Alex Salmond has announced that he will fight for a seat in the Westminster Parliament at next year’s election – hoping that it will produce a hung Parliament in which the Scottish Nationalists can act as power brokers.
He ruled out any deal with the Conservatives, but hinted that the SNP would helped to prop up a minority Labour government or Labour Lib Dem coalition.
Technically, all that Mr Salmond announced to his cheering supporters at a brief press conference yesterday is that he is a “candidate for the SNP nomination” in Gordon, a rural seta near Aberdeen, which he already represents in the Scottish Parliament. In theory, local SNP activists could choose some other candidate – but the reality is that Alex Salmond’s next move is already mapped out.
Gordon was held in 2010 by the veteran Lib Dem Malcolm Bruce, with a majority of 6,748 over the SNP. But Mr Bruce has already announced that he is standing down, and the changing dynamics of Scottish politics, where the Lib Dem vote has all but collapsed and the SNP is on the way up, make a Salmond victory a safe bet.
Mr Salmond is no stranger to Westminster, where he was first arrived as an SNP MP in 1987, but he later pulled out of Westminster to concentrate on his role as Scotland’s First Minister. He resigned after the independence referendum was lost, handing over to his long serving deputy Nicola Sturgeon.
Announcing his next move yesterday, he claimed that “it is fact of life that the Westminster parties will concede as little as possible” in giving increased powers to the Scottish Parliament in Holyrood. He declared that he intends to “make sure that they get away with as little as possible.”
Mr Salmond’s announcement mean that all three of the country’s best known politicians outside the Commons – London’s Mayor, Boris Johnson, the UKIP leader Nigel Farage, and Mr the former Scottish First Minister – will all be candidates in next year’s general election.Reuse content