The Tories are better placed to defeat the SNP in some areas of Scotland according Kezia Dugdale. The Scottish Labour leader made the extraordinary claim during a live TV interview.
Speaking on SKY News, Dugdale was asked who voters should back in order to defeat the SNP. Responding, the MSP said: “The reality is that in the vast majority of seats across Scotland it’s only the Labour party that can beat the SNP.”
However in what appeared to be a signal to some Labour voters that they should give their support to the Conservatives, Ms Dugdale added: “There are a few differences, in the Borders and Highlands, where the Tories might be better placed.”
The comments from the Scottish Labour leader come only days after her party was plunged into a civil war after councillors in Aberdeen were suspended from the party after entering a coalition with the Conservatives. The pact meant the SNP, who emerged the largest party after the council elections, remained in opposition.
The party has been plunged into chaos with some Tory pacts being ruled out but others apparently deemed acceptable. In North Lanarkshire the Labour party is reported to have regained control of the local authority after securing the backing of the Conservative group.
North Lanarkshire SNP MSP Clare Adamson said: “Labour have sold-out to the Tories in a desperate bid to retain power, despite losing the election to the SNP. I shudder to think what concessions Scottish Labour have made to the Tories in respect of vital local services in order to seal this desperate deal.”
The general election is witnessing an increase in so-called tactical voting with pro-Union parties vying for the support of local pro-Union voters in target constituencies. The SNP, which won 56 of the 59 available seats in the 2015 general election, is expected to lose some seats to its pro-Union rivals. However Nicola Sturgeon’s party is still expected to win the Scottish branch of the general election comfortably.