Sunday, September 10, 2006

Scottish Independence

A YouGov poll in The Sunday Times shows 62% of Scots favour more powers for the Scottish Parliament, and 42% favour independence (with 42% against). Alec Salmond is a more popular choice for First Minister than Jack McConnell, and the SNP's poll rating would give them 38 of the 129 MSP's (to Labour's 42) - this would enable the SNP to form a coalition with the Liberal-Democrats and the Greens. That, however, is very unlikely, since the Liberal-Democrats (like Labour) are a unionist party. The fact is that the electoral system used in Scotland (AMS) was devised to prevent the SNP gaining an overall majority of MSP's; in return Labour sacificed any hope of one-party Labour government and settled for coalition with the Liberal-Democrats. It would need a much bigger shift towards the SNP to give them any hope of getting the Scottish Parliament to agree to a referendum.


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