Southern Reporter readers have their say on the election issues that matter to them

There are less than 100 days to go until Scotland goes to the polls for the 2021 Holyrood elections, the sixth vote since the parliament was reestablished in 1999.

Monday, 1st February 2021, 11:32 am

A total of 129 Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) will be elected and current polls suggest that the SNP are poised for electorial success.

We asked you about the issues that matter to you most ahead of the ballot on May 6.

Some were dubious about the election even taking place, Jane Jeffrey explaining: “It should not be happening in a pandemic. They are telling us to stay at home and not to travel unless it's essential, but want us to vote. It’s insane. We need to save our NHS, not put more pressure on them.”

The Scottish Parliament chamber.

Tom Kenny agreed: “How exactly are we going to vote in a pandemic, or are the elderly not getting a vote?”

However others, like Bob Stevenson, pointed out that other elections have been successfully held over the last year: “Germany, France, Spain and Israel are just a few of the countries that have held elections during the pandemic.”

And Derek Campbell pointed out a potentially-dangerous trip to polling station wouldn’t be needed: “The elderly generally postal vote, plus many other countries have held elections over the past year. Scotland is no different.”

Unsurprisingly the pandemic was seen to be a major electorial issue for money, including Richard Dennington: “It’s all about dealing with the pandemic. End of. It won't even be nearly over until we get something like 80 per cent of the population vaccinated and then we can start thinking about the aftermath. It won't be by May I'm afraid.”

Jim Egan was concerned about the financial uncertainty caused by a turbulent few years: “We would like to know on whose shoulders the impending tax burden will be borne to cover the costs of the Brexit and Coronavirus shambles. The poor and the jobless obviously can't pay and the wealthy always manage to dodge that bullet, so please let us all in on that secret before we mark our ‘X’ and end up getting stiffed again.”

Alastair Murray: “We would like to know if Nicola got her wicked way how Scotland would survive and still be indepedant away from the UK and tied to and paying the EU for the privilege of being part of these conmen/woman.”

Inevitably, Scottish independence was also on people’s minds, with Marshall Douglas supportive of Nicola Sturgeon’s pledge to deliver another referendum: “The right to self determination cannot be ignored. A referendum is not simply in the gift of the existing unitary state.”

Conversely, Janette Barrand believes that now is not the time for a vote on Scotland's future: “There are more important things now than a referendum. Get this virus under control and the jags rolled out. Why is Scotland always at the coo’s tail? We need to be singing from the same hymn sheet as the rest of the UK.”

Roland Darling agreed: “We need Nicola to stop going on about independence. There are more important issues at the moment.”

Finally, James Clark thinks that the pandemic has taken our focus away from the environment: “Climate change is still the most important issue.”