If it wasn’t for the large amounts of leaflets piling up in everyone’s hallways (particularly from one party) you could be forgiven for thinking the General Election was happening everywhere in the UK except Orkney. It is a very short campaign and the dreadful tragedy in Manchester caused all those involved to pause their electioneering and reflect on that heinous crime.
With only days to go I caught up with Orkney SNP who were in a buoyant mood opening an election hub in Kirkwall and taking in the YouGov poll that puts them in a winning position.
The Orkney & Shetland Constituency is the second smallest in the UK and has remained in Liberal/Liberal Democrat hands in an unbroken line for 50 years. Is this about to change? Only 2 years ago Alistair Carmichael clung on by 817 votes but was later found to have told a blatant lie in order to affect his election. Despite saying he would not stand again he is but is facing strong opposition from the SNP’s Miriam Brett , a Shetlander and an economic advisor to her party’s Parliamentary group.
On Saturday the SNP will be opening their election hub in what was once the ‘Chicken George’ takeaway on Shore Street. It was there that I interviewed John Mowat, local SNP stalwart as his team were setting up their shop. John was cautious about the YouGov poll results but felt that the SNP had an extremely capable and intelligent candidate in Miriam Brett.
There are plenty of candidates for voters to choose from in Orkney and Shetland. They are:
Labour: Robina Barton
SNP: Miriam Brett
Liberal Democrats: Alistair Carmichael
Independent: Stuart Hill
Conservative: Jamie Halcro Johnston
UKIP: Robert Smith
With some voters having already returned their postal ballots for the poll on Thursday June 8th, it looks like it will be either an SNP or a Liberal Democrat MP for Orkney and Shetland.
Reporter: Fiona Grahame
The video can also be viewed on the Orkney News YouTube Channel