable on policy and are merely the Scottish representatives of British parties.
3. The SNP remains committed to fighting for a stronger Scottish Parliament: During the referendum, big promises were made to the people of Scotland by the UK parties. The main UK parties made a promise for more powers for Scotland and that the Barnett Formula which fairly allocates money to Scotland and after the referendum the UK Government set up the Smith Commission to decide which extra powers Scotland should get. The SNP made the case for substantial new powers to boost our economy, tackle inequality and build a fairer society. Yet the UK parties backtracked which ensured that 85% of UK welfare spending in Scotland will continue to be made in Westminster. Only limited new powers were proposed but we intend to make the most of these over the course of the new parliamentary term.
4. A re-elected SNP government at Holyrood will fight against British govt attempts to force Scotland to leave the EU: If, in the event of a Leave vote in the European Union Referendum, the SNP pledges to stand up for Scotland in the event Scotland votes Remain. The SNP is a party of many different people with different political beliefs who have the shared goal of an independent Scottish nation - yet we are all also committed to defending Scotland’s position with regards to Europe if Scotland votes Remain and is threatened with being dragged out against its will by a Tory government trying to appease hard right eurosceptics on its backbenches. The SNP will fight tooth and nail at Holyrood and Westminster to preserve Scotland’s position regarding Europe whatever the result in June.
5. A re-elected SNP government will fight for and stand up for our National Health Service: If re-elected the SNP government will seek to increase the NHS revenue budget by £500 million more than inflation by the end of this parliament – which means that it will increase by almost £2 billion in total. We will also seek to reform the NHS to meet the challenge of an ageing population by investing an additional £1.3 billion in our health and social care partnerships, reforming primary care and increasing the numbers of GPs and nurses working in our communities. We will also seek to put in place a new 10 year plan to transform mental health and invest an additional £150mn to improve mental health services as well as an extra £100mn to improve cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment.
6. The SNP will continue to fight for affordable housing across Scotland and will fight to help people onto the housing ladder: Over the course of the next parliamentary term we in government will invest over £3bn to deliver at least 50,000 new affordable homes of which at least 35,000 will be houses for social rent. In govt. We have brought an end to the deeply harmful policy of right-to-buy and have protected 15,500 houses in the social rented sector for those who need them. We have, via targeting resources, have helped over 20,000 households into or up the property ladder - three quarters of them under the age of 35. This has helped to boost the Scottish economy, create jobs and provide homes for people across this country.
7. The SNP remains committed to protecting free education and will fight Tory attempts to bring tuition fees to Scotland: Under the SNP we have seen childcare increased, free school meals extended, record exam results, 607 school building projects completed, and free tuition for students. The SNP will always fight to protect free education and there will be no tuition fees with an SNP government. For the SNP, we believe that a good education is the best gift we can give our young people and children. By 2021 the SNP will have almost doubled the availability of free early learning and childcare to 30 hours a week for all 3 and 4 year olds - this will save over £3,000 per child per year. In order to deliver this the SNP will invest an additional £500mn a year by 2021 and create 600 new early learning and childcare centres with 20,000 more qualified staff.
8. The SNP will continue to deliver a safer Scotland with a strengthened police force to serve our communities and to fight crime: The SNP remains committed to delivering a safer and stronger Scotland for all the people of this country. Every member of society has the right to feel safe and have confidence in their police and fire services. We in the SNP will fight for strengthening the police force across the country - we have done this while in government in Holyrood with an extra £100mn being added to the police revenue budget. We have strengthened our police service with an extra thousand officers which has helped to reduce crime to a 41-year low. We will continue this with another term in govt.
9. The SNP will continue to fight for a fairer Scotland with measures to tackle fuel poverty and to increase child allowance: We pledge to introduce a Warm Homes Bill in order to help tackle fuel poverty in Scotland. While the Tory govt seeks to strip basic support for those who most need it, the SNP has sought to use new social security powers coming to the Scottish Parliament to transform the service people receive. We also pledge to protect the Scottish Welfare Fund as well as supporting young low income families at the key stages of their children’s lives with an expanded Maternity and Early Years Allowance in order to help tackle child poverty.
10. Both the Tories and Labour are two sides of the same coin - the SNP are the only main party not accountable to London: Labour were more than happy to support remaining in the United Kingdom even if it meant the potential of Tory austerity and cuts being loosed upon Scotland. This just shows that despite the rhetoric, Labour and the Tories are just two sides of the same coin. Both parties up here are still answerable to their larger London based parties - it’s imperative that the Scottish people have representation at Holyrood from a party that puts Scotland first as opposed to a vague case for Unionism and more power for London.

SNP Scottish Parliament elections High Profile Events

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First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon gives a speech in Edinburgh arguing for the Scottish electorate to return the SNP to another term in Holyrood

"Ladies and Gentlemen it is great to be here today.

Over the past nine years the Scottish National Party in govt has transformed Scotland and has brought this nation the closest it has ever come to regaining its independence in a considerable period of time. Let me make it clear that regardless of what side you were in the referendum in 2014, we can all agree that we love this country and that we all have a positive and vibrant vision of what Scotland can and will become. In becoming First Minister back in 2014, I made a pledge to the people of Scotland that I would be a First Minister for all of Scotland regardless of your politics, your point of view, or your stance on the national question - my job and the job of the SNP government is to serve the people of Scotland. It is my view and the view of the Scottish National Party that Scotland has benefited in a variety of ways from an SNP government and its policies.

In government since 2007 and a majority since 2011, we have seen the transformation of education in this country, the bolstering of our health service, the reformation of policing, record levels of employment and the construction of thousands of new affordable homes. Through government investments we have delivered modern learning environments in all levels of education as well as some significant improvements in transport in recent years. We in the Scottish National Party are proud of our achievements in government, however we know that there is still a lot of work to be done. As we say in our manifesto - our aim has always been to build a country where strong public services are underpinned by a successful economy. Yes, we are proud of our record, but we know there is still much more to do. With your support we can build on the achievements of the past nine years. Together, we can continue to shape a better future for Scotland for everybody who lives and works here.

Unlike the Tories or Labour, we are the only party which is wholly committed to Scotland and her people - standing up for Scotland is what we do. The Scottish National Party in government has ensured that various Scottish industries have been protected from closure and have been saved by this government - such as Scottish steel. What more when the Tories tried to cut Scotland's budget by £7bn, we ensured that they were seen off. In this election we in the Scottish National Party will be fighting on the policies that we have set out in our manifesto which seek to maintain and nurture a Scotland that is fair, equal and prosperous with opportunities for all to thrive and grow. Since 2007 every home in Scotland has benefited in some way from SNP government policies. Under the SNP we have seen over 600 school projects delivered, childcare increased, record exam results, free school meals extended; record NHS funding of £13bn, more staff than ever, some of the fastest & best treatment anywhere in the UK; over 30,000 new affordable homes built with an investment of £1.7bn.

Only by being re-elected at this election can we continue this record into yet another term in government. In this election we will be fighting on the issues that matter to the people of Scotland, unlike the Tories or Labour. The Tories only care about rerunning the referendum and extolling their Unionist virtues; Labour only care about ensuring they have a foothold in Scotland for the next Westminster election. We in the SNP have policies that seek to meet and tackle the issues that really matter to the people of Scotland. We in the SNP remain committed to fighting for a stronger Scottish Parliament as well as fighting against British government attempts to force Scotland to leave the European Union in the even that Scotland votes for Remain in the European Union referendum this year. What more a re-elected SNP government will fight for and stand up for OUR National Health Service. As we set out in our manifesto, a re-elected SNP government will seek to increase the NHS revenue budget by £500 million more than inflation by the end of this parliament – which means that it will increase by almost £2 billion in total. We will also seek to reform the NHS to meet the challenge of an ageing population by investing an additional £1.3 billion in our health and social care partnerships, reforming primary care and increasing the numbers of GPs and nurses working in our communities.

We will also seek to put in place a new 10 year plan to transform mental health and invest an additional £150mn to improve mental health services as well as an extra £100mn to improve cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment. We will fight for affordable housing across Scotland and to help people onto the housing ladder through the construction of at least 50,000 new affordable homes of which at least 35,000 of which will be houses for social rent. The SNP remains committed to protecting free education and will fight against Tory attempts to bring tuition fees to Scotland. Indeed under the SNP we in Scotland have seen childcare increased, free school meals extended, record exam results, 607 school building projects completed, and free tuition for students. The SNP will always fight to protect free education and there will be no tuition fees with an SNP government. For the SNP, we believe that a good education is the best gift we can give our young people and children.

The SNP will also continue to deliver a safer Scotland with a strengthened police force to serve our communities and to fight crime. We have done this through an extra £100mn being added to the police revenue budget and we have also strengthened our police service with an extra thousand officers which has helped to reduce crime to a 41-year low. The SNP has also continued to fight for a fairer Scotland with measures to tackle fuel poverty and to increase child allowance. We pledge to protect the Scottish Welfare Fund as well as supporting young low income families at the key stages of their children’s lives with an expanded Maternity and Early Years Allowance in order to help tackle child poverty.

I and my party are immensely proud of the what has been achieved in Scotland over the last nine years. Scotland has come a long way, but there is still a lot more good work to be done. The journey ahead for a fairer, more equal and prosperous Scotland is far from over. So I ask that you all join us on the next step on this journey and take the next steps forward with a re-elected SNP government at Holyrood.

Thank you all very much and remember to vote SNP on this 5th May!"

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SNP Westminster leader Eilidh NicEachainn joins the First Minister to argue for the re-election of the SNP Government in the devolved parliamentary elections

"Ladies and Gentlemen its a great privilege to be here today helping make the case for why the Scottish National Party should be afforded another term in government at Holyrood. That's a very important point to me - the SNP is in govt, thanks not to a hierarchical party leadership structure or the support of a greater party structure down south of the border - rather the SNP is here in govt solely thanks to the support and continued blessing of the Scottish people. When this party was founded back in 1934, it united two differing political parties - the Scottish Party and the National Party of Scotland - both of whom agreed that it was imperative that Scotland had a say over its own destiny and had, at the very least its own devolved parliament.

Over eighty years later we are sat here having surpassed these early pioneers in Scottish patriotism’s wildest dreams. At the referendum we came exceptionally close to gaining independence for Scotland from the United Kingdom for the first time in several centuries. Were it not for the actions of the British government and its Project Fear, then I am sure that we would be holding the first elections to the Parliament of the newly independent state of Scotland. Alas we in the SNP are forward thinking people, who believe that Scotland's best days are before us, not behind us.

Until 2015, Westminster politics in Scotland had been a stitch up between the Tories and Labour. Not since 1918 had a party polled more votes and seats than either the Tories or Labour. Back then it was the exhausted disjointed Liberal Party propped up by the Tories, nowadays it is the vibrant independent-minded and united Scottish National Party. It is a great pleasure to be the Westminster leader of the SNP, however for once I shall be shifting my focus away from Westminster and towards Holyrood. While at this election the Tories and Labour will go to great lengths to show that they are fierce enemies... well the past few years have shown that sort of situation to be far from the truth. Labour were more than happy to support remaining in the United Kingdom even if it meant the potential of Tory austerity and cuts being loosed upon Scotland. This just shows that despite the rhetoric, Labour and the Tories are just two sides of the same coin. Both parties up here are still answerable to their larger London based parties - it’s imperative that the Scottish people have representation at Holyrood from a party that puts Scotland first as opposed to a vague case for Unionism or closer links with London.

Labour will bring the big guns up here to Scotland in order to make the case of their party returning to power at Holyrood. Except that is not really what they are seeking to do. Labour simply want to provide a springboard for the next Westminster election so they can return a large Scottish contingent and do as they had done for decades - take Scottish voters and their concerns for granted. The Tories meanwhile are going to try getting in via the backdoor by making this election a referendum on the SNP government at Holyrood. They do this solely to divert away from the fact that their policies are deeply harmful and hurt a lot of people in Scotland. For it was not the SNP which brought in 'welfare reform' that harms lower income families especially. It was not the SNP that sought to gut the Scottish budget. In both instances it was the same old nasty party - the Tories.

The SNP are fighting this election with the aim of helping to make Scotland into a fairer, more equal and prosperous nation. Whether it be through the increases in childcare, extension of free school meals or record exam results - the SNP is taking the lead of bolstering and improving education in Scotland. Whether it be recording funding our of National Health Service with a record £13 billion budget for Scotland's NHS, more staff than ever before or patients getting some of the fastest and best treatment anywhere in the UK - the SNP is taking the lead on the issue of health. Whether it be our small business bonus, jobs & businesses being protecting during the recession or the slashing of business rates for almost 100,000 premises - it is the SNP which is taking the lead on helping to foster a more prosperous Scotland.

On issues like broadband for rural Scotland, it is the SNP which has proposed the £400 million to help deliver superfast broadband to all parts of Scotland by the time of the next election. Under the SNP we have seen over 30,000 new affordable homes built - far exceeding our target over the course of this Parliament, with an investment of £1.7 billion. We in the SNP, as we say in our manifesto, will built at least another 50,000 more affordable homes over the course of the next Parliament. Unlike in England, we have ensured that Council Tax is kept down, by over £450 per year. We have lead the way with the abolition of the prescription charge, unlike in England where the Tories force English patients to pay nearly £9 per item. What more the SNP has stood up for Scottish industry - we have secured a future for Scottish steel, the last remaining aluminium smelter at Lochaber, and Ferguson shipyard too.

So I ask the people of Scotland to join us on our journey to create a fairer, more equal and prosperous Scotland. We have made great leaps forward over the past nine years with many of the policy areas we have led on being mentioned here and in our manifesto. Just think what we could achieve with another term to continue the good work of the past nine years. With the new powers over tax and social security, you can rest assured that we will not squander our opportunity to expand Scotland's economy and lift even more people out of poverty. That's not something you could hear Labour tout, nor ever hear the Tories argue for.

Thank you all for listening and remember to vote SNP on May the 5th."
Eilidh NicEachainn MP
Scottish National Party | Banff and Buchan
Westminster Leader of the Scottish National Party
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#4
Amelia Lockhart, leader of the Labour Party, joined Kezia Dugdale in Edinburgh to speak about Scottish Labour's Fair Deal for Scotland. 

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Ladies and gentleman, 

It is great to join Kezia in Edinburgh today. I am so proud of the campaign she, and the entire of Scottish Labour, have fought. Without your ideas, your principles, and your courage this election would have lacked the vision of a new Scotland. 

I know that with Kezia as First Minister, Scotland will have a brighter and fairer future. This election is about turning a page on the Tory-SNP austerity, and about using the powers the Scottish Parliament has to effect real change. We can either spend the next Parliament fighting past battles, or we can protect our public services through radical action. Scottish Labour is the real alternative in this election; it is the only alternative, to 9 years of broken promises in Holyrood. A Fair Deal for all of Scotland is what we offer. 

After 9 years of SNP rule, a fair deal is what Scotland so desperately needs. SNP austerity has shattered the hopes and dreams of so many in Scotland. This is the SNP record:
  • Six out of ten jobs created in Scotland in the last four years have been in low paid, insecure work. Wages have not kept pace with inflation since the Government were re-elected in 2011.
  • A rise in child poverty; that decline that we saw under Labour, our proudest achievement, now going in the other direction.
  • 6,000 children left Scottish primary schools last year unable to read properly, having spent every year of their formal education under the SNP.

We cannot continue on this same path. Under Scottish Labour, we will see real change. 
It is Scottish Labour that will lead the way in asking the richest few to pay that little more so that communities, public services, and our country can lead the way. I am so proud of Scottish Labour’s manifesto that will use Scotland’s tax raising powers to protect welfare, education, and NHS spending from the Tories and SNP. 

No longer will we accept a SNP Education Minister promising to cut class sizes, but cut teacher numbers instead. And no longer will we accept a Health Secretary promising to eliminate delayed discharge, but turned the winter crisis into an all year round one instead. Rather than accepting the slow decline of our public services under the two administrations of the SNP and Tories, Scottish Labour has a plan to get them back on track, and to get standards rising. 

Record levels of funding, placed in the hands of those who know the priorities, and with targets for you to hold us account on: that is Scottish Labour’s offering. We cannot succeed as a nation, if our public services are run into the ground. This election is your opportunity to stop the SNP from doing exactly that. A Scottish Labour Government means being able to see your GP in 48 hours, whereas a SNP Government means seeing your GP disappear from the community altogether. That is a Fair Deal for Scotland. 

Under Scottish Labour, Scotland will become the first Living Wage nation in the United Kingdom. It will be a Government dedicated to using the power of the public and its mandate to shape a fairer, freer economy for all: one where exploitation is banished, pay is fair for all, and businesses are leading the way on innovation. We will work with every company to create the green, inclusive, and sustainable economy for all, not browbeat them or intimidate them for their political opinions. A fair deal for Scotland requires greater cooperation, not more division, between Government and businesses. Only under Scottish Labour will you get that.   

In the final few days before these elections, I am drawn to the words of a fellow female socialist, Barbara Castle. She said “in politics, guts is all”, and Scottish Labour have those guts – those principles – to chart a new course for Scotland. We offer a Fair Deal for all. 

Thank you.

Amelia Lockhart
MP for Hull East (2010 - )

Leader of the Labour Party (2016 - )
Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities (2016 - )
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