Nicola Sturgeon mobbed on visit to Glenrothes

Nicola Sturgeon with Glenrothes SNP candidate Peter Grant
Nicola Sturgeon with Glenrothes SNP candidate Peter Grant

The First Minister was besieged by supporters on Monday morning as the SNP’s election bandwagon rolled, albeit briefly, into Glenrothes.

Having already witnessed similar scenes in Dunfermline and Kirkcaldy, Nicola Sturgeon arrived outside Rothes Halls to be greeted by parliamentary candidate Peter Grant and a seemingly endless stream of well-wishers wanting a photo.

The more seats the SNP wins on Thursday, the more power and influence Scotland will have in Westminster

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

Among the dozens of selfies, photos holding toddlers and people wanting to shake her hand, were youngsters brandishing home made Good Luck cards and loom bands in the party colours of yellow.

Bemused shoppers and passers by, on tiptoes to get a better view, could all have been forgiven for thinking a pop star had arrived in town, before being engulfed by the melee as Mrs Sturgeon made her way through the shopping centre.

This was classic ‘meet and greet’ electioneering but Mrs Sturgeon made sure it came a serious message.

“My message to voters is that if they want Scotland’s voice to be heard and then for that voice to be regarded as a voice for a more progressive politics, end to austerity and for the protection of our public services and investment into the economy to get young folk into jobs, then we’ve got to vote SNP,” said the First Minister.

“Because the more seats the SNP wins on Thursday, the more power and infuence Scotland will have at Westminster.”

However she wouldn’t be drawn on the question of whether a second referendum would feature in the SNP’s 2016 manifesto.

“Look, this election is not about independence, it’s not about a referendum, it’s about making Scotland’s voice heard, and I say to people whether they voted yes in the referendum or even if they have never voted SNP before in an election, this is the opportunity for Scotland to come together to make our voice heard, that’s the opportunity we have on Thursday.”

And she reiterated her support for the company and the 325 employees made redundant last week when Markinch-based paper manufacturer Tullis Russell fell into administration.

“We have already set up the task force that John Swinney and the leader of Fife Council will be chairing, the focus of that taskforce will be to see if anything can be done to find a buyer for Tullis Russell, though we don’t underestimate the challenges there.

“We will be doing everything possible to help those affected by redundancy until they can find alternative employment.

“We will also make sure that the £6 million already committed will be used for supporting economic development and regeneration in this part of Fife.”

Some 35 minutes later and another walkabout completed, it was the task of harassed PR assistants to usher the First minister into an awaiting car, bound for Fife Airport and an awaiting helicopter ready to take Mrs Sturgeon of in the direction of Helensburgh, no doubt to do it all again.