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All to play for north of the border.

As voters go to the polls tomorrow it is still all to play for as nearly half of Scots voters say they are prepared to vote tactically in the crunch election.

Confidence in the NHS is in free fall, immigration unpopular and the perceived impact of austerity is at an all time low, and it looks as if nothing will change.

Don’t bet on it.

In the past the two largest parties – Labour and the Conservatives – dominated British politics, with the exception of the SNP in Scotland.

While the nationalists remain ahead in the polls it is unlikely that the party will be able to match its landslide success at the 2015 General Election, winning 56 of Scotland’s 59 available Westminster seats.

There are divisions across the political spectrum driven by support for anti-Westminster parties on both the left and the right.

How this will influence factors such as tactical voting is hard to predict.

The gendered impact of welfare cuts have left women bearing the brunt of austerity measures, from freezing benefits and tax credits to raiding their pensions.

On the streets of Glasgow yesterday, I spoke to a cross section of women to ask their thoughts on the upcoming election and just what would they like to see happening in the future.

Sal – Partick; “I don’t know who to vote for, I’m confused and angry that I’ve been forgotten by the politicians. Most of the time I don’t understand the language that they use and would just like things explained simply about how each of the parties policies would effect me and my family.”

Rhona – city centre: “I would like to see more flexible working hours and and greater childcare provisions.”

Jane – Finnieston: “More equality in the workplace and at home. I do exactly the same job as a male colleague yet his salary is more than mine. How can that be fair?”

Sheena – Anderston: “I will vote for the party who will protect my rights as a gay woman and those who will stand up against hate crime.”

Hazel – Charing Cross: “I am passionate that more should be done to protect women from domestic and sexual violence. I don’t think that the sensationalisation of celebrity abuse cases is helping matters at all. The introduction of the so called ‘rape clause’ now means that I will never vote Conservative again”

Alison – Dunbarton: “I am particularly worried about the rise in immigration. It is hard to know who to believe about the figures as the different parties and the newspapers all report differently.”

Cost of living and care costs were the two highest priorities among women

Despite over 30 years of legislation women are paid on average 16.4% less than men for full time work and for part time work the chasm widens to 35%.

On the subject of Brexit, the SNP pledge to protect Scotland’s place in the single market, the Conservatives have pledged to leave the single market, Labour plans include retaining the benefits of a single market immediately guaranteeing the rights of EU nationals living in Britain and the Lib Dems will hold another referendum on the final Brexit deal.

Scotland in on course for a strong turnout as the votes are certainly there to be won.

By the early hours of Friday morning, we should have a clear idea of which party will emerge with the most seats and who is heading for Downing Street.


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