Dear Orkney News,
The last time the Liberals were in government on their own was in 1910 and the last time they were in government as the Liberal Democrats was in coalition with the Tories in 2010, so in a 100 years they have never been solely in power and the UK has never been led by a Liberal or Lib-Dem Prime Minister in modern times.
Jo Swinson started this campaign being introduced as “the next Prime Minister of the UK” and promising all sorts things that the voting public could benefit from under her leadership. However she has now pulled back significantly from that stance as reality has kicked in and she has, in effect, accepted defeat, or at best the further marginalisation of her party in the UK.
Why Jo Swinson has watered down her claims and her campaign is not clearly explained by Lib/Dems but maybe some of the explanation can be found in the opinion polls. Currently opinion polls show the Lib/Dems bumping along with only 14 or 15% of the vote likely to come their way in this UK General Election, which is unlikely to increase their number of Westminster seats by many, if any at all.
In contrast when the Lib-Dems in Scotland were able to secure 14/15% of the votes in the first two Scottish Parliamentary elections it put them in a position to share power with Labour and have an influence with Jim Wallace as Depute First Minister.
Unfortunately for the Lib Dems they only secured single figure percentages of both the Constituency and Regional votes in the last Scottish Parliamentary Elections and that has reduced their number of MSPs to only 5 out of 129 MSPs at Holyrood. Hardly an influential position!
All in all it looks like a vote for the Lib-Dems is a wasted vote, and one that is unlikely to help Orkney & Shetland secure a good future post Brexit.
Ian Carse, Orkney
There are 6 candidates standing in the Orkney and Shetland Constituency to be held on Thursday 12th of December.
David Stephen Barnard, Independent
Alistair Carmichael, Scottish Liberal Democrats
Coilla Anne Drake, Scottish Labour Party
Jennifer Fairbairn, Scottish Conservative and Unionist
Robert Fraser Leslie. Scottish National Party (SNP)
Robert Watt Smith, The Brexit Party