Reform Scotland News: 5 May 2011

All newspaper references refer to Scottish editions. Where there is a link to a newspaper’s website, the relevant page reference is highlighted and underlined.

 

In addition to the newspaper stories outlined below, further news coverage can be found online at BBC News Scotland, STV News and Sky News.

 

Scottish Election

Last day of campaigning: On the last full day of campaigning yesterday SNP leader Alex Salmond was campaigning in Iain Gray’s East Lothian constituency as part of a tour of traditional Labour heartlands, while Iain Gray ended a 40-hour campaign tour. (Scotsman page 1, Express page 2, Record page 5, Guardian page 4, Mail page 4, Telegraph page 9, P&J page 1, Courier page 1, FT page 4)

 

Opinion polls: The Labour party has claimed that all is still to play for in the election as recent polls suggest that two million voters remain undecided. A poll for the Daily Mail also suggests only one third of voters favour independence. (Herald page 1, Record page 4, Mail page 1)

 

Bookies paying out: Paddy Power has already paid out on the SNP winning today’s election. (Sun page 2, Express page 1, P&J page 9)

 

Alex Salmond: Alex Salmond in the Sun outlines why people should vote SNP. The SNP leader is also interviewed in the Mail.

 

Newspaper leaders: The Daily Record’s leader endorses the Scottish Labour party, while the Daily Mail backs, though “not enthusiastically”, the Scottish Conservatives.

 

Independence: Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph comments that Alex Salmond and independence go hand in hand and another SNP victory is a step closer to independence.

 

Scottish Labour leadership: The backlash against Iain Gray’s leadership of the Scottish Labour party has reportedly already begun with many activists furious with what they see as a shambolic campaign. David Whitton is reportedly the favourite to replace Iain Gray. (Scotsman page 3, Times page 1)

 

Council tax freeze: The Centre for Public Policy and the Regions (CPPR) has said that the proposed council tax freeze, supported by the four main parties, is putting public sector jobs at risk. (Scotsman page 4)

 

Annabel Goldie: The Scottish Conservatives have warned that a new SNP minority administration could unravel if Alex Salmond does not reach out to other parties.  Annabel Goldie said that only the Tories could rein in the threats of nationalism and socialism.  The Scottish Tory leader is also interviewed in the Telegraph. (Scotsman page 4, Herald page 8, Sun page 2, Telegraph page 1)

 

Tory Party: Bill Jamieson in the Scotsman argues that the Scottish Conservatives can be revitalised if the party can copy Annabel Goldie’s popular touch.  He also suggests that if the SNP do a deal with the Greens post election there is an opportunity for the Conservatives to attract back the business support that the SNP has taken.

 

Spending cuts: Iain Macwhirter in the Herald suggests this may be a good election to lose as whichever party wins has to deal with the impending spending cuts.

 

Politics

AV referendum: Polls suggest that the voters will reject the AV voting system in today’s referendum.  Former Foreign Secretary David Miliband has said that the coalition infighting had gotten in the way of the debate. Nick Clegg vowed yesterday that the coalition would continue regardless of the result. (Herald page 8, Times page 22, Guardian page 1, Mail page 8, Benedict Brogan in the Telegraph, P&J page 8, FT page 4, Matthew Taylor in the FT)

 

David Aaronovitch in the Times comments that he will be voting yes to AV. Timothy Garton Ash in the Guardian argues that the AV system isn’t ideal but is a move towards a more open and responsive voting system. David Cameron in the Mail outlines why people should vote no.

 

EU: Patrick O’Flynn in the Express argues that the referendum being held today should have been on leaving the European Union.

 

Economy

Housing market: Net mortgage lending fell by 60% last month, reflecting a market where few houses are being bought and sold. The National Institute of Economic and Social Research has suggested that house prices could fall for the next five years. (Scotsman page 10, Guardian page 31, Mail page 19, FT page 2)

 

Inflation: A study by Incomes Data Services suggests workers are effectively accepting pay cuts as inflation levels are more than twice the rate of salary increases. (Telegraph page 2)

 

Transport

Airport bus service: The Court of Session has granted an interim interdict against proposals by Edinburgh Airport to grant a single bus operator exclusive rights for a city centre bus link. (Scotsman page 13)