Labour can deliver change for Scots, Sarwar vows as polling day dawns

Scotland is at a “pivotal moment”, Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar has said ahead of polls opening.

Voters will cast their ballots in the General Election from 7am on Thursday, with Mr Sarwar’s party riding high across the UK in opinion polls.

He said the opportunity to vote out the Conservatives is one “we cannot afford to miss”.

“This is a pivotal moment for Scotland,” Mr Sarwar said.

“Our country is crying out for change and today we have a chance to deliver that change.

“For 14 years the Tories have heaped misery on the most vulnerable people in Scotland, torched standards of decency in public life and forced working people to pay the price for political failure – but that can end today.

“Today Scotland can make history by voting for change with Labour – this is an opportunity we cannot afford to miss.

“Every vote for Scottish Labour is a vote for a government on the side of working people with Scottish MPs at its heart – a government that will make work pay, bring down energy bills, create jobs and protect our public services.

Sir Keir Starmer and Anas Sarwar smiling, each with one arm raised, in front of Labour signage
Labour under Sir Keir Starmer and Anas Sarwar has been riding high in the opinion polls in the run-up to the election (PA)

“I firmly believe Scotland’s best days are ahead of us, and Labour has a plan to unlock the vast potential that exists across our country.”

Despite how they may have voted in the past, Mr Sarwar urged Scots to back Labour on Thursday if they “agree our country needs change”.

In response, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton said “In huge swathes of Scotland the choice is between the nationalists and a Liberal Democrat local champion who will fight for a fair deal for you and your community.

“Throughout this campaign, I have met former SNP voters disillusioned with the scandals and their mishandling of public services. I have met Labour and Conservative voters who are backing the Liberal Democrats this time because they recognise that a handful of votes in key seats could make the difference.

“From Cupar to Cape Wrath, Milngavie to Mallaig, Cramond to Kirkwall, the Scottish Liberal Democrats have beaten the SNP before and we can do it again.”

Scottish Tory chairman Craig Hoy said: “In key seats across the country, this election is a straight fight between the Scottish Conservatives and the SNP.

“If voters unite behind us in these knife-edge battles, we can end the SNP’s independence obsession for good.

“But if people vote for any party other than the Scottish Conservatives – including Reform – or don’t vote at all, there’s the very real danger of the SNP candidate sneaking in the back door.”