Lib Dems put brave face on a difficult campaign

THE opinion polls ahead of next month’s Holyrood election don’t make good reading for the Liberal Democrats. But as the party’s Argyll and Bute campaign rolled into Rothesay this week, both their constituency candidate, Mid Argyll councillor Alison Hay, and their national campaign manager George Lyon, were determined to remain optimistic.

“More of our vote is undecided this time,” Mr Lyon tol d us.

“That’s partly because of the impact of the coalition at Westminster, and it means we’re having to work harder to reassure our vote about why we are in the coalition and the difference we are making.

“Things are definitely more challenging this time, but there are a lot of voters out there who think the coalition is a good thing.”

Asked for her own view of the party’s decision to go into coalition with the Conservatives, Mrs Hay said: “I think, on balance, the Liberal Democrats did the right thing.

“After the election the financial sector was very jittery and the country needed a stable government to calm the fears of those who matter. We went into it knowing there would be difficulties, but that it was the right thing to do. It’s never easy to take the hard decisions that we have had to make as part of the coalition.”

* More in the next issue of The Buteman, on sale on April 21.