A former north-east political titan has berated the state of play in Scottish politics – and said his Liberal Democrat party has been a casualty of “the tactical squeeze”.
Sir Malcolm Bruce served as Gordon’s MP since the creation of the constituency in 1983 until his retirement in 2015.
Now a member of the House of Lords – and known as Lord Bruce of Bennachie – he bemoaned that Scotland’s voters were motivated more by fear than aspiration.
Speaking to The Press And Journal, Lord Bruce said: “Politics is in a very confused state.
“The sad indictment on our voting system is people have not voted for what they want but what they don’t – and that’s very negative.
“I think in Scotland, it looks as if people have not voted for what they want – they have voted against what they fear.
“A lot of people have voted SNP to stop Brexit, but they don’t believe in independence.
“The Tories thought that by attacking independence, somehow that would work.
“But these people are not natural Tories or natural nationalists – so it’s difficult to know how it will run in the longer term.”
The once deputy leader of his party said those two issues and campaigning around them had “worked against” the Lib Dems.
The battle cost Jo Swinson, the UK leader going into the election, her seat.
But he had a warning for the SNP, which saw its Westminster ranks bolstered by 13 new MPs.
Lord Bruce added: “If the SNP believe they have landed a mandate for independence, they may come unstuck.”