Labour dismissed the SNP's progressive alliance suggestion as a desperate attempt by Mr Salmond to make himself look relevantOK, the Scottish wing of their party probably feel justified in rubbing El Tartanissimo's nose in it, but if the Lib Dem/Conservative deal fails, Gordon Brown will try to form a government:
Labour and the Lib Dems together is not enough even with the support of the 3 SDLP MPs and Ms Long, the new Alliance MP who is allied to the Lib Dems. Together that's 319 votes.
With the support of the nationalists from Scotland and Wales they would reach 330.
Both the DUP and Lady Hermon are singing from the same hymn-sheet as the Scottish and Welsh nationalists in demanding financial preference for their particuliar regions of the UK (with little regard at the negative side of the equation, ie who they expect to pay for those priviledges). Knock in the new Green MP and the grouping would have 338 votes in the Commons, more than enough to govern with ease.
So, despite the Labour bluster, the SNP, along with the DUP and Plaid Cymru, still remain very relevant until any final deal is done and delivered.
The effects of such a coalition, however, of the pork-barrelled, regionalist willing (including not just the SNP but also Plaid Cymru and the DUP) could well be disasterous for the long-term health of the Union, a potential scenario I have already dealt with here, over at the English Free Press.
*A senior DUP member purportedly made this outrageous comment to the BBC's Mark Robson. Not too Unionist a sentiment you'd probably agree, which is probably why it's now been changed (under Dupe orders?) from "England's" to "Westminster's difficulty". Even with the new version, it's very difficult to get the head round the idea of "Unionists" seeing parochial gain as more important than the difficulties and confusion presently being suffered by their nation due to the uncertain political situation.