Opening salvoes from general election candidates

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The votes for a new Falkirk Council were tallied up last week, but voters will be back at the ballot box in seven weeks time to elect a new British Government.

In the week 60 candidates wrapped up their campaigns for a seat in the Municipal Buildings, four hopefuls launched their bids to win a space on the benches at Westminster as MPs.

John McNally and Martyn Day of the SNP hope to again represent Falkirk and Linlithgow and East Falkirk respectively after the poll on June 8, while the Labour challenge will come from former councillor Craig R Martin and council candidate Joan Coombes.

While today’s race for control of the town hall might be a close run affair, McNally and Day are entitled to believe their return to London could be a lot more straightforward.

In 2015 as the Nationalists crushed Labour in Scotland the results in Falkirk’s two constituencies were among the most impressive of the 56 that went their way.

In Falkirk John McNally turned a defeat by 7843 votes to Eric Joyce in 2010 into a win by 19,701 votes in 2015, while in Linlithgow and East Falkirk Martyn Day removed Labour veteran Michael Connarty from a Labour majority of 12,553 to an SNP majority of 12,934.

John McNally said: “I pledge to continue my duties in developing the foundations I have worked to achieve over the last two years. I will continue fighting for the best interests of each and every one of my constituents.”

Martyn Day said: “We cannot let the Tories inflict deeper cuts and further austerity on Scotland. Now more than ever Scotland needs a strong SNP opposition to a Tory government who think they can do what the want in Scotland and get away with it.”

Labour’s Craig Martin claimed: “Only Labour can get rid of this nasty Tory government and rebuild and transform this country for the many, not the few. Only Labour can beat the SNP in Falkirk and deliver a positive vision for change.”

Joan Coombes said: “On June 8 families can choose between a Labour government that stands up for the many or the Tories who only look after a privileged few.

“The SNP has simply passed on Tory austerity while it focuses on plans for a divisive second independence referendum that Scotland doesn’t want.”