It might be the second smallest Constituency in the UK in terms of voter numbers but Orkney & Shetland is surely the most difficult one to physically campaign in. In a short campaign as we have with GE17 it does not give candidates much time to get out and meet the electorate. This problem is compounded as the islands of Orkney (with the exception of Mainland) all use postal ballots. There is a very high turnout with postal voting and most people who use that method return their ballots almost as soon as they receive them. For candidates this leaves hardly any time at all to get their message across.
The LibDems have gone all out on paid for leaflet drops with national leaflets winging their way through folks doors via the Postie. The SNP, the main contenders in the constituency are going for something more hi- tech. On Tuesday 16th May Mhairi Black, who at 20 became the youngest MP elected to the House of Commons in almost two centuries at the 2015 General Election, will be in Shetland to support Miriam Brett’s campaign to become the next MP for Orkney & Shetland.
Mhairi Black, the SNP candidate for Paisley & Renfrewshire South, will appear alongside Miriam Brett for the Q&A session at the Shetland Museum and Archives from 7pm to 9pm on Tuesday night, May 16. The event will be streamed live on the Orkney SNP Facebook page so that folk in Orkney can also watch.
The Orkney & Shetland Constituency has been held by the Liberals/Liberal Democrats in an unbroken line since 1950. In 2015 Alistair Carmichael clung on by 817 votes a drop of 21.6% in the Liberal Democrat vote. Labour, Conservatives and UKIP also dropped their vote. Only the SNP increased their vote, going up by 27.2%. Carmichael, of course, was part of the Conservative/LibDem coalition Government which was hugely unpopular in Scotland with its Austerity agenda and swingeing cuts to welfare. He then became embroiled in a smear campaign against the First Minster of Scotland and later admitted to having told a blatant lie about the extent of his involvement and that he was behind it.
Anyone wishing to view the livestream can follow the link: Orkney SNP
Voting takes place on Thursday 8th June
Reporter: Fiona Grahame
General Election 2017: Orkney and Shetland Candidates
Labour: Robina Barton
SNP: Miriam Brett
Liberal Democrats: Alistair Carmichael
Independent: Stuart Hill
Conservative: Jamie Halcro Johnston
UKIP: Robert Smith