LIBDEM leader Jo Swinson certainly caught the attention of the UK media when she declared she was running to become Prime Minister at the launch of her party’s General Election campaign.

The LibDems took less than 8% of the vote and just a dozen Westminster seats in 2017, but speaking at the launch event in London earlier this week, Swinson said Brexit ensured December’s election will be hugely unpredictable.

“Don’t let anyone tell you what has to happen. Change is possible, and you get to choose,” the leader said in her message to voters.

“I never thought I’d stand here and say that I’m a candidate to be prime minister. But when I look at Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn, I am absolutely certain I could do a better job than either of them.”

READ MORE: General Election: Three times Jo Swinson’s LibDems misled voters

On a visit to her East Dunbartonshire constituency near Glasgow a couple of days later, it was difficult to find anyone who thought this was a realistic ambition.

“I can’t see Jo Swinson becoming prime minister and personally I wouldn’t want her to be,” David Faith, a local solicitor, told me.

The National: David Faith. Photograph: Colin MearnsDavid Faith. Photograph: Colin Mearns

Standing close to the start of the West Highland Way on the pedestrianised Douglas Street in Milngavie, the 38-year-old cited Swinson’s record as a minister in the Tory/LibDem coalition government and her controversial call for a statue to be built in honour of former Tory PM Margaret Thatcher as among the reasons why he won’t be voting for her next month.

“I think Jo Swinson’s time in government was very poorly used,” he said. “She personally was very much leading the charge in terms of increasing fees for employment tribunals, she voted through major cuts to social security, her version of feminism is about building a statue to Margaret Thatcher and making cuts to social security which disproportionately affect women and that is not something I think people should be getting behind.”

Swinson, who became LibDem leader in July, became the MP for East Dunbartonshire in 2005 when she beat Labour’s John Lyons. As the youngest MP she replaced fellow LibDem MP Sarah Teather as the “Baby of the House”.

WATCH: Jo Swinson attempts to defend 'entirely misleading' graph

She successfully held her seat in the 2010 General Election and her career swiftly advanced when the LibDems entered into a coalition government with David Cameron’s Conservative Party.

Controversy knocked, however, in December 2010 when she voted in favour of allowing universities to raise tuition fees up to £9000 a year – despite a Lib Dem manifesto promise to oppose any increase.

The then-party leader Nick Clegg was forced to apologise for the tuition fees U-turn two years later.

Swinson’s support for draconian welfare cuts – including a rise in benefit sanctions – also proved unpopular and five years later she was ousted from her East Dunbartonshire seat by the SNP’s John Nicolson.

But in a remarkable political comeback, Swinson found herself back on the green benches following the snap General Election in 2017.

The National: Milngavie. Photograph: Colin MearnsMilngavie. Photograph: Colin Mearns

Now the SNP are determined to win back the seat with their candidate Amy Callaghan, a 27-year-old party activist and office manager to Strathkelvin and Bearsden MSP Rona Mackay.

However, with recent polls suggesting a comfortable LibDem victory, regaining the seat would certainly be a major coup for Nicola Sturgeon’s party.

“The problem the SNP have here is that a lot of Tories will vote LibDem just to keep the SNP out.

“It is going to be a tough challenge for Amy, but she is a great candidate, a real fighter and well known locally,” said Margaret Cusker, a local SNP member and Yes activist.

One of the difficulties faced by the SNP locally is the high pro-Union vote. Some 61% of voters in the area opposed independence in 2014.

However, Cusker believes that views are shifting as a result of Brexit and the high number of local people opposed to leaving the European Union.

Some 71% of voters in the area backed remaining in the EU in the referendum in June 2016.

The National: Margaret Cusker. Photograph: Colin MearnsMargaret Cusker. Photograph: Colin Mearns

“We had one of the highest No votes in 2014, but I think things are changing on that front because of Brexit and the high Remain vote two years later,” the 64-year-old former sales manageress told us.

The National caught up with one teacher in Milngavie town centre as she heads home after her working day and as dusk falls. She seemed to illustrate Cusker’s point.

“I didn’t vote for independence in 2014, but I would be open to it next time, chiefly because of the way the British Government has handled Brexit,” the woman, who did not want to be named, told us.

She added: “If we are out of Europe, I will vote for independence, if we remain in Europe, then I’m not so sure.”

The teacher, however, rejected SNP claims that Swinson is an absent figure in the constituency, explaining: “I’ve found her pretty good actually. She regularly comes into schools. She is very kind and decent with the pupils and I think she speaks well.”

She added, however, that while she did vote for Swinson last time, she was not so sure if she would back her next month.

“She has certain views, particularly over the NHS which worry me a bit and I would like to find out more about them,” she said.

The National: Andrew Jones. Photograph: Colin MearnsAndrew Jones. Photograph: Colin Mearns

First time voter Andrew Jones was also unsure.

“I’m not very up on politics,” said the 18-year-old Milngavie student.

“I haven’t decided who I will vote for.”

On one issue, however, he was certain: “Brexit is a mess and I would prefer to remain.”