Monday, 2 June 2014

Back to the future

DAVID Cameron’s future as Prime Minister following a No vote has understandably generated a bit of chatter.
According to Benedict Brogan at the Telegraph, Cameron would have to quit if Scotland votes Yes in September. If the PM loses part of his Kingdom, the argument runs, he must also lose his job.
The future of the First Minister hasn’t generated the same amount of speculation, despite challenging poll numbers suggesting this may be an issue in just over three months.
I had a chat with a Scottish Government source - an individual who knows Alex Salmond’s mind well - who outlined two scenarios.
My insider thought defeat on September 18th would result in the FM’s speedy departure, with the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles six days after the referendum probably being his last official engagement. Given the FM’s love of this particular event, this could be a sore one for the taxpayer.
The more intriguing scuttlebutt is what could happen in the event of a Yes vote. I’m told the FM is unlikely to lead the SNP into the 2016 Holyrood election – a role earmarked for Nicola Sturgeon.
The source said Salmond could hand over the baton of leadership months after the plebiscite and front the post-referendum negotiations with Westminster, perhaps as a big-beast Minister for the Constitution.
It’s a straw in the wind, but worth noting that such possibilities are being discussed.
Who would Labour’s First Ministerial candidate be in the 2016 election? Perhaps that’s one for another blog.