A political fund for MPs who support remaining in the EU set up by late Liberal grandee Paddy Ashdown has offered its support to a second candidate in North East Fife.
More United, who earlier this year revealed its backing and financial support for former SNP MP Stephen Gethins, has announced it will also back Lib Dem candidate Wendy Chamberlain.
Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie claimed the announcement would be “embarrassing” for Mr Gethins, who has printed leaflets hailing More United’s support which have gone out to voters in the constituency.
The group earlier this year announced its support for Mr Gethins, having backed the previous Lib Dem candidate in the 2017 election.
The SNP won that contest by only two votes, making North East Fife the UK’s most marginal seat.
The Lib Dems are confident they can reclaim the seat, which was held by former UK leader Sir Menzies Campbell since the 1980s, before he stepped down in 2015.
One party source said North East Fife was their biggest target for the 2019 election, which will take place on December 12 and they were confident voters from other parties, including the Tories and Labour, would vote for them.
Former Lib Dem Fife Lord Provost Frances Melville earlier this month announced she was switching her support to the SNP at the upcoming vote.
North East Fife MSP Willie Rennie said: “This is good news for the Liberal Democrat campaign to win back North East Fife. It gives us the kind of momentum to win from the SNP.
“It’ll be embarrassing for Stephen Gethins who claimed that More United has rejected the Liberal Democrats in favour of him in North East Fife.
“I am sure that he will withdraw his latest leaflet that makes the claim of unique support for him.
“With only two votes in it More United have reflected how close the race to be our next MP is going to be.”
Mr Gethins said: “I have been pleasantly surprised over the course of this election campaign by the backing I have received from cross-party figures, including senior members of the Lib Dems and Greens.
“The people of North East Fife know the best way we beat the Tories is to vote SNP.
“It means I can continue with my work started with the Lib Dems, Greens and others at Westminster to stop Brexit and a dangerous and damaging Tory government.
“I have been delighted the remain vote has galvanised behind the SNP in North East Fife as it has across Scotland.”
Scottish Conservative councillor Tony Miklinski is standing in the North East seat, which cabinet member Michael Gove described as a “three-way marginal”.
The largest vote swing at the 2017 election was toward the Conservative candidate, but was short on the SNP and Lib Dems by 3,655 votes.