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Sturgeon to use ‘Nicolopter’ to drop in on constituencies

There is speculation that the SNP could take part in a ‘progressive alliance’ at Westminster with Labour.

Nicola Sturgeon will take to the skies in the final weekend of election campaigning, with the SNP leader to visit six separate constituencies over the course of Saturday.

Ms Sturgeon will use a branded helicopter – dubbed the ‘Nicolopter’ – to travel between key constituencies ahead of the June 8 General Election.

As polling day nears, the Conservative lead over Labour across the UK seems to be shrinking, leading to speculation that the SNP could become involved in a “progressive alliance” at Westminster.

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The SNP won 56 of the 59 seats in Scotland in the 2015 general election, a record result which they will struggle to match this time round.

But Ms Sturgeon insisted that “now more than ever, we need strong SNP voices standing up for Scotland at Westminster and standing up to the Tories”.

The First Minister will campaign in Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintoilloch East, Argyll and Bute, North Ayrshire, Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock, Dumfries and Galloway and Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale.

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Nicola Sturgeon speaks during the launch of the SNP General Election manifesto at Perth Concert Hall (Jane Barlow/PA)

She said: “The SNP is the only party who are serious about being that strong voice for Scotland – contesting every seat across the country while our opponents run lacklustre campaigns in just a smattering of seats.

“That’s why in the final few days before polling day I’ll be campaigning alongside 30 hardworking SNP candidates standing up for communities across Scotland.

“While the Tories remain on course to win the election UK wide, Scotland could be pivotal in reducing the size of their majority. Electing strong SNP voices is the only way to keep the Tories in check.”

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Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale (Jane Barlow/PA)

At the same time thousands of activists from the main parties will be hitting the streets across Scotland ahead of Thursday’s vote.

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale will be campaigning in East Lothian, one of the seats her party is hoping to win back from the SNP.

Meanwhile former chancellor and Better Together chief Alistair Darling will be speaking to voters in East Renfrewshire, the constituency Labour’s Jim Murphy held between 1997 and 2015.

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Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson with supporters in South Queensferry (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson will rally party activists in the north east with a stump speech, while Willie Rennie of the Liberal Democrats will race supporters along a beach in St Andrews, recreating a famous scene from the film Chariots of Fire.

He said: “We are targeting to win seats like Edinburgh West, East Dunbartonshire, North East Fife, Caithness, Argyll and the Highlands. In those seats we are the people that can change the direction of this country.

“In less than seven days’ time people have a straight choice. Do they want an MP who will do nothing more than advance the cause for another divisive independence referendum, or do they want an MP that will stand up for the local community.”

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