VOTER ID is a “concern” among candidates campaigning in the Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election, Katy Loudon has said.

With just days left before voters in the constituency go to the ballot box to pick their next MP, the SNP’s candidate has said that there are fears those who are turned away might not come back.

She pointed to the impact on the English local authority elections, where an estimated 14,000 people were denied a vote because they didn’t have the correct identification.

Loudon also admitted that turnout is “absolutely key” for the party in the seat that is hotly contested against Labour’s candidate Michael Shanks.

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The South Lanarkshire councillor for Cambuslang East was asked by journalists at a campaign event in Blantyre with First Minister Humza Yousaf (below) if she had worries about the impact of voter ID.

The by-election will be the first UK-wide vote in Scotland which will have the requirement.

“I think it is a concern because we saw that it had a real effect on the local elections down south, we did,” Loudon said.

“The worry is of course that if people are turned away from a polling station, are they going to come back?

“So we’re doing our part every time we’re speaking to people on the doorstep, we’re sending that message.

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“Every leaflet that’s gone out, every election communication, Facebook adverts, every way we can think of to make sure that message gets across because make no bones about this, this move by the Tories in Westminster is about voter suppression.

“It was, and that’s just completely unacceptable.

“So it’s on all of us, and that is something I’m pleased to say, among candidates, we all seem to have agreed on as well, and we’ve all been working very hard to get that message out. I know that the council has, and the joint evaluation board who are in charge of the electoral roll in the constituency have been.”

The Electoral Commission, which conducted a study of the impact of Voter ID on the English local authority elections earlier this year, said that 4% of people who did not vote said it was because they did not have the correct identification. However, the true impact could be much bigger.

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Following the introduction of the Election Act, voters have to show a document from a list of photographic IDs for every Westminster election across the UK, and for local elections in England.

It does not apply to Holyrood elections or ballots for Scottish local authorities, only UK-wide electoral events.

Loudon added that she believes voter turnout is “absolutely key” ahead of the crucial election.

“We’re crossing our fingers that it will be a sunnier day than it is today because there are all sorts of factors, as you know, that can influence by-elections,” she said.

The National: SNP Westminster by-election candidate Katy Loudon

“So it’s our job to go out there and get our message out and to make our voters come out.”

Asked why she would want to be an MP and part of the “broken Westminster system” as an SNP politician who believes in independence, Loudon said: “Because it is broken, but we’re stuck with it, so we can’t just accept that.

“This constituency can send a candidate to Westminster so that representative in Westminster needs to be somebody that will fight for them.”