Scots Would Bring Down Minority Conservative Government

Alex Salmond vows to stop the Conservatives from forming a minority government.

David Cameron Alex Salmond
British prime minister David Cameron greets Scotland’s first minister, Alex Salmond, in Edinburgh, October 15, 2012 (Scottish Government)

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

In an interview with the New Statesman, the former Scottish first minister vows 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.

Conservatives short

With the Conservatives unlikely to get more than a third of the votes in May’s election, they will probably not have a majority of the seats in Parliament on their own.

Even another coalition with the Liberal Democrats might not have enough support. May2015, the New Statesman‘s election website, puts the two parties at 296 seats — 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.

No formal coalition

The Scots dismiss the possibility of 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 the SNPC 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.