THE Scottish Greens are poised to stand in just one Tory-held constituency at the forthcoming General Election, boosting the chances of the SNP retaking the seats from Boris Johnson’s party.

Nicola Sturgeon’s party is the main rival to the 13 Conservative MPs and would be in line to gain from the absence of a Green candidate on the ballot paper.

With less than two months to go before a possible snap poll, the Scottish Greens have selected candidates in 16 out of 59 Scottish constituencies.

The only Tory-held seat the Greens have decided to fight is Stirling, where the MP Stephen Kerr is being challenged by the high-profile SNP MEP Alyn Smith. Kerr has a majority of just 148 votes.

Local Green activists have recently opted not to stand in Scottish Secretary Alister Jack’s Dumfries and Galloway constituency, or in his predecessor David Mundell’s Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale (DCT). The SNP are the main contenders to oust both Tory MPs.

Local Greens in Moray will not to put up a candidate against the SNP’s contender to fight Tory MP Douglas Ross.

A poll last month suggested the Tories stood to lose ten of their 13 Scottish MPs, with the SNP on course for another landslide, taking 51 seats. It also suggested the position of Jack, who holds a 5,600 majority, is at risk.

MPs will tomorrow vote on whether to back Boris Johnson’s calls for a General Election on 12 December.

Earlier this month the Scottish Greens ruled out entering any “official electoral alliances” with the SNP, citing climate concerns. A motion on the issue was passed by delegates at the final day of the party’s autumn conference in Inverness.

READ MORE: The National rally: Janey Godley confirmed to join line-up

Closing the party’s autumn conference was the Greens lead candidate for the Highlands and Islands for the 2021 Holyrood election, Ariane Burgess. She criticised the SNP’s conference, which began on the same day in Aberdeen, for having events sponsored by BP and Heathrow and accused them of “selling out” to oil companies.

Laura Moodie, co-convener of Dumfries and Galloway Greens, and the party’s South of Scotland candidate for the 2021 Holyrood election, said yesterday said “no official or unofficial” pact had been made locally with the SNP.

She added: “It is up to local branches whether they choose to stand in an election. Dumfries and Galloway Greens have decided not to stand in either Mundell or Jack’s seat. South Lanarkshire are not contesting DCT either.

“For Dumfries and Galloway Greens, we feel Westminster and the UK is a failed state and don’t wish to dignify this farce of an election with much of a contest.

“We’d prefer to focus our efforts on Holyrood and local elections which are both more democratic and more meaningful to the lives of people in Dumfries and Galloway, and to making progress on social and environmental justice.

“We’ve allowed the pantomime at Westminster and Brexit to dominate politics for too long and we’re looking ahead to the 2021 Holyrood elections and 2022 council elections, as well as preparing for the independence referendum, once the SNP get on with calling for the Section 30 order they already have a mandate for.”

A Scottish Greens source denied any alliance with the SNP though he conceded activists from both parties sometimes did speak locally. He added there was a feeling in some seats of “having to get the Tories out” but it was also the case that “there was no love lost between the SNP and the Greens”.

The source went on: “If there was a suggestion we were standing aside for the SNP there would be outrage among our members. It’s not targeted. It’s up to local members ... But we have local members who are absolutely outraged by their Tory MP and that is factoring into their thoughts. In terms of final decisions [on Greens candidates being selected in all constituencies] we don’t know yet.”

The 16 constituencies where Greens have selected candidates so far are: Dunfermline and West Fife, Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow, Falkirk, Glasgow Central, Glasgow North, Glasgow South, West Dunbartonshire, Edinburgh East, Edinburgh North and Leith, Edinburgh South, Edinburgh South West, Linlithgow and Falkirk East and Livingston and Stirling.

Their candidates will be campaigning on a wide range of issues such as combating climate change, more action on drugs deaths, a fairer immigration system and a better transport system.

Cass MacGregor, Greens candidate for Glasgow North said: “Scotland is in the grip of a drug-deaths crisis, a situation that has been exacerbated by the policies of Westminster governments who prefer to penalise those with poor health rather than actually address the situation.

“Drug deaths are a public health matter – they need addressed as such. Greens will fight for initiatives like drug consumption rooms that can save lives; the decriminalisation of drugs; the devolution of drug law to Scotland and, vitally, fairer tax that reduces the inequality that leads to such high levels of substance abuse. We need to ensure that a public health approach is radical enough to actually stop this tragic crisis.”

Dunfermline and West Fife candidate Mags Hall said: “Communities in Fife know all too well just how bad Scotland’s public transport network can be. My colleague Mark Ruskell MSP played a pivotal role in securing funding for the reinstatement of the Levenmouth Rail Line, but in West Fife the Dunfermline to Alloa line is still lying mothballed when it could be a low-carbon commuting option.

“So as the next MP for Dunfermline and West Fife I’ll fight for the reopening of this line and fair funding for Network Rail – so that the Scottish Parliament can revitalise our local rail provision. Greens also support re-establishing passenger ferry services between Rosyth and mainland Europe, to give people a genuine alternative to flying.”

Tommy Sheppard, the SNP MP for Edinburgh East, said: “There’s no formal alliance, but as a matter of common sense I think people would expect the Green party to do the right thing and not to jeopardise the chances of a pro-independence MP being elected.”