ANGUS Robertson will not face a pro-independence rival in his fight to regain his Moray seat at the General Election, as the first signs of an informal "progressive alliance" emerged yesterday between the Scottish Greens and the SNP.

Local Scottish Greens convener James MacKessack-Leitch, who ran in the election two years ago, yesterday confirmed that he would not run this time around – and that there would be no other Green candidate in the ballot.

“At any normal election we would be proud to field a candidate and run a positive campaign, however this is no normal election,” he told the local news website Inside Moray.

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“This election has been called for naked party-political purposes as the Tories attempt to crush Labour in England and Wales.

“This immature behaviour has no relevance in Moray, let alone Scotland or Northern Ireland, but will only serve to increase voter apathy and anger at the way politics is conducted in this country, at a time when there are far bigger issues at stake.”

He added: “This campaign has the potential to become entirely negative and much of the rhetoric is already toxic, so we will be active in pushing the candidates on a progressive path and to outline positive reasons why we should be casting our votes for them, rather than having to pick the lesser evil.”

Although not standing any candidates, he said neither would the party back any other candidate in the election in Moray.

MacKessack-Leitch got 1,345 votes in May 2015.

The move by the Greens not to stand is seen as a boost for Robertson, the SNP deputy leader, who is one of the Tory’s key targets to unseat.

Responding to the MacKessack-Leitch’s announcement, Robertson tweeted: “Will work hard to win the support of Green voters in Moray. Only @theSNP can defeat the Tories here. #voteSNP #GE2017.”

Robertson beat the Tory candidate Douglas Ross by 9065 votes in May 2015, but the Conservatives believe Ross, who is their candidate again next month, has a better chance this time.

Moray had the narrowest Remain vote in Scotland at last year’s EU referendum, with the result split at 50.1 per cent to remain and 49.9 per cent to leave, and the Tories believe they can pick up votes from Leave supporters.

Leave support was relatively high among Moray’s traditional fishing communities of Buckie, Port Gordon and Lossiemouth, where many locals are critical of the EU’s common fisheries policy.

Last month, Scottish Greens co-convener Maggie Chapman said her party may not stand candidates in some seats in a bid to help stop the Tories from being elected – or re-elected.

She suggested they may not stand in Scottish Secretary David Mundell’s Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale and neighbouring Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk, where the SNP’s Calum Kerr beat John Lamont from the Tories by just 328 votes.

Mundell won his seat by just 728 votes in May 2015, allowing the Tories to have a single MP in Scotland. The Greens stood in the constituency but only got 839 votes and lost their deposit.