Saturday 18th April 2015
Inverurie, SNP walkabout.
Aberdeenshire gets quite warm further inland. Prosperous Inverurie feels pleasantly Provençal, its’ neat, impressive town hall glistening in bright sunshine as locals gather in the market square to await the arrival of the SNP party leader, Nicola Sturgeon.
The SNP candidate for the constituency of Gordon is ex-first minister Alex Salmond. In the memorial garden he crouches down to chat with unsuspecting picnickers and their children. The scene is presided over by a statue of a soldier from the Gordon regiment.
The traditional ‘flesh pressing’ and ‘baby kissing’ of previous election campaigns has been distinctly absent across the 2015 campaigns and from my sketchbooks but upon the arrival of Nicola Sturgeon I’m able to sketch a proper unmediated walkabout.
‘Shall we have a wee selfie ?’ Ms Sturgeon asks children with SNP stickers stuck to their foreheads.
Before taking a tea break in The Mitchell’s Dairy, Salmond and Sturgeon have a chat, table by table with all their fellow diners. I make a very quick sketch of a young boy as he gives Ms Sturgeon a drawing he’s done for her. It is covered in hearts.
But for the ‘selfies’ and ‘high fives’ this event appears to represent very ‘old school’ canvassing.