Conservative council co-leader Douglas Lumsden claims the people of Aberdeen were misled by the SNP in the 2019 general election.
Councillor Lumsden lost the Aberdeen South UK parliament seat to SNP’s Stephen Flynn by just under four thousand votes with an electorate turnout of 69 per cent.
After a few days reflection Mr Lumsden said unsubstantiated claims aided the SNP in regaining Aberdeen South which the Conservatives had only just taken off Nicola Sturgeon’s party in 2017.
Mr Lumsden said: “I believe the result went the way of the SNP because the people of Aberdeen South were misled.”
Misleading SNP claims
Mr Lumsden claims the SNP made a number of false pledges during the winter campaign including promising to prevent Brexit and removing Boris Johnson from Downing Street.
“Nicola Sturgeon stood on a platform of stopping Brexit, locking Boris out of number 10 and they also asked Labour voters to lend them their support. But we still have Brexit, Boris is in number 10 and now we also have the SNP saying they have a mandate for a second divisive independence referendum.”
Second referendum chances
One of the principal factors in the SNP’s argument for a second independence referendum is the UK leaving Europe.
The Brexit referendum came after the independence vote with all thirty two council areas of Scotland voting to remain in Europe. However voting trends in England and Wales tipped the balance for the UK to leave the EU taking Scotland out of the European power block seemingly against the country’s will.
Because of this the SNP argue a second referendum on independence should be held.
But even with the SNP’s resounding victory in the general election Mr Lumsden believes Nicola Sturgeon will not get the second independence vote she so desires. This is partly due to the convoluted voting figures which could have been skewed by the Brexit debate.
“The SNP vote share included many labour voters who lent them their vote. The independence vote in 2014 was “once in a generation” and the will of the people of Scotland in rejecting it should be respected.”
So far Conservative leader Boris Johnson has stuck by his pledge not to give the SNP permission for a second referendum.
SNP “borrowing” Labour votes
Vote share swing figures between Labour and the SNP suggest Labour voters turned away from their party and lent support to the SNP in order to create a louder voice in protest against Brexit.
According to electionpolling.co.uk, in Aberdeen South Labour’s change in vote share from the 2017 election was down twelve points while SNP’s was up thirteen points.
In Scotland as a whole, BBC figures show SNP made a gain of just over eight points while Labour’s share of the votes fell by eight and a half points.
The future of the Scottish Conservatives
The Conservatives have only held Aberdeen South twice in twenty seven years with their last two campaigns being some of the best results for the party since 1992.
With the election out the way Mr Lumsden says the next phase for the Scottish Conservatives is to begin preparing for the Holyrood elections while also holding the SNP to account for their governing of Scotland.
“Next I want to see a positive manifesto for the 2021 Holyrood election which will also highlight the failure of the SNP government over the last 12 years.”
While the SNP has been in power drug related deaths have risen in Scotland to the highest level since records began. The National Records of Scotland identified 1,187 deaths by drug use in Scotland in 2018, the highest in Europe.
Mr Flynn was contacted for his opinion on the general election results but is currently on paternity leave.