Lib Dems’ link with Borders electorate faces fierce test

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It has been a year since Borders MP Michael Moore pretty much maintained the Liberal Democrats’ majority for the local Westminster seat.

But if a week is a long time in politics, it makes the intervening 12 months since local voters got a chance to have their say an almost Jurassic age gap in comparison.

Today, Scots and the citizens of Wales go to the polls to elect their new Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly members, while English voters will be ticking boxes for new councillors.

But be under no illusion – this will also be a real test of the controversial policies of the Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition at Westminster.

Here in the Borders much attention will focus on local Liberal Democrat Jeremy Purvis’ tough challenge to hang onto his seat, mainly from the SNP’s Christine Grahame.

How much dissatisfaction there is among the electorate in the Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale seat over the policies of Messrs Cameron, Clegg and Co. may well determine whether Mr Purvis survives every bit as much as how happy or otherwise people are with Alex Salmond’s minority nationalist government in Edinburgh.

Today’s polls will show whether a near 50-year relationship between many of the Borders voters and the Liberal Democrats has started to fracture.