Maggie Chapman, the party’s co-convenor, said she did not see the Scottish Greens putting up candidates against David Mundell, or in a neighbouring Border constituency where the Conservatives came a close second to the SNP in the last General Election.
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He held his Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale & Tweeddale seat in May 2015 with a majority of just 728 votes ahead of the SNP’s Emma Harper. The Scottish Greens stood in the constituency but came sixth with just 839 votes and lost their deposit.
They also lost their deposit in nearby Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk, where the SNP’s Calum Kerr narrowly beat the Tories’ John Lamont by 328 votes. The Scottish Greens came sixth with 631 and lost their deposit.
After the last election the Greens were criticised by some in the broader independence movement for standing against the SNP and allowing Mundell to win. But this time the party seem ready to change their strategy.
“This is from my own personal position but I would be quite happy for us to support non-Green candidates if it meant getting Tories out of Scotland and making sure we had elected representatives who walk the walk of the politics of the new Scotland we want to see,” Chapman told The National.
“It’s going to be a difficult election for everybody in Scotland, coming so soon after the council elections, and the outdated system of first past the post makes it particularly difficult for us in some ways.
“I think what we need to do is use this as an opportunity to talk about the kind of Scotland we want to see, the kind of politics we want to see, and I’m hopeful we can agree to say let’s back the candidates who offer those kinds of views and that kind of outlook for Scotland.
“I don’t see us standing in seats in areas where we lost deposits last time.”
Chapman added: “I’ve always advocated political co-operation. I think it’s an important element of how we do politics as Greens and this is possibly an opportunity for us to put this belief into practice, to work with it to make sure we see a more forward and outward-looking representation for people.”
The issue was due to be raised at a party election strategy last night and Chapman said it would also be discussed by the wider party but she anticipated an approach to the SNP later this week.
“There is a meeting of our election campaigns committee and a decision like this would be taken by the wider party membership as well. We have started to put plans in place today to enable that to happen,”
Asked if and when an approach would be made to the SNP, Chapman said: “We want to get our elections campaigns committee to have the discussion first but I know we will be approaching them in the next couple of days.”
There has been much discussion of a wider progressive alliance with the notion first raised by Caroline Lucas, the Green Party MP. She has called for the Greens, Labour, the SNP and the Liberal Democrats to work together to present a left-of-centre challenge to the Tories.
However, to date the idea has received little formal backing from the leadership of the other parties.
Earlier yesterday, responding to the election announcement, Chapman said: “This is the sign of a weak and opportunist Prime Minister who, rather than trying to explain the damage she is doing, has resorted to this desperate tactic.
“There is only one reason for Theresa May to hold an election now and it is that she knows that things are going to get worse as Brexit bites.”