Cooperative Salmond urges ‘Seize the moment’

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Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond has urged the Lib Dems to join with the SNP, Plaid Cymru and Labour in a ‘progressive alliance’….

Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond has urged the Lib Dems to join with the SNP, Plaid Cymru and Labour in a ‘progressive alliance’ in order to form a defence against planned Tory cuts and to modernise the UK electoral system.

The SNP leader’s comments come as it emerged that such an arrangement between Labour, the Lib Dems, SNP and Plaid Cymru would command a majority in the Commons.

Although the proposal falls short of an actual alliance the combined force of the parties would provide Labour with a majority required to form a government.  It would also give the Lib Dems a once in a lifetime chance to achieve their decades old ambition of proportional representation.

The offer emerged as crowds gathered outside the Lib Dem HQ in London demanding that proportional representation be a ‘non negotiable’ component of any deal agreed to by the Lib Dem leadership.

Mr Salmond said:
“The assumption by some that the only option now available for a new UK Government is a Tory Liberal pact is not correct.

“There are alternatives and far more progressive outcomes available should politicians have the will to seize the moment. 

“Plaid and the SNP are indicating that we do.”

A Labour/Lib Dem alliance on its own gives a total of 315, not enough to form a government.  However with the 9 seats of the SNP and Plaid then 324 is enough (The nominal figure is 326 but Sinn Fein do not take up their seats so 324 is sufficient).

Labour however dismissed the First Minister’s offer of support and instead launched a series of attacks on the SNP.  A Labour spokesman described Mr Salmond’s proposal as: “a desperate attempt to make himself look relevant”.

A recent YouGov poll of 1520 people showed Scots backing the introduction of proportional representation by five to one, the poll also showed a majority in favour of a coalition government.