Lib Dems leader ‘really worried’ about postal ballot delays

The Liberal Democrats leader says he is “really worried” about postal ballot delays ahead of the upcoming General Election.

On Saturday, Ed Davey joined Edinburgh West candidate Christine Jardine, and Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton as part of the party’s campaign.

Mr Davey arrived at Cammo Estate in Edinburgh aboard the party’s election campaign bus, the Yellow Hammer 1.

It was one of many stops in the party’s 1,343-mile tour of seats from John O’Groats to Land’s End in a final push to attract voters ahead of the polling date.

Mr Davey performed some circus tricks such as plate-spinning, hula-hooping and juggling with his colleagues while at the Edinburgh estate, before telling the PA News Agency he is concerned the postal ballot delays are “not fair” on Scots.

He said: “I’m really worried about the postal ballot delay problem.

“People are going on holiday, they’re packing their luggage, looking for their swimming trunks and sun cream and they’ve got to worry about this. It’s just not fair on people.

“I’m pleased that a lot of local councils are doing emergency openings of village halls and town halls to make it possible for people to get their vote and we may even need to look at extending the deadline for proxy-voting.

“It certainly has to be tackled, it’s not fair on Scottish people”.

SNP leader John Swinney
SNP leader John Swinney has warned the issues surrounding postal votes could affect the election results (Michael Boyd/PA)

Mr Davey says he is “confident” his party can win seats in the upcoming election.

He added: “The boundary changes takes us down to two seats in Scotland.

“We think we can win the two that we’ve sort of lost with the boundary changes and maybe do even more, so yeah, we’re really excited about the Scottish Liberal Democrats’ chances”.

Asked if he hopes for his party to become the second-largest, and if he wishes to become leader of the opposition, he said: “Well, I think there’ll be more liberal MPs than nationalist MPs in the next parliament, so that could well make us the third party again and I think that’ll be great for our country, keeping our United Kingdom together, but pulling forward those liberal voices, particularly on things like health and care and environmental issues like sewage and the climate crisis.”

The Yellow Hammer 1 was due to set off to East Dunbartonshire on Saturday, where Mr Davey and his colleagues are expected to meet with constituents.

Mr Davey says the party has had a “great response” throughout the UK, and says many of their 2024 election voters are doing so to oust the SNP from power.

He said: “We’re really grateful for those people who were thinking of voting say Labour, or in Scotland the Conservatives, but are voting Liberal Democrat to beat the SNP here in Scotland.

“In England, we’re getting lots of Labour and Green people backing us because they know in large swathes of the home counties, in the west country, it’s only the Liberal Democrats that can beat the Conservatives, so this is an election of change which we desperately need both in Westminster and in Holyrood.”