I’m giving all I’ve got to this election campaign – John Swinney

Scotland’s First Minister has said he is “giving it my all” in the General Election campaign.

John Swinney had been SNP leader for just weeks after taking over from Humza Yousaf when Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called the election, thrusting the ex-deputy first minister from the backbenches to the head of the campaign.

Speaking to the PA news agency on Portobello beach in Edinburgh on Thursday, the First Minister said it would be for others to judge how he had performed.

John Swinney and Tommy Sheppard eating ice cream on Portobello beach
Mr Swinney visited Portobello beach on Thursday (Michael Boyd/PA)

He also claimed the election in England was over, with Labour likely the runaway victors, while a contest still continued between his party and Sir Keir Starmer’s north of the border.

“I’m giving all I’ve got to this election campaign and I’m giving everything I’ve got to being First Minister of Scotland,” he said.

“It’s for others to decide how I’m getting on, all I know is that I’m giving it my all.”

Opinion polls in Scotland have been somewhat inconsistent ahead of the July 4 vote, with some suggesting as much as a 10-point lead for Labour and others suggesting the two parties on the same level of support.

SNP leader John Swinney plays football with local children at Portobello Beach and Promenade
SNP leader John Swinney plays football with local children at Portobello beach and promenade (Michael Boyd/PA)

Addressing the surveys, the First Minister said: “I think what can be deduced from the opinion polls is that there’s a lot to play for in the election in Scotland.

“It’s all over in England – the Labour Party is going to wipe the floor with the Conservatives in England, it’s absolutely beyond doubt whatsoever.

“In Scotland, there’s a real contest going on between the Labour Party and the SNP.”

He added: “We’re putting forward  a message about making sure that Scotland’s future is in Scotland’s hands, that decisions should be made in Scotland, for Scotland.”

Scottish Labour Deputy Leader Jackie Baillie said: “After 14 years of Tory turmoil and 17 years of SNP incompetence, Scotland is ready for change.

“We have a week to finally get rid of this disastrous Tory government and deliver the change that Scotland needs.

“Every vote for Scottish Labour is a vote to boost pay, cut bills, create jobs, renew public services and deliver economic growth.

“Scottish Labour will continue to work day in and day out to earn voters’ trust and make sure we can get the Tories out of government and deliver a Labour government with Scotland at its heart”.