This edition of the Grassroots newsletter is by Lucy Jackson, multimedia journalist and grassroots reporter.

IN the run up to the General Election, grassroots campaigners are feverishly busy knocking on doors and securing votes. 

Some grassroots activists are even running for election themselves, such as Niall Christie, a prominent member of the Scottish Greens and the party’s candidate for Glasgow South. 

Christie (below) has been canvassing since the election was called two weeks ago and has noticed the public responding more positively to the idea of the Scottish Greens than in previous elections. 

(Image: Niall Christie)

“The big thing we’re seeing is that people are happy to have a Green option, which hasn’t always been the case in a General Election.” 

He points towards the fact that the Greens are focusing on things which affect everyday life in Scotland, such as advocating for the introduction of a welfare tax and opposing cuts to public services. 

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“It’s about recognising that people don’t always want to hear what we have to say on the doors, they want to hear about the bins, they want to know about buses,” Christie said. 

Glasgow has 11 Green councillors and has sent Green MSPs to Holyrood – Christie argues this helps bolster the party’s case in Westminster, as constituents can see the tangible benefits from having Greens in government. 

Turning to other political parties, Christie said people he spoke to “know that the Tories aren’t keeping Scotland’s interests in mind”. 

He added: “People are still suspicious of Labour because they ran the country for years, both in Scotland and in Westminster, and that suspicion hasn’t gone away. 

“We’re at a stage now where people know that the SNP, who have had a majority in Holyrood and who have an overwhelming majority for Scots down in Westminster, I don’t think they’re seeing a difference – they’ve been a bit complacent in Scotland. 

“People are looking for a fresh perspective. There’s a Green curiosity that hasn’t been there before.” 

Christie (left) alongside other Scottish Greens candidates for Glasgow (Image: Niall Christie)

When it comes to independence, Christie said he has “undoubtedly” noticed more traditional SNP voters saying they would vote Green because of the party’s stance on the constitution.

“But people are voting on more than just independence in this election," he said. "I would vote for independence tomorrow if it was on the table, but I don’t think it is on the table in this election.” 

It’s not just SNP voters coming to the Greens; Christie is seeing growing support from all parties, including the Tories. 

One woman he spoke to voted for the Tories in 2019, but now feels betrayed by the party’s actions concerning public services and the Levelling Up agenda. 

“That woman was not moving from the Tories to Labour or the SNP, she was moving to the Greens, because we are talking about protecting public services, we are talking about funding things properly.” 

He added: “I’ve spoken to numerous people who are Labour members who have told me that they’re voting for the Greens, but that they’re too scared to mention that publicly because they might get kicked out of the party by Keir Starmer.” 

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Christie said there was “less of a willingness to vote tactically” on issues like independence, as this General Election is not “realistically” an election for independence. 

“People feel there is less of a risk in voting Green than they did previously. They might have worried previously that they were splitting the vote, but now they’re willing to be a bit more radical with their vote. 

“That benefits us, but I think it’ll benefit Scotland as well.” 

SNP campaigning in Aberdeen

Meanwhile, 145 miles north-east there is Logan Unwin, an SNP branch activist in Aberdeen. 

The response on the doors here is fairly unique, as Unwin has been campaigning in Aberdeen South – the seat of former Westminster leader Stephen Flynn. 

The reaction has been positive, Unwin (below) said, because people are happy to have Flynn as an MP and see him take a firm stance on Gaza in Westminster. 

It is Unwin's (right) eighth year of campaigning (Image: Logan Unwin)

“Stephen's got a huge personal vote because he's a very good MP. Plus all the PMQs stuff, he's very good with media coverage, and people recognise that.” 

Unwin continued: “In a general sense, there’s a lot of apathy. There’s a lot of people who are scunnered with the whole process.” 

In terms of support for the SNP, things are “as you’d expect them to be”, Unwin said. 

“We’re having a relatively positive experience. Just last night we spoke to a Conservative voter who will no longer be voting Tory, we’ve had the same from Labour.”

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 He added that the SNP's position in the polls is not being reflected on the doors.

“There’s a really strong vibe that people want the Tories out. People were almost ashamed to say they voted for Labour after the 2014 referendum, but that’s not the case anymore. 

“But what we are hearing a lot is that there isn’t a difference between Labour and the Tories. 

“People might not be voting for the SNP, whether that’s based on the constitution or whatever else, but they don’t actually know who the hell they can vote for.”

But independence doesn't seem to be on the agenda for voters here either. 

“It comes up, but it’s not high up on people’s lists. Folk are happy to let us know where they sit on that, but there's not much discussion. It’s not a huge talking point.

“We don't hear that the SNP is doing nothing for independence, and of course you get the folk who are supporters and tell us they want us to get them out of here.

“But it's not a huge talking point. People either tell us that they don't support independence and so they're not voting for us, or that they do support it and they're voting SNP. It doesn't go much deeper than that.”