The chief executive to the treasury labelled one of Aberdeenshire’s key constituencies “a two horse race” yesterday and urged Conservative and Labour voters to rally round his party’s candidate if they wanted to keep Alex Salmond out of Westminster.
Danny Alexander was at Foudland Court sheltered housing complex in Insch, along with Christine Jardine, who is contesting the Gordon seat for the Liberal Democrats, and retiring MP Sir Malcolm Bruce.
During the visit, Mr Alexander said his party’s impact locally was reflected in Foudland Court itself, which was opened by Sir Malcolm in 1985.
“We’ve got a longstanding association here and a lot of support for Christine Jardine’s campaign, I am confident that we’ll win this constituency”, Mr Alexander said.
“It feels from the people I’ve met and from hearing about the canvassing that there is a lot of support for us.”
He added: “There are people who don’t like the arrogance of Alex Salmond just taking voters for granted. People want an MP who is going to speak up for their area and is not just going to go to Westminster and try and disrupt and wreck the government in the next parliament.”
His visit came as the liberal Democrats announced plans to cut income tax by £400 a year if the party became part of the next UK government.
Mr Alexander said this would “put more money into the pockets of folk who are working hard on low incomes”.
He added that rises in taxation in other areas would be avoided by increases on “the wealthiest” and cracking down on avoidance.
The Highland MP also refuted comments made by Scottish Conservative leader, Ruth Davidson, in Stonehaven last week that the Lib Dems were “dead in Scotland”, leaving the battle in Aberdeenshire between the Tories and the SNP.
Mr Alexander said: “I think everybody in this constituency understands it is a two-horse race here and the Tories don’t have a hope in all of Scotland outside their stronghold in Dumfrieshire. Ruth Davidson is wasting her breath.
“It was quite striking speaking to some of the residents there, folk understand that there’s no point voting conservative in Gordon because they can’t win.”
He encouraged potential Tory or Labour voters “whatever their previous allegiance” to support Ms Jardine.