By Alistair Grant

SINCE 1974, East Dunbartonshire has been held by all four of Scotland’s main political parties. Its largely affluent residents voted No in 2014 and opted to stay in the EU two years later by a considerable margin.

The leafy streets of commuter towns such as Milngavie and Bearsden, on the northern fringe of Greater Glasgow, have seen their fair share of tactical voting.

Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson currently enjoys a 5,339 majority, but the SNP insist she is on a shoogly peg.

Ms Swinson lost the seat in 2015 following a surge in Nationalist support, and there are few victories the SNP would enjoy more than toppling her again.

The LibDems have put Ms Swinson front and centre of the party’s campaign – initially touting her as a potential candidate for Prime Minister.

That ambition has recently fallen by the wayside, however, and Ms Swinson’s approval ratings have dropped repeatedly.

She is seen as a strong local MP with firm support, but SNP activists insist voters in the constituency are turning against her.

“The SNP will obviously campaign to try and win wherever they want to try and win,” Ms Swinson said when asked about her opponent’s confidence.

“What I would say to my fellow neighbours in East Dunbartonshire is that they have got a choice between having an MP who stands up for the community, who wants to keep Scotland in the UK and fight to keep the UK in the EU.

“Those are things that East Dunbartonshire voted for, as well as Scotland more generally.

“Or they can have an SNP member of parliament who will beat the drum for independence.

“I think there’s a reason why, in 2017, after having had an SNP member of parliament for two years, people chose to re-elect myself as the member of parliament.”

Former broadcaster John Nicolson won the seat for the SNP in 2015, before losing it two years later.

He has since fled to stand in Tory-held Ochil and South Perthshire, with 27-year-old Amy Callaghan now fighting East Dunbartonshire for the Nationalists.

She said Ms Swinson comes up repeatedly on the doorstep.

People are “fed up of having a pop-up MP who cares more about national profile than local issues”.

“Every time she’s got a national interview, the next day, with canvassing, people are completely outraged at some of the things that she’s been saying,” Ms Callaghan said.

She pointed to a recent interview in which Ms Swinson said she would be prepared to use the UK’s nuclear deterrent.

“I’m standing to be a local, accountable MP,” Ms Callaghan said. “I care about this area and I want to represent East Dunbartonshire.

“We are standing on a platform of three key things, which is one, to escape Brexit; two, to protect out NHS, which is my biggest pledge; and the third one is to give the people of Scotland the chance to choose their own future.”

Labour, the Conservatives, the Scottish Greens, Ukip and the Scottish Family Party are also fielding candidates, along with an independent.