The Scottish Green party are in with a strong chance of a seat in the European elections in May, after polls put them within 1% of snatching victory from the United Kingdom's populist Eurosceptic party, UKIP.
Polls suggest that UKIP might dominate the elections, at 26% across the whole of the United Kingdom. But, in Scotland their support is significantly smaller, where they poll at 10%. The Scottish Greens have 9% support, and stand a good chance of sneaking past UKIP. If she wins, their candidate Maggie Chapman is likely to take the last of Scotland's six seats.
UKIP have been criticised in British and European media for their anti-Europe policies, and their calls to limit immigration to the UK.
Patrick Harvie, co-convenor of the Scottish Greens explains why beating them in the polls would be so important: “A vote for the Greens' Maggie Chapman is a vote for a Scotland that welcomes and values new Scots... It's also a vote for an immigrant feminist - the ultimate slap in UKIP's face."
Chapman was born in Zimbabwe.
The rise of UKIP in British politics is similar to the rise of other populist parties across Europe such as Front National in France. Most share the same anti-immigration, anti-EU viewpoint, offering easy solutions and building on prejudices to build support, without offering viable solutions or coherent approaches for Europe's future. The Scottish Greens aren't alone in their opinion that the best counter to these arguments are facts, and fighting the narrative that the EU must be rolled back by highlighting how Europe has improved lives across the EU.
But, the message from the Scottish Greens isn't just that UKIP must be stopped – they're also campaigning on their own strong record. They have been highly active on campaigning to protect Scotland's unique and beautiful environment, fighting for a fair economy in Scotland and fighting nuclear - most of the UK's nuclear arsenal is based in the Firth of Clyde on Scotland's west coast. Their unique voice in Scottish politics means that the Greens are stronger in Scotland than in anywhere else in the UK.
Let's hope they bring their voice to the European Parliament this year.