SCOTTISH Conservatives took to Ellon’s streets this week, as the party’s Deputy Leader Murdo Fraser arrived to help Aberdeenshire East hopeful Geordie Burnett Stuart in his bid for election in May. Braving a persistent Monday morning drizzle, the two politicians were joined by a band of local supporters as they spoke with shoppers and business owners in the town.
Mr Fraser was quick to endorse his party’s local candidate. “Geordie is a hard-working local businessman”, he said. “He’s committed to the area, is well connected with the community and will champion people’s interests.”
Despite admitting that his party leader Annabel Goldie is ‘unlikely’ to be First Minister after the election, Mr Fraser was keen to talk up his party’s influence over the past four years. “The major focus in our manifesto is on creating jobs, We also want to preserve the 1,000 extra police officers we fought for”, he said. “We want the Council Tax freeze to continue for at least 2 years, bringing in a £200 discount for all pensioner households.”
On the national election picture, Mr Fraser said: “My sense is that people who voted Conservative at the general election are generally content with what we’re doing. They realise the government had to take tough decisions at UK level. People in Scotland have become used to the idea of coalition government and they like to see parties working together. I think people have liked the fact that the Conservatives have been prepared to work constructively with the minority SNP government.
“We admit Annabel Goldie is not likely to be First Minister, so what we do is point to our record of delivery over the past 4 years working with the minority SNP government. In a situation where we could well hold the balance of power, we can show how we constructively use our influence to get our policies implemented.”