Scots Would Bring Down Minority Conservative Government

Alex Salmond promises that his party will stop the Conservatives trying to form a minority government.

Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond attends a meeting in California, June 20, 2012
Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond attends a meeting in California, June 20, 2012 (Scottish Government/Feature Photo Service/Matt Petit)

The Scottish National Party would vote down a minority Conservative government, leader Alex Salmond has said.

In an interview with the New Statesman, the former Scottish first minister vowed that his pro-independence party would vote out Prime Minister David Cameron if he tried to form a minority government after the next election.

“So if Labour joins us in that pledge, then that’s Cameron locked out,” he said.

With the Conservatives unlikely to get more than a third of the votes in May’s election, they would not have a majority of the seats in Parliament on their own. Even another coalition with the Liberal Democrats would not have enough support. May2015, the New Statesman‘s election website, puts the two parties at 296 seats — exactly thirty short of a majority.

Salmond’s nationalists are projected to win 55 out of 59 seats in Scotland, potentially allowing them to give Labour — which is polling at 272 seats — a razor-thin majority.

The Scots dismiss a formal coalition with Labour but Salmond told the BBC this weekend they could use their position in a hung parliament to advance “progressive politics” across the United Kingdom. Nicola Sturgeon, his successor as first minister and party leader, similarly told The Guardian newspaper earlier this month they could support a minority Labour government on an “issue-by-issue basis.” Labour Party leader Ed Miliband has not ruled out such a “confidence and supply” arrangement.