Wednesday, 19 November 2014
He’s No’ Awa’ Tae Bide Awa'
Nicola Sturgeon is now leader of the SNP. I’ve read in the media that she is more popular, within SNP circles, than Alex Salmond and this bodes well for the future. My MSP, John Swinney, is now Deputy First Minister.
It will come as no surprise to many of you that I like Alex Salmond and have great respect for the man, although I dislike some of the policies he has introduced during the SNP’s time in government. He’s an astute politician, a superb orator as well as being a clever and intelligent person. Not many politicians today carry all these attributes.
When he announced he was standing down as First Minister and leader of the SNP in September, my first thought was he must be retiring from the political scene. Silly of me I know, but where would he go? Then he gave the answer on Question Time; or rather gave the Dimbleby the hint.
There is a rumour floating round Scotland that he is considering standing in Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey for next May’s Westminster elections. Currently this seat is held by LibDem Danny Alexander who will be defending a large majority of 8,765.
An early rumour suggested he intended to stand in Gordon, where the LibDem Malcolm Bruce, who had a majority of 6,748 at the last general election, is standing down and Gordon covers the Aberdeenshire East constituency represented by him at Holyrood. However, the LibDem candidate for Gordon is a former journalist, Christine Jardine, who has no public profile and senior SNP members are rumoured to have stated ‘Alex wants a scalp. He won’t get that in Gordon and he has a pick of any seat’.
The SNP has not yet chosen its candidates for next May’s election. Alex Salmond will, almost certainly, not contest his old Banff and Buchan seat as it’s already represented by the party’s Elidh Whiteford.
In Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey, Danny Alexander’s main challenge came from Labour in the 2010 general election. But the Holyrood seat of Inverness and Nairn is represented by the SNP’s Fergus Ewing, who won in 2011 with a massive majority of nearly 10,000 and SNP strategists believe they can therefore challenge Danny Alexander next May.
The LibDems are relying upon the result of the Independence Referendum, when around 60% of voters voted No, to keep Alex Salmond from gaining a seat from them. Some of the quotes around: ‘He’s something of a spent force’. ‘People used to see him as invincible but that’s not the case now’.
So now we’re entering the general election campaign. David Cameron insists the austerity measures must continue. Not good news for the less financially secure in our society. We can but hope that the weather continues to be mild and thus heating bills are kept low enough to avoid many falling into debt.