Scotland politics

UKIP 'to stand in every Scots seat' at general election

David Coburn
Image caption David Coburn will stand for UKIP in the Falkirk consituency

UKIP has said it hopes to field candidates in every seat in Scotland at the general election as the party formally launched its campaign.

MEP David Coburn said he was confident the party could win seats north of the border in May.

Mr Coburn, who is the party's only elected member in Scotland, will stand in the Falkirk constituency.

He said the party currently had 40 candidates but hoped to find people to stand in the remaining 19 seats.

The Euro-sceptic party launched its campaign at an event in Glasgow's Renfield Centre, which was attended by its candidates from across the country.

Technical difficulties

They included Aberdeen nurse Emily Santos, who will take on former First Minister Alex Salmond in the Gordon constituency, regional organiser Kevin Newton who will be fighting Scotland's only Tory MP, David Mundell, in Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale, and Scottish chairman Arthur Misty Thackeray who will stand in Glasgow East against Margaret Curran MP.

A planned video link with UK party leader Nigel Farage did not take place due to technical difficulties, the party said.

Mr Coburn said he expected UKIP to win seats in Scotland, and said he would be "disappointed if we don't".

He said he hoped to take the Falkirk seat currently held by independent MP Eric Joyce, who is standing down.

He added: "We intend to get as many seats as we can, it's difficult to say how many.

"This is the most unpredictable election in 100 years. People are fed up, people want change, they're fed up of the same old, same old. So I think they're turning to UKIP in droves.

"They are in the south of England, they are now in the north of England and when you see me getting elected in the European election it looks like Scotland's time to go that way as well."

Back fracking

Mr Coburn also said the party hoped to win "eight seats or something like that" in next year's Scottish Parliament election.

He added: "We intend to take over the Scottish Parliament, we intend to have a UKIP government in Scotland and there's no reason we can't."

The party said it would put re-industrialisation at the heart of its campaign in Scotland, pledging to set up a commission to look at ways to rejuvenate and expand the coal industry, back fracking and do away with subsidies for wind, solar and nuclear power.

Mr Coburn said: "We're sitting on tonnes of coal, we've got the possibility of fracking, we've got petrochemical business in Falkirk and Grangemouth. That's something we should be building on."

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