As Scotland goes to the polls today, SNP Leader Nicola Sturgeon urged voters to use both votes for the SNP, claiming this will allow experienced leadership to take charge on the way to “a brighter future”.

Ms Sturgeon said:“Today’s election is the most important in the history of the Scottish Parliament. After a year of unprecedented challenge for all of us, the country needs experienced leadership to take Scotland through the pandemic – and only the SNP are offering a serious programme for government to keep Scotland safe and into a recovery.

“Polls show that, when it comes to the balance of the new Parliament, the result is on a knife-edge – and in a close election, every vote can make the difference.

“If I am re-elected First Minister, I guarantee I’ll be back at my desk straight away tackling the pandemic.

“We will get to work on our plans to help the NHS remobilise and agree a pay rise for NHS staff, expand free childcare and free school meals, help our young people into jobs and opportunities and much more within just 100 days.

“We will also start work on longer term challenges, establishing a new Council for Economic Transformation, taking the first steps toward establishing a National Care Service and beginning work on a Minimum Income Guarantee.

“And when the COVID crisis has passed, we will give the people of Scotland the opportunity to decide if they want the recovery to be in the hands of the likes of Boris Johnson and the austerity-driven Tories, or to put Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands with independence. 

“Despite the challenges of the last year, we should be optimistic about Scotland’s future – and with the right leadership I know that we have the natural resources and human talent to deliver the fairer, greener and more prosperous Scotland that we all want to see.

“I’m asking people to give both votes to the SNP today to help elect an experienced government with the serious plan to lead Scotland through the pandemic and into a brighter future.”

Nicola Sturgeon joined Angus Robertson on the campaign trail in Edinburgh’s New Town 20 April 2021 ©2021 The Edinburgh Reporter