The BBC, slightly oddly, makes a confident claim today that an SNP-Labour coalition; “simply won’t happen”. It goes on to lay out the arithmetic and schemes behind a ‘confidence and supply’ arrangement. Well, I guess the BBC bod has had good access and I knows it’s a popular thesis, but really?
Imagine an earnest prime minister Miliband making a major policy announcement in the House of Commons and the cameras looking straight to the opposition benches for Alex Salmond’s reaction. Everyone would know that the SNP leader would have the veto on every single piece of legislation, so inevitably he’d be; ‘the guy who’s really running the UK’. Week after week, announcement after announcement. Headline after headline. In the world media, too. I mean, how could that possibly be the basis for a stable, 5 year government?
Some folk say the SNP would never bring down a Labour government as this would let the Tories in, but In truth no-one really knows how the politics created by the Fixed Term Parllament Act 2011 would work. One thing is clear, though – Alex Salmond would have all the good cards.
Meanwhile, though, the SNP general election vote seems likely to at least double and that’s because a lot of new folk have come to prefer them as the party of government they are in Scotland. They don’t see the SNP as a party of protest or opposition. Such folk will vote in SNP MPs expecting them to help run the country if they do well enough, not shirk the responsibility to govern in favour of weekly guerrilla tactics like the olden days.
No, If Labour and the SNP are large enough to do it, it may well need to be a full coalition.
Oh, yeah, and those plaid folk will want part of the action too, by the way…