A spokesman for the SNP has said: "There is no possibility whatsoever of a coalition deal with the Tories at Holyrood now or in the future... To suggest a deal is possible is simply ludicrous and reveals that the Tories still don’t understand how deeply opposed the vast majority of Scots are to what they represent."
Just weeks after Left Foot Forward reported on the Tories in Scotland discussing the possibility of a coalition with the Scottish National Party after next year’s elections to Holyrood, the Sunday Hearld, in an exclusive, has quoted a number of what it describes as “senior” Conservative sources suggesting that their leader north of the border, Annabel Goldie, is “up for a coalition with the SNP”.
“Annabel is a very unpredictable thinker, so her views on a coalition should not be surprising. It reflects the fact that Labour is the enemy, and always will be.”
A spokesman for the SNP, however, laughed off the very idea of a coalition with the Conservatives, telling the Hearld:
“There is no possibility whatsoever of a coalition deal with the Tories at Holyrood now or in the future. What’s more, we are the only major party to have an explicit constitutional bar on any coalition deal with the Tories at Holyrood – Labour and the Lib Dems don’t.
“To suggest a deal is possible is simply ludicrous and reveals that the Tories still don’t understand how deeply opposed the vast majority of Scots are to what they represent.”
For many, however, Goldie’s apparent willingness to even consider a fantasy coalition with the Conservatives’ arch rivals in Scotland is seen as an attempt to shore up her shaky leadership, which continues to be in doubt following the party’s abysmal results in the general election.
Furthermore, following David Cameron’s clear and unambiguous opposition to Scottish independence, expressed in a BBC Radio Scotland interview during the Conservative conference, it would be difficult to envisage how the two parties could possibly reconcile their differences on the issue. This is particularly acute given a poll for Scotland on Sunday which shows that since the formation of the coalition government, support for independence has increased from 28 per cent to 34 per cent whilst the number opposing independence during the same period has fallen from 58 per cent to 50 per cent.
The reports of a possible deal come after a weekend which saw 20,000 protesters attending a rally against the government spending cuts in Edinburhgh. Speaking to the gathering, Labour Leader, Iain Gray explained:
“The coalition government is cutting too fast and too deep and will damage the economic recovery and cost 100,000 jobs. That’s why I’m here.”
“We launched this campaign to dispel the myth that there is no economic alternative to these cuts. There is an alternative. Get people back to work, get the economy growing again, and the public finances will largely take care of themselves.
“We also launched this campaign to expose the lie that it is those with the broadest shoulders that will bear the brunt of the cuts.”
With similar marches having also been held in Wales and Northern Ireland, the Conservatives’ dreams of a role in government in Scotland, or any of the other devolved governments look likely to remain just that – a dream.Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.