Holyrood Election Campaign Enters Final Week

Scotland's political parties will step up their push for votes across the country as campaigning for the Holyrood election moves into its final week.

With just seven days until voters go to the polls on May 5, First Minister and SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon will meet members of her top team in South Queensferry.

She will be joined by Deputy First Minister John Swinney and SNP depute leader Stewart Hosie before the three set off to campaign across Scotland.

Ms Sturgeon is expected to say: "With just seven days to go I am asking people across Scotland to put their trust in me as First Minister and to back a strong SNP government.

"The SNP is the only party with the strength, unity and vision to move Scotland forward, and our positive, ambitious plans to shape a better future for Scotland by increasing childcare, transforming the NHS and securing more and better paid jobs are winning support across the country.''

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale will set out her party's three point plan for a "fairer Scotland'' on a visit to the Enchanted Forest Nursery in Robroyston, Glasgow.

Speaking before the visit, she said: "Change isn't easy, but voting for change is.

"A week from today, I want people to put a cross next to Labour on both their ballot papers, and join with us so that we can use the powers of the Scottish Parliament and change our country for the better.

"Labour has three steps to a fairer Scotland. We'll introduce a 50p tax rate on people earning over £150,000 - the richest 1% in Scotland. We'll then invest this in schools so that we can give our young people the start in life that we deserve.

"And we'll use the powers of the Scottish Parliament to protect Scots from Tory cuts and increase spending on our public services.''

Scottish Greens co-convener Patrick Harvie will be joined by Green MP for Brighton Pavilion Caroline Lucas on the campaign trail in Glasgow Kelvin, where he hopes to win the party's first constituency seat.

Ms Lucas said: "With a surging membership and a great campaign offering to bring fresh ideas to the Scottish Parliament, I'm confident my Scottish Greens colleagues will do well on the regional vote in this election.

"But as Greens have shown in Brighton, we can win first-past-the-post seats and hold them. In Glasgow Kelvin, Patrick's team is campaigning hard for every possible vote - I wish them the very best in winning the seat.''

Meanwhile, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie will visit Auchterhouse Country Sports near Dundee to highlight his party's "positive, uplifting'' campaign while taking a quad biking lesson.

He said: "People are considering voting Liberal Democrat for the first time based on our bold and positive programme for Scotland. We are clearly broadening our support.

"We have seven days to ensure that the next five years is about making Scotland the best again. That means investing in education and mental health, guaranteeing our civil liberties and exceeding our climate change targets. You only get that with the Liberal Democrats.''

Elsewhere, Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson will visit a waste management plant in Dumfries and Galloway with local candidate Finlay Carson.

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