Scottish Conservative election candidate Julie Pirone was joined by her party leader, Douglas Ross, on the campaign trail in Renfrew on Saturday.

Ross, leader of Scottish Conservatives, and Pirone, the Renfrewshire North and West candidate, hope that this time next week she will be the constituency’s first Conservative MSP.

Mrs Pirone, who used to be a Scottish Labour voter, said it was fantastic to have Douglas alongside her on the final Saturday of the election campaign.

However, she told Renfrewshire News: “The campaign has undoubtedly been different with restrictions in place, but it is clear that voters here in Renfrewshire North and West are ready for a change after 14 years of the SNP being in charge.

“The response has been positive to my message of focusing our recovery and rebuilding our communities rather than another independence referendum.

“Over the last six weeks, I have covered a vast amount of this constituency listening to voters about the issues that matter to them. Like them, I will be focusing on protecting jobs and livelihoods, tackling the backlog in our health service, ensuring pupils catch up on lost learning, and delivering fair funding for our councils.

“They want to rebuild together rather than being dragged back to the politics of division with the SNP.”

She said she would be honoured to be part of Douglas’ strong team of Scottish Conservative and Unionist MSPs in the next Parliament.

She added: “A vote for me on Thursday guarantees a 100% focus on rebuilding our communities as does voting for the Scottish Conservatives on your peach party list vote, rather than another referendum.”

Mr Ross said: “It was great to be out with Julie on the campaign trail in Renfrew as we get ever closer to polling day on Thursday.

“Voters in Renfrewshire North and West have been left without representation for over a year. By voting for Julie, they are guaranteeing a strong local voice who will be one hundred percent focused on the area’s recovery from the pandemic.

“Julie is one of the party’s excellent new MSP candidates who I would be proud to have on my team in Parliament as we all focus on rebuilding Scotland.

“By voting for Julie on your constituency ballot and for the Scottish Conservatives on your peach party list vote, Renfrewshire North and West voters can stop an SNP majority, stop their push for indyref2 and ensure that Parliament focuses on recovery over a referendum.”

On Thursday, Pirone goes up against Natalie Don, a current SNP councilor, Labour’s Johanna Baxter, Liberal Democrats Ross Stalker and Martin Bell of the Scottish Family Party.

The seat is currently held by Derek Mackay, the former SNP Scottish Government Finance Minister, who now sits as an independent in the area. He was suspended by the SNP then later resigned from the party after a newspaper published details of a scandal involving a 16-year-old boy.  Mr Mackay continues to collect his MSP salary although he has not been seen at the Scottish Parliament since his suspension.

Main photo credit: Twitter @ScotTories