IN our last three elections, the SNP has emerged as the largest party in Scotland.

We’ve been the first party to form the Scottish Government over three parliamentary terms, broken the mould of Westminster politics by winning 56 out of 59 first past the post seats in Scotland, and last Thursday we increased our number of local councillors across the country, becoming the largest party in 16 councils, including our historic victories in the former Labour bastions of Glasgow and North Lanarkshire.

With a General Election four weeks away, we now have another opportunity to make history. For the past few elections the main contest here has been between the SNP and the Labour Party. Now voters face a new, but simple choice about who they wish to represent Scotland at Westminster: Scotland’s national party, or Theresa May’s Tories.

It’s fair to say that throughout the council election campaign large parts of the Scottish media gave the Tories a free ride. While the SNP emerged as the largest party, talking to voters about education, social care and other vital local services, the Tory’s campaign wasn’t really put under the microscope.

Now we’ve seen the election of an oddball group of former BNP members, Ukip supporters and sexually explicit Twitter trolls under the Tory banner, based on nothing more than their single election slogan: to thwart the democratic will of the Scottish Parliament.

Over the next 29 days, we must make the positive, progressive case for SNP voices at Westminster. As I walked down Auchterarder High Street with Nicola Sturgeon yesterday afternoon, we were there to remind voters of the sheer hard work and determination shown by SNP MPs over the past two years to make Scotland’s voice heard, and what we’ve done to stand up for pensioners, working families and businesses here, in each and every single thing that we do on your behalf.

But we also have a responsibility to set out the choice that voters in Scotland must now make. Who will best represent the interests of you, your family and your community at Westminster for the next five years? Will you put your trust in an SNP candidate who would continue to fight the introduction of disgusting and disgraceful polices like cuts to benefits for disabled people, the rape clause or two-child cap, or a Tory MP who would actively and enthusiastically support them?

Will you give your vote to the SNP, who will continue to fight for a fair Brexit deal for Scotland and our economy, or a Tory MP who would feebly roll over and accept the dangerous right-wing agenda of the Brexiteers whatever the economic or social costs?

Will you walk once again into your local Polling Station and place a cross in the box next to your local SNP candidate, safe in the knowledge that they will pledge to protect the triple lock on pensions and seek a fair deal for the WASPI women, or a Tory candidate who will sell our pensioners down the river on Theresa May’s say-so?

Everyone knows that the SNP have proven to be the only real opposition in parliament to Theresa May’s government over the past year. Time and time again it’s only the SNP who have held the Tories to account over the renewal of Trident, the protection of tax credits for working families and the attack on ambition by raising National Insurance for the self-employed.

The damage that the Tories have done to families and businesses in Scotland over the past seven years has been significant and substantial. With a tiny majority, they’ve attacked the poor and vulnerable under the banner of austerity, and harmed the long-term interests of our economy in pursuit of Nigel Farage’s vision of our future.

Imagine what an unfettered disaster it would be if Theresa May could continue this downward spiral with an increased majority unchecked by any effective opposition? It’s a terrifying thought, and should send a shiver down the spine of any social democrat.

Unlike our own First Minister, Theresa May doesn’t want to talk about her record in government, or her plans for the future. She’s not willing to debate on TV or in public, and is only comfortable preaching to the Tory faithful in secret meetings in remote village halls.

We’ve all seen for ourselves that when their own regressive policies are reflected back at her supporters in Scotland they just pack up and go home.

In sharp contrast, I’m proud of my own hard work, and the SNP’s record in standing up for Scotland. Over the 29 days to come I’ll be doing everything I can to highlight this contrast to voters, and to open this new chapter of Scotland’s political history on an optimistic note.