SNP Already On The Offensive Over Slim Conservative Majority

Jeff J Mitchell/AFP/Getty

Alex Salmond has already predicted failure for the new Conservative government only days after it was swept to power by the unexpected majority.

The new MP for Gordon says Mr Cameron will have trouble legislating his manifesto pledges, especially on the pledges made in the last few days of the Independence referendum in Scotland last year.

Although quick to reaffirm the party line that the election for the party in Scotland is not a mandate to demand another referendum or to press ahead with ‘home rule’ he said that the voters of Scotland had given a clear indication they wanted an end to ‘austerity’ which puts them directly at odds with the wishes of the English.

Speaking to Sky News, Mr Salmond said “Nicola Sturgeon pointed out that this was not a mandate for independence or for an independence referendum.”

“What it is a mandate for is for us to do our best, shift the UK Parliament away from austerity towards progressive politics.”

In his victory speech, the former leader of the SNP said the “Scottish lion had roared” and that he and his fellow MPs would make sure Scotland’s voice was heard in Westminster.

There’s no doubt that the party would have preferred a Labour minority government which they could have wielded power over but he is still insistent that Scotland’s voice will be heard.

“Although the Tories have an absolute majority, that’s going to erode and change within – well, not even within years, I suspect within months,” he said.

And despite not having the balance of power which Nicola Sturgeon so clearly expected they would have, he said “there will be opportunities to make that voice, that cry of the heart from Scotland, heard loud and clear.”

A political trouble maker, he said he was looking forward to causing problems for the Conservative administration and said Cameron would not be comfortable in his leadership of the country for very long.

But being a trouble maker does not mean that he can have any significant influence on the direction of the government.

Drawing a parallel with John Major’s administration in 1992 following another unexpected majority, he said “I don’t think the ground is secure under Mr Cameron’s feet,” adding the Prime Minister faces “a range of difficult challenges.”

But while he may have Scotland all but wrapped up, he sits in the Westminster parliament which is dominated by English MPs who support a United Kingdom and will be looking for every opportunity to highlight SNP MPs voting on English only matters. It’s a pro-union Parliament which has the vigour of an unexpected outright victory and new MPs who took the scalp of opposition big hitters delighting in their success.

John Major hung on until 1997 even with a leadership battle: some might say the regionalised successes have gone to Mr Salmond’s head.





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