Pro-Union voters should not “flirt” with smaller parties like George Galloway’s, Douglas Ross has said, claiming they will reduce the overall number of MSPs who oppose Scottish independence.
The Scottish Conservative leader was referring to All for Unity, a small party which intends to contest list seats in the Scottish Parliament elections.
An opinion poll at the weekend put All for Unity (also known as Alliance for Unity) on 4% of the list vote, which could be enough to gain it a single seat according to one analysis.
Mr Ross said this would come at the cost of reducing other pro-Union parties’ MSPs in the list vote.
Speaking on Tuesday, he said: “The numbers are clear in opinion polls.
“The fringe, smaller parties do enough to take support away from all pro-UK parties but don’t get enough support to have a significant number of MSPs elected.”
Referring to the recent poll in The Sunday Times, he added: “It showed that support for Alliance for Unity may just scrape one MSP being elected at the expense of seven or eight pro-UK MSPs.
“That is the real message to people, that flirting with a new, unestablished party will actually play into the hands of the SNP and the nationalists rather than the pro-UK bloc of MSPs.”
Mr Ross had earlier suggested an electoral pact with Scottish Labour and the Liberal Democrats to help pro-UK MSPs get elected.
He said this was “very different” to the approach taken by Alex Salmond’s Alba party, which is only contesting regional list seats.
He continued: “There is an opportunity for people to give their party list vote to the Scottish Conservatives to stop an SNP majority and stop another referendum.
“That was the tried and tested method that worked in 2016 and that can work again in this election.”
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