It looks as if next year’s Scottish elections are shaping up to be very significant:
ALEX Salmond is on track to take Scotland to the brink of independence, according to a startling new poll which shows the SNP has opened up a clear lead over Labour.
With just eight months to go until the Holyrood elections, the party has established a four-point lead over its nearest rivals, and appears to be pulling away. (Scotland on Sunday)
The SNP could well hold this lead given the divisions being sown by Labour First Minister Jack McConnell’s internal party critics, who were nailed brilliantly in this piece by Joan McAlpine:
They represent the strain of thinking in Scottish Labour that for decades fought against the home rule commitment of its founding fathers. These staunch unionists fell grudgingly behind devolution in the 1990s, only because they were afraid of voters turning to the SNP. Many of them had campaigned against the proposed Scottish Assembly in the 1970s.
This faction sees the survival of the British Labour Party as paramount – far more important than Scotland’s needs as a nation. It believes in the supreme sacrifice: delivering a phalanx of Scottish MPs to shore up future Labour governments that cannot defeat the Tories in England. Any increase in the powers of the Scottish parliament will weaken the position of Scottish MPs at Westminster, and so affect Labour’s chances of governing England. (The Herald)
This fact has not been lost on the Campaign for an English Parliament, who are watching the Holyrood race with interest.