SNP out to stop Brexit and advance Scottish independence

By Katrine Bussey, PA Scotland Political Editor

Nicola Sturgeon has led the SNP through their third General Election campaign in just five years at the helm of the party.

From trying to stop Brexit to advancing the independence cause, here is a look at how they have fared.

– What was the campaign high?

During the campaign trail, Ms Sturgeon went country dancing, tried her hand at making a glass paperweight and did some Christmas arts and crafts.

But for the SNP leader perhaps a personal high point could be her visit to the ice rink in Aberdeen.

She tweeted afterwards: “I’d actually forgotten until today how much I love ice skating.”

She described it as a “good fun day on the #GE19 campaign trail but with a serious message – Johnson’s chance of a majority is on thin ice and voting @theSNP can help lock the Tories out”.

– What was the campaign low?

The First Minister was the first of the party leaders to be grilled by Andrew Neil on the BBC and he challenged Ms Sturgeon on issues ranging from independence to the NHS.

Pressing her on the Scottish Government’s stewardship of the health service amid waiting times targets being missed and a public inquiry into the flagship Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow, the broadcaster said: “You’ve called for legislation to protect the NHS from Donald Trump.

“Maybe the NHS needs legislation to protect it from Nicola Sturgeon?”

– Which region did they visit the most?

With the SNP only contesting seats in Scotland, it follows that for the most part Ms Sturgeon has largely been campaigning in Scotland.

She has travelled south to take part in the TV interviews, however, and several of the televised election debates.

Ms Sturgeon used these to highlight the kind of policies that could be put in place across the UK if the SNP can form a “progressive alliance” with Labour and some of the other parties at Westminster.

– What was the most memorable quote?

Throughout the election campaign, Ms Sturgeon has often spoken of the need, as she sees it, to “put Scotland’s future into Scotland’s hands”.

Launching the SNP election manifesto in Glasgow she said: “It’s time to take Scotland’s future into Scotland’s hands.

“People are increasingly sick of hearing Jeremy Corbyn and Boris Johnson talking about ‘not allowing’ the Scottish people to choose our own future.

“The fact is it’s not up to them. Indeed, it’s not up to me either.

“It is a decision for the people of Scotland and for the Scottish Parliament.”

– What was the defining moment?

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon boarding her party’s campaign bus (Jane Barlow/PA)

A week before polling day the First Minister started her campaign tour of Scotland aboard a bus emblazoned with the message Stop Brexit – which has been a key feature in the SNP campaign.

She started the bus tour in South Queensferry, close to three of the bridges that cross the Forth – one of the most iconic backdrops in Scotland.