It is now the season of dogs and babies along with manifestos and – in Ruth Davidson’s case at least – a lot of Diet Coke.
She told The Edinburgh Reporter that this is what keeps her going at each election.
Standing at the corner of Saunders Street this morning along with a group of party activists, including a couple of city councillors she was all smiles and chat for us and for the passers-by, even though it was the morning after the first TV Leaders’ Debate. Stamina is important in campaigns and Davidson is confident about that at the very least!
She was keen to emphasise that Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP should stop putting politics before jobs, adding that it was clear from last night’s debate that tax is a key issue in the 2016 election.
She is standing in Edinburgh Central as a candidate in the forthcoming Scottish Parliamentary elections. She was a Glasgow list MSP during the last Parliament, but has now decided to switch to the east coast. She told us: “This is the seat I was born in, it is the seat I went to university in, I’ve worked here, it’s where the parliament is and it’s where I live with my partner. It’s home to me, that’s why I’m standing here.”
As a Scottish Conservative candidate she is also on the list for Lothians which is the way the Tories work : you can only get on the list if you stand for a parliamentary seat, which is slightly different from other parties according to Davidson.
“One of the big debating points which is coming up is to do with taxation, and how much money we take away from the people of Edinburgh Central whether that is through income tax – I don’t think the people of Edinburgh Central should be taxed more than in other parts of the United Kingdom.
“We’ve also seen some issues surrounding changes to the council tax and stamp duty which hits the people in this area very hard. In city centres like Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen when you have a £300,000 house you are not talking about mansions, you’re talking about three bedroom semi-detached family homes. There is a big issue about looking after the people in cities and they should not be penalised for where they live.
“On local issues I have been talking about environment and transportation; you don’t have to go too far to find a pothole you could do yourself some damage in! Also we have been talking about the way in which our rubbish collection is conducted. It is done differently to other parts of the city.
“We are talking about how we can have a council that works for the people living here as well as a government at Holyrood that works for people here too.
“There is an issue with waste collection in that the refuse vehicles should come at the same time every week, and sometimes fortnightly collections are just not enough. This is absolutely micro news really but it matters to people as much as the bigger issues.
“At Holyrood the SNP have proposed an end to kerbside collections, and they are now looking at making us take all our recycling to somewhere like a supermarket or a drop off point. Now we have invested a lot of money to get people to understand about kerbside collections and we think that for example particularly elderly people who find it more difficult to do this, it is an important matter. “
“We have been campaigning for months now across all of our seats up and down the country. I have a hugely fantastic and health-giving regime of mainlining Diet Coke every election as I don’t drink tea or coffee, so Diet Coke is my only caffeine and that’s what gets me through!”