IT gives me no pleasure to have forecast, via the Herald letter’s pages, that the appointment of Rishi Sunak as Prime Minister, following the Liz Truss debacle, would undoubtedly result in the demise of the Conservative party at the next general election, something which is now a racing certainty.

The Parliamentary Tory party had the chance to appoint a fresh face, untainted by scandals and Partygate, such as Penny Mordaunt or Tom Tugendhat, the former being the choice of the grassroots members. Instead, however, they appointed a continuity candidate who had been fined for breaking Covid rules.

My views were compounded when in his first day in office Mr Sunak made a monumental error of judgement by appointing Suella Braverman as Home Secretary only six days after she resigned this same office for allegedly breaking the ministerial code. 

Some twenty months later, he has presided over an election campaign that has been littered with mis-steps and unforced errors, starting with his appearance on television when he announced the date of the general election, looking like a drowned rat.

Grant Shapps basically conceded an election defeat on a grand scale. More gaffes followed, including the betting scandals. 

The timing of the election was another issue. Many senior Tories felt that an autumn election would have resulted in a closer battle between them and Labour, with inflation reaching target levels, the economy showing signs of growth, energy bills falling, wages rising, taxes being cut and the UK having become the world’s fourth largest export economy in the world. 

Waiting for these factors to have a positive impact on the electorate would have been a far more sensible option.

The situation in Scotland is just as underwhelming, where Douglas Ross has torpedoed any chance they had of retaining their six existing seats here by denying the ailing David Duguid the chance to stand for election, instead assuming his place on the ballot paper. 

I am glad that Mr Ross has finally resigned his position but it has come too late to save the Tories in Scotland.

Notwithstanding all the above, Labour has not done enough to convince me that they deserve a shot at government and are only in the ascendancy because the Conservative party has lost its way. 
Where my vote will fall tomorrow will have to wait until I actually have pen in hand within the polling station. Not a dilemma I would normally experience.
Christopher H Jones, Giffnock, Glasgow.


Why did Starmer not show up? 
IN her article ‘Laughs on last leg to polling day’ (July 1) Alison Rowat highlighted that Stephen Flynn, the SNP’s Westminster leader, won the unofficial best sense of humour competition during the election, with his reply to Laura Kuenssberg on Sunday morning about not having spent enough time with the Tartan Army in Germany. 

This article also reminded  us that a future possible Prime Minister, Sir Keir Starmer, was asked onto the Kuenssberg programme but declined and sent forth a substitute.

It’s strange to comprehend that someone who is seeking to persuade voters and aspires to be the Prime Minister should decline such an opportunity to be beamed into the living rooms of over one million viewers.

But then Ms Kuenssberg may have posed difficult questions, asking him to substantiate his fiscal policies, to be direct and honest regarding his plans to reduce the welfare budget and about Labour’s plans to tackle climate change – all questions that no-one really knows answers to. 

Sir Keir has also U-turned on the biggest elephant in the room, the issue that has not featured high enough during the election campaign: Brexit. We all know where the Conservatives are on those issues, because we are all suffering the hugely damaging consequences. But Labour are simply not being honest with voters, they are avoiding the limelight.
Amidst all the focus on election day, perhaps we should all spare a thought for those visiting their local foodbanks this week.
Catriona C Clark, Banknock, Falkirk.


Grilling of politicians

I’M glad we have TV political figures like Laura Kuenssberg who are able to grill politicians. I’m old enough to remember Robin Day, and David Dimbleby in his prime. Their mantle today has been taken up by Kuenssberg, James O’Brien and Andrew Neil. It was the latter, as you may recall, who so frightened Boris Johnson in the run-up to the last election that the then PM decided that cowardice was the better part of valour, and declined to be interviewed.
M Scott, Edinburgh.


Peddling of the indy fantasy
ANDY McIver asks why support for independence does not translate into support for the SNP (‘Support for indy is solid so why is SNP losing voters?’, June 28).

The answer is simple. There seem to be many people who would like independence but who are at the same time rational and mature enough to see that it is currently unachievable, in that it is neither practicable or affordable. And as I have pointed out before, the more that the SNP pretends otherwise, the more out of touch with reality they show themselves to be. So to answer the question, as we approach the election, Scottish voters are turning to other parties, especially Labour and its realistic and pragmatic offer, rather than indulging the fantasy of independence that is being is being peddled by the SNP.
Peter A. Russell, Jordanhill, Glasgow.


Missing ballots
“CONCERNS at missing post ballots dismissed by No 10” – the headline in yesterday’s Herald, above a report about claims that Scottish voters are being disenfranchised. “Urgent probe launched as Londoners fail to receive postal vote ballots”, writes the London Evening Standard, above a report about a probe launched by the postal affair ministers. Same old shabby attitude regarding Scotland from southern politicians. Shocking—NOT!
GR Weir, Ochiltree.


SNP’s role in ‘79
JD Drummond (‘Swinney correct to blame Thatcher’, letters, July 2) seems to forget that if the SNP hadn’t supported the Tory vote of no confidence which brought down the Callaghan government in 1979, we might never have had the Thatcher years.
June Murray, Glasgow.