SNP has a chance to win every Scottish Parliament seat but Covid pandemic may throw a spanner in the works – Angus Robertson

Voting ends this week across Scotland for nominees wanting to become SNP candidates in next year’s Scottish Parliamentary elections.

How voting can take place amid the Covid pandemic: an official in full PPE holds a mobile ballot box as a woman casts her vote in Moldova's presidential election in the village of Stetcani (Picture: Sergei Gapon/AFP via Getty Images)
How voting can take place amid the Covid pandemic: an official in full PPE holds a mobile ballot box as a woman casts her vote in Moldova's presidential election in the village of Stetcani (Picture: Sergei Gapon/AFP via Getty Images)

Vacancies have arisen with retirement announcements by a fifth of MSPs including SNP heavy-hitters like Mike Russell, Jeane Freeman and Roseanna Cunningham.

Local SNP members have already had more than a week to cast their votes online for their preferred candidates and have until this Friday if they haven’t yet got round to it. In a sign of significant progress, the number of female candidates almost exactly matches male colleagues and there are also record numbers of BAME and LGBTQ+ nominees.

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In Edinburgh, there are selection votes in Edinburgh Eastern, Edinburgh Western, Edinburgh Southern and Edinburgh Central where I am one of four candidates seeking the opportunity to win the seat from Baroness Ruth Davidson.

Gaining seats in the Capital from the Tories, Labour and Lib Dems would go a big way to securing a pro-independence SNP majority and Indyref2.

Recent polls have SNP support at more than 50 per cent, meaning every single constituency seat is a realistic prospect. There is, however, a world of difference between polling success and election victory.

In normal times, the excellent SNP ground campaign with hard-working volunteers would be a huge asset. It is far from certain how much the coronavirus pandemic will impact on traditional democratic electioneering.

One thing is certain, no votes will be taken for granted. To all my fellow nominees: best wishes in the selection votes and looking forward to working as a team going forward to win in Edinburgh Central and around the country.

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