Page last updated at 10:11 GMT, Tuesday, 20 April 2010 11:11 UK

Scottish Greens hope for Westminster breakthrough

Robin Harper
Robin Harper said the Greens had proven themselves to voters

The Scottish Greens have launched their general election manifesto, claiming there is a real chance of sending their first MP to Westminster.

The party pledged to tackle poverty, protect public services and promote new green jobs at every opportunity.

Robin Harper MSP - the candidate for Edinburgh East - said the party had proven itself to voters at Holyrood.

He said: "Our fresh and radical politics can help move on from the age of the political dinosaurs."

The party said the possibility of a hung parliament opened the door to the Greens, and Mr Harper added: "There is a strong possibility that Westminster will see its first parliament of minorities for decades."

The MSP said the party had shown itself able to work with the larger parties on key issues.

Over the last 10 years, elected Greens have a made a real difference as local councillors and MSPs
Eleanor Scott
Greens candidate

He said: "We can work alongside government for legislation to be brought into law as we have with the Hate Crimes Bill. We can work co-operatively with others like we did to scrap tuition fees for good in Scotland.

"We can bring, and win, crucial votes like we did in the Scottish Parliament against the renewal of Trident. But we're never afraid to stand up and say no when the larger parties try to throw their weight around. Constructive when possible, challenging when needed."

Mr Harper said the Greens' approach would help end the politics of "economic failure, social inequality and an environmental crisis".

'Clear stance'

He said: "We will create an economy built around people - one that makes a priority of a living wage for all, not banker's bonuses; we will protect our public services from pointless cuts, instead ending the billions wasted on the renewal of Trident.

"We will support new green jobs and create an energy-saving and energy-generating democracy for the future."

His comments were echoed by Eleanor Scott, the party's co-convenor and candidate in Ross, Skye and Lochaber. She said: "This is the first time in a general election where pollsters, pundits and the bookies are predicting a breakthrough for the Greens.

"Over the last 10 years, elected Greens have a made a real difference as local councillors and MSPs. We've combined a clear stance on the great global issues with a real desire to get things right locally."

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