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  • Writer's pictureThe Gaudie

UoA Student Standing for Orkney and Shetland Seat at Westminster

Politics student Shane Painter will face up against Scottish Lib Dem stalwart Alistair Carmichael

By Josh Pizzuto-Pomaco

Shane Painter is standing for the Tories in Orkney and Shetland. Photo Credit: ACUA

A fourth year Aberdeen Uni student has been tapped as the Conservative parliamentary candidate in Orkney and Shetland. Politics student Shane Painter, 21, announced his candidacy on social media this morning.

Mr Painter currently serves as Social Sciences Convenor on Student Council, and previously chaired the University's Conservative Association. He stood for a seat on Aberdeen City Council in May 2022, finishing fifth in George St and Harbour Ward.

Mr Painter grew up in Shetland before moving to Aberdeen to begin university in 2020.

Asked by The Gaudie for a reaction to the news, Mr Painter noted: "It's a privillege to have been selected as the Scottish Conservative candidate for my home constituency. I'm going to fight a positive campaign that will focus on the priorities of our island communities.

"As the youngest Scottish Conservative candidate so far, I am eager to ensure that young people's priorities are at the forefront of our agenda."

Speaking to the Shetland News, Mr Painter said he wants to focus on issues that matter for island communities, such as ferry transportation.

"As an islander, I know just how crucial the ferry services are," he said.

"They are the lifeline that connects our communities, and fighting to improve these vital services will be one of my top priorities.

“We have an ageing ferry fleet, and whilst the UK Government’s £27 million for a new ferry for Fair Isle is a very welcome first step, action from the Scottish Government in Edinburgh is long overdue.”

Mr Painter will face a tough challenge in Orkney and Shetland, a long time Liberal Democrat stronghold. He will face off against current MP Alistair Carmichael, the former Secretary of State for Scotland (and a University of Aberdeen alumnus).

In 2019, Mr Carmichael won re-election easily, beating his SNP opponent Robert Leslie by nearly 3,000 votes, or a margain of 10%. The Conservative candidate, Jennifer Fairbairn, finished with 9.9% of the vote.

Mr Painter is the second UoA student to announce their candidacy in recent months. Current councillor for George St and Harbour Desmond Bouse, who studies History at the University, is standing in Aberdeen North for the Liberal Democrats.


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