Uk news The friendly battle for Glasgow Kelvin and to secure a Holyrood first PremierLeague-News.Com
PremierLeague-News.Com - Patrick Harvie and Kaukab Stewart are going head-to-head in the Glasgow Kelvin constituency
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! There aren't many firsts in Scottish politics anymore but come Saturday afternoon we're likely to have seen one. The contest in the Glasgow Kelvin constituency - which includes much of the city centre as well as the West End - is shaping up to be a two-horse race between Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie and the SNP's Kaukab Stewart. So why is the race so important? If Harvie wins he'll become the first ever Green candidate to win a constituency seat in Scotland - while if Stewart is elected, she would become the first female MSP from a Muslim or BAME background. The SNP won the seat in 2016 when Sandra White (who is retiring and not standing for re-election) secured a 4,048 majority. The Greens, who finished second five years ago, now feel they have a real chance of winning the seat. Kaukab Stewart out with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon in Glasgow (Image: PA) Read More Related Articles BBC leaders' debate: What time does it start and where can I watch? Read More Related Articles Scottish Election 2021: Simple guide to the Lothian regional list Stewart and Harvie face competition from Labour's Pam Duncan-Glancy, Grahame Cannell for the Tories, and David McKenzie of the Lib Dems. For Stewart, it's not the first time she has went up against a big name in Scottish politics. Back in 1999 she was up against Donald Dewar in the old Glasgow Anniesland seat where she lost out by 10,993 votes. Then in 2010 she lost to Labour MP Alistair Darling in Edinburgh South West, where she finished in fourth place behind the Tories and the Lib Dems. What are the housing issues in Glasgow Kelvin? Both candidates recognised there are problems with house and rent affordability in the constituency, which includes city centre wards like Anderston as well as upmarket areas like Hyndland. Harvie said: "Kelvin, and the West End, has this stereotype of being a leafy, affluent area. "But it's very mixed, it's very diverse, and even within the heart of what is described as the leafy West End, you've got a lot of people in the private rented sector who get fleeced for poor quality housing. "A lot of those people are younger people, but may be families, and owner occupation is a reach for them, social housing is unavailable for them, and so they are stuck with a badly regulated private rented sector where they may well be forced to pay more than they would for a mortgage. "That is just lining someone else's pockets or padding someone's pension. Scottish politics Sturgeon hits out at GMB host Compston attacks Tories Holiday ban should be extended Find the candidates in your area "We've got a housing market that's not working for our people in this constituency. "The SNP have been too willing to support the purpose-built student accommodation, which is not the most affordable, or accessible, especially for students. They are even backing the build-to-rent model more widely and again that's going to contribute to house price inflation." Stewart agrees that students are facing extortionate prices. She said: "Housing, there seems to be a pressure point with that. We seem to have an oversupply of student accommodation but an undersupply of social housing. That is something Sandra has done a lot of work on that already with the councillors. "Students are being asked to pay far too high prices for the student accommodation. "What we need to do is to make sure that there is affordable rental accommodation both in the private sector and in the social housing. That would relieve that tension a bit." Sign up to our Politics newsletter Get all the top Scottish politics news sent straight to your Inbox by signing up to our Politics newsletter. We cover Holyrood, Westminster and local councils, with a current focus on how our governments are handling the coronavirus pandemic. To sign up, simply enter your email address into the pink box near the top of this article. Alternatively, you can visit our newsletter sign up-centre. Once you are there, enter your email address and select Politics and any other Daily Record newsletters that are of interest. What do the candidates say about COP26? Stewart is looking forward to welcoming the world to Glasgow Kelvin where the COP26 climate conference will take place in November at the SEC. She said: "With COP26, I think it's brilliant that we have it but I want to have legacy projects that are left so we don't just get the bounce at the time. "I know there has been investment secured for the SWG3, so that is absolutely fantastic. "With Kelvin Way (which was pedestrianised during lockdown), it has worked really well. I want to see more of the avenue model. The world will be coming to Glasgow for COP26 in November (Image: Getty Images) "What has been done on Sauchiehall Street I would like to see that come along Argyle Street and having that avenue model where you've got the trees, the walking areas, the cycling lanes and you're taking the traffic off it completely. You're making it more of a mixed area." Harvie was also looking forward to Glasgow welcoming the world. He said: "People in this constituency have alway been concerned about the climate. There is a strong strand within this community that we are in a climate emergency, domestically as well as internationally.
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. I do think it's a critical moment of opportunity." What do the candidates think of the race for Holyrood? Stewart is looking forward to the contest with Harvie but said was taking nothing for granted. She said: "I've stood against Donald Dewar, I've stood against Alistair Darling so it's fine. So I won't be too phased being up against Patrick. "I was meeting a friend for coffee - and who comes across but Patrick Harvie. We had a nice wee chat, but it was the faces of the people who walked past which was funny. We'll take nothing for granted in Glasgow Kelvin."
Patrick Harvie will be looking to secure top spot in Glasgow Kelvin
(Image: NurPhoto/PA Images)
Harvie said: "It's the first time we've gone into a constituency contest from second place which is where we were last time. The fact that the sitting MSP is standing down, and the fact we're going into it with a high profile candidate, compared with the other parties, yeah we're going to give it our best shot. "I think a great many people in the constituency are very conscious this well be where the eyes of the world are looking when the climate conference comes here later in the year. Hopefully people will elect us the first constituency Green MSP that we've had. "Glasgow has a tradition of voting for a slightly more radical voice and Glasgow's West End, Glasgow Kelvin, is a very diverse, creative and vibrant part of the city. I think we have values that are resonant with a lot of people from this part of the city." What are the transport issues in Glasgow Kelvin? Increasing the amount of cycling lanes in the constituency to reduce the level of pollution is something that both candidates are very keen on. Stewart said: "If we want to have greener connected travel, for instance cycle routes, then it's trying to look at that bigger picture and people are going to have to move out their comfort zone. "Transport is a big issue, especially with the emission zones you know Byres Road and Hope Street, and that's coming up again and again. People are still conscious about their health and they noticed a big difference during lockdown because there were no cars on the road. "The air and the pollution was very low during lockdown and we're seeing a rise in that with more traffic on the road." Harvie, a keen cyclist, also wants to see more to combat pollution. He said: "I live in Partick and this is one of the most polluted bits of the city, it has had chronic air pollution problems not just for years but for decades.
Kelvin Way in Glasgow was pedestrianised during the first lockdown
(Image: Garry F McHarg Daily Record)
"We're not going to solve that without changing transport policy. This is the kind of area where we should be seeing investment in bike routes. "The Greens were very active in challenging the council for their Byers Road development plans which originally didn't include segregated bike lanes, now those plans do include segregated bike lanes because the work of the Greens and others (GoBike). "We had less success on University Avenue. Again, it's not a safe route for bikes at the moment and it still won't be because the University (Glasgow) dug their heels in said no. "We really need to be making sure that our whole transport network is safe for people to walk to wheel. And reducing car traffic is absolutely part of that." How crucial is the student vote for the Greens? All three of Glasgow's universities are located within the Kelvin constituency. The student vote is a demographic the Greens have courted in the past. But with many undergraduates currently living at home off-campus due to the pandemic, could Harvie's electoral chances suffer? He said: "This student issue is going to be interesting and it's a bit of an unknown factor. "Over the years you've seen changes in the pattern of how many students will be registered here when they are living as students here and how many stay registered in other parts of Scotland. "The expansion of the right to vote means that everyone that is legally resident in Scotland has got the right to vote and we've been active in trying to encourage folk who previously didn't have the right to vote to come out."
The University of Glasgow lies within the Glasgow Kelvin constituency
What does Stewart want to focus on? Stewart said: "We've got a lot of small businesses along the Finnieston strip and a few of them have just about managed to get by. "They are opening but they are very nervous. They are getting the initial flurry of customers but once the city centre has opened they have noticed a dip in their sales and footfall." "Education is my big thing and I am very proud of some of the commitments the SNP is making. If I do get elected I would quite happy to look at extending bursary provisions."
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