Much anticipation in Coatbridge & Chryston ahead of tonight’s big hustings. Not about the debate, but folk are agog to see if elusive SNP candidate Fulton ‘No Show’ MacGregor actually turns up. No Show, who confessed local SNP infighting made him “sick”, has a reputation for ducking questions, and was recently empty-chaired at a hustings about fracking. He boasts he’d be a “strong voice” for the area, but can he even speak? voters must wonder.


No Show is not the only SNP candidate to find themselves overcome by terror at the mere mention of the f-word, as the party's fence sitting routine over unconventional oil and gas becomes ever more excruciating.

Aileen McLeod was thrown into a blind panic when asked, in what was surely not a left-field question given her role as environment and climate change minister, "where do you stand on fracking?"

In an interview with ITV news, she stared blankly for four seconds before apologising and shuffling off camera, apparently to swot up on the latest party line. She also stumbled embarrassingly, before asking for a re-take, when asked whether there were too many wind farms in her prospective constituency of Galloway and West Dumfries.


Award for most bonkers attempt to reassure a hustings audience you’re not evil goes to Ukip’s Stuart McLuckie. Asked about the fate of EU citizens in Scotland in the event of Brexit, the Edinburgh Eastern hopeful generously declared: “Seeing as they came here by legal methods, there will be no forced deportations.” Cue general uproar and spluttering fellow candidates. McLuckie by name, it seems, but not by nature.


Political dynasties aren’t unusual, but their members do tend to stick with one party. Not so the Bell clan, the diary hears. Mum Jacquie is the LibDem candidate in Midlothian North, while son Huw is the Tory prospect in North East Fife. And if you think that’s bad enough, just wait for the EU referendum, when Huw will be backing Brexit...