ALEX SALMOND is set to take the biggest gamble of his political career by placing independence at the heart of his bid for a second term of office.Two issues being mangled there by the Express, the Referendum and independence; in Salmond's own words:
The First Minister has conceded his Referendum Bill is "likely" to be defeated at Holyrood and will now build the SNP’s strategy for next year’s Scottish election around the party’s flagship policy. In a frank and revealing interview with the Sunday Express, Mr Salmond said he wants to "let the people decide" at the ballot box if there is an appetite for independence by backing his party.
"I’ve always said that if the other parties don’t pass the bill – and that doesn’t look likely now, does it? – the people will have their say as to whether they want that opportunity in the election next year....i.e. force the issue of a referendum?
"People can take the decision to force the issue.
Whichever of the two issues, there is a gamble at this present economically turbulent time to be making it central focus of the SNP campaign.
But in reality, he hasn't much choice, has he?
Promises on populist increased spending are going to be seen through by the electorate; again, in his own words:
Everybody understands we are moving into financial circumstances the like of which we have never seen before, but we can say we have the answer to part of this problem.More importantly, it appears that Labour in Scotland (through no real effort of their own) now is being regarded by the electorate as the most effective Scottish opposition to the Coalition government at Westminster; a Labour administration at Holyrood coupled with Labour being the official opposition in the UK would be perceived as having more bargaining power.
Leaving only the referendum/independence factor for the SNP to claim as its own.