The SNP is a ‘contaminated political brand’ and the party should not put up a candidate to fight the highly marginal Edinburgh West seat at the UK general election on 8 June.
Soon after winning the seat at the last election for the SNP, the £-millionaire MP Michelle Thomson become involved in allegations relating to her property business interests.
Now the newly-established Scotland’s Independence Referendum Party is urging SNP leader and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, to not put up a replacement candidate in place of Thomson – who has since been suspended from the party.
Mark R. Whittet, the Edinburgh businessman who is Leader of Scotland’s Independence Referendum Party – who will be the SIRP candidate in Edinburgh West (where he is a local resident) – said:
“As a result of these sleazy allegations, the SNP ‘brand’ is entirely contaminated in Edinburgh West and voters traditionally shun parties and/or candidates with such baggage as soon as they get the chance.
“Edinburgh West is a highly marginal Westminster seat which the SNP won from the Liberals with a majority of less than 6% in the 2015 general election Scottish independence tsunami.
“The SNP majority took Edinburgh West with a 39% share of the vote. The Liberals were second with 33% and the Tories were in third place with 12.3%
“With a toxic sitting MP (Michelle Thomson) and a contaminated brand, the SNP can only lose Edinburgh West at the next election – especially as the Tories are urging voters to support the best placed pro-Unionist candidate ( including those from the Labour and Liberal parties) to defeat SNP candidates.
“If Tory voters in Edinburgh West heed the ‘anyone but the SNP’ call, the Liberals will win the seat.
“That is why Scotland’s Independence Referendum Party is calling on Nicola Sturgeon – as SNP leader – not to put up a candidate in Edinburgh West.
“This would give SNP voters a meaningful choice – instead of a wasted ‘first past the post vote’ and enable Scotland’s Independence Referendum Party to maximise the pro-Scottish Independence vote.
“Whether the SNP stand in Edinburgh West or not – they are virtually certain to lose the seat.
“The only issue Sturgeon has to decide is whether she wants the SNP to gift Edinburgh West to the Liberals – or maximise the prospect of a pro-Scottish Independence MP being elected from Scotland’s Independence Referendum Party.”
“The aims and objectives of Scotland’s Independence Referendum Party are similar to those of the SNP and if elected as a SIRP MP for Edinburgh West, I would support the SNP in the Westminster parliament in vigorously putting Scotland’s interests first.”