No campaign stands shoulder to shoulder with UKIP
The increasing influence of UKIP south of the border – and the party’s complete lack of support in Scotland – demonstrates the increasingly divergent paths taken by Scotland and Westminster, an SNP MSP has said.
As UKIP’s support in the rest of the UK has continued to grow – with the Westminster parties adopting an increasingly Eurosceptic stance in response, and shifting the centre of gravity amongst the Westminster parties even further to the right – Westminster’s ability to represent Scotland in Europe is non-existent.
A recent opinion poll across the UK found that UKIP are set to win the largest share of the vote in the upcoming European Parliament elections. This is in stark contrast to the position in Scotland, where UKIP is struggling to register any support - the party has yet to even save its deposit in a single Westminster or Scottish Parliament election or by-election, and has no councillors.
Commenting, SNP MSP Christian Allard said:
“While UKIP are topping the polls south of the border, north of the border they are barely functioning as a party, and have never even saved their deposit in Scotland in any Westminster or Scottish Parliament election or by-election. They don't even have a single councillor. This perfectly demonstrates the tale of two countries as Scotland continues to diverge from the Westminster system.
“People in Scotland want to see positive engagement with the EU – and that is why the SNP are leading the polls in Scotland, with our positive vision of an independent Scotland with a seat at the top table in Europe.
“There is no hiding from the fact that the No parties are dancing to UKIP’s tune – first we face threats of a referendum to rip us out of the EU, and now the Deputy Prime Minister debates Nigel Farage for the second time in a fortnight.
“The irony, of course, is that the Lib Dems, Labour and the Tories are united with the Europhobic UKIP in all supporting a No vote in Scotland's referendum - when it comes to Scotland, UKIP and the Westminster parties stand shoulder to shoulder.
“A majority of people across Scotland want to see a debate between the First Minister and the Prime Minister ahead of the referendum – they will be no doubt be wondering why the Deputy Prime Minister has so much time to waste on Nigel Farage, when the Prime Minister has no time for Scotland.
“A Yes vote will enable Scotland to play a positive, constructive role at the heart of the EU - instead of being carried along on the tide of Westminster’s UKIP-led Europhobia, and risking isolation with the Tories’ in/out referendum in 2017.”
A ComRes poll on the European elections for the Independent on Sunday published in March showed UKIP in the lead in the UK, on 30% of the vote: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/ukip-in-pole-position-for-european-elections-9194810.html
The most recent Scotland-only European election poll for the Scotsman showed the SNP leading on 41% of the vote – with UKIP on only 6%: http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/top-stories/labour-to-trail-snp-in-pre-referendum-election-1-3351111