THE LibDems can take the key third party position at Westminster from the SNP at the General Election, their leader has said.

Ed Davey made clear his intention to win back the third status in the Commons during a visit to Scotland on Monday.

The LibDems have not been Westminster’s third party – which guarantees a spot at Prime Minister’s Questions – since the SNP’s landslide in 2015, and in Holyrood they lost their party status after returning only four MSPs in the 2021 elections.

However, speaking in Scotland on Monday, Davey said there could be “more liberals than nationalists” in the new UK parliament.

Speaking to BBC Radio Scotland on Monday, Davey pointed to four seats north of the Border his party were targeting – all of which are currently held by SNP MPs.

These include Inverness, Skye and West Ross-shire – a portion of which was held by former party leader Charles Kennedy before he lost it to the retiring former SNP Westminster boss Ian Blackford – and Mid Dunbartonshire, the successor to the seat lost by former LibDem chief Jo Swinson to the SNP’s Amy Callaghan in 2019.

“We are a big part of the change that’s happening,” Davey said.

“I think there is a massive desire to get rid of the Conservatives in Westminster and also, actually, to get rid of the SNP.

“I think we have a real chance, when we get to July 5 – the day after polling day – there will be more liberals than nationalists in the next parliament.

“I think the Liberal Democrats can be the third party in UK politics again.”

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Seats won by the party, he said, would have “fantastic local champions”, who would “make such a difference” at Westminster and could lead to an increase to funding for the health service.

The comments came as the party launched its Scottish General Election campaign, with Davey joining Scottish group leader Alex Cole-Hamilton.

The launch focused on the provision of NHS dentistry – a devolved matter – with the pair set to claim the service has been neglected by the Scottish and UK governments.

Speaking ahead of the event, Cole-Hamilton said: “People are resorting to DIY dentistry and buying tools off Amazon to do the job themselves because they can’t get an NHS dentist."

The Scottish LibDems have been under fire after The National revealed that their candidate in a key target seat previously donated £25,000 to Boris Johnson's Tory Party.

Dr Lucy Beattie, the SNP’s candidate for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross said: “Voters in constituencies such as Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross haven’t forgotten that the LibDems worked along with the Tories to impose huge austerity cuts and cut household incomes.

“We need to get rid of the Tory Government.

“The way to do that in Scotland is to vote SNP, because we are the main challengers in every Tory-held seat.

“Voters can only rely on the SNP to put the interests of Scotland first.”