WILLIE Rennie has claimed his party is “on the brink” of picking up seats from the Borders to the Highlands, despite it being becalmed in the polls.

The Scottish Liberal Democrat leader today urged voters in every party of the country to give his party their list vote if they were concerned about Tory sleaze and the SNP’s focus on independence.

However he made no mention of Scottish Labour, the party he hopes to form an alliance with after the 2026 Holyrood election.

The LibDems are the second-place challengers in only three constituencies, and are in with a realistic chance in only one of those: Caithness, Sutherland and Ross.

However the party is more hopeful of gains on the regional list system tomorrow, notably Glasgow, South Scotland and West Scotland.

At present, the party has only one list MSP, from North East Scotland, with its four others all holding constituencies. 

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But recent polls indicate the LibDems are unlikely to make a breakthrough, predicting they will stay on five MSPs or even go backwards, which would raise questions about Mr Rennie’s leadership.

The party had five MSPs when he took over a decade ago, although it has picked up three MPs since 2017. 

Kicking off a whistlestop tour at an airfield in Labour-held East Lothian, Mr Rennie said: “Over the past few weeks, I have crisscrossed Scotland speaking to voters.

“ Liberal Democrats are on the brink of taking new seats from the Borders to the Highlands.

“Voters can choose whether the next Parliament is one that puts recovery first or one that is dominated by independence. 

“The next Parliament must have a needle-sharp focus on helping education bounce back, cutting mental health waits, creating jobs for people desperate for work and taking action on the climate. 

“Every Liberal Democrat vote in every part of the country, especially on the peach ballot paper, will help to elect more Liberal Democrat MSPs who will put recovery first. 

“If you are concerned about the behaviour of Boris Johnson and the Conservatives and about the SNP’s focus on independence, I urge you to vote Liberal Democrat to put recovery first.”