Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 19 February 2015
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.
Election Poll: An opinion poll has predicted that the SNP will win 47 seats at the General Election, with 45 percent people saying they would back the Nationalists the 7 May. Labour was on 28 percent and the Tories on 15 percent. (The Herald page 2, The Sun page 2, The Daily Record page 2, The Daily Express page 10, The Press and Journalpage 15).
Alberto Nardelli comments on the matter in the Guardian (page 14).
General Elections: James Kirkup comments on how “the striving to govern without a majority is the grim prospect for whoever prevails” in the Daily Telegraph (page 20).
Devolving powers: Business leaders, including John Cridland, the Director General of CBI (Confederation of British Economy), will today warn Westminster and Holyrood ministers against rushing to devolve further powers, saying they risk damaging the UK internal market and economy. They will make clear that their comments do not apply to the Smith Commission (The Herald page 6, The Press and Journal page 14).
Nicola Sturgeon: Daniel Sanderson comments in the Herald about the First Minister’s policies towards councils (page 6).
Jim Murphy: The SNP has accused Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy of attempting to “hoodwink voters” after it emerged that he removed an article from his website in which he expressed support for the Tory austerity (The National page 2)
Iain Macwhirther comments on Jim Murphy’s policies, about giving “far too much hype and not enough hope” (The Herald page 13)
Torcuil Crighton is commenting on Jim Murphy’s benefit for the Scottish Labour party in the Scotsman (page 8).
Vince Cable: The Business Secretary Vince Cable has reportedly been given a dressing down by the Liberal Democrat leadership after he said his party would be “perfectly happy” to work with the SNP in Government at Westminster (The Herald page 6, The Daily Telegraph page 6, The Scottish Daily Mail page 4)
Alan Cochrane comments on Vince Cable and the Liberal Democrats move in the Daily Telegraph (page 6)
Ruth Davidson: The Scottish Tory Leader Ruth Davidson attempted to dispel voter stereotypes of her party with an election broadcast extolling the virtues of family that featured her parents and gay partner (The Daily Telegraph page 4, The Scottish Daily Mail page 5).
Alex Massie comments on the Tory’s policies in Scotland in the Times (page 29).
Sir Stephen House: Scotland’s most senior police officer and chief constable of Scotland came under attack yesterday as he was accused of jeopardising the public’s confidence in his force and failing to get his facts right. Sir Stehen House will be asked to explain why he told a watchdog last week he was forced to publish inaccurate data on child stop and searches, when newspapers indicated it was released voluntarily (The Sun page 2, The Times page 5)
Holyrood legislation: Christine Grahame, convener of Holyrood’s justice committee, has called on ministers to cut the number of bills they bring forward so that each could be scrutinized properly (The Times page 15).
Jobless falls: John Swinney has said figures show Scotland is outperforming UK on employment with the number of people out of work in Scotland falling by 15,000 in the final three months of last year to its lower level since the last recession (The Scotsman page 4, The Courier page 19).
Heather Capital: One of the biggest firms in Scotland, Heather Capital, is being sued after the collapse of £400 million hedge fund at the centre of a major police fraud probe (The Herald page 1).
Tesco Store: Campaigners, including former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, have failed to save a Tesco store from closure in Fife. (The Herald page 5, Scottish Daily Mail page 11, The Courier page 33).
Big Six energy firms: An official investigation has raised the prospect of radical cuts of about 14 percent to household energy bills across Scotland, that led to a warning by the LibDem Energy Secretary Ed Davey, who said he could intervene to break up the so called Big Six suppliers to increase competition (The Herald page 10, The Daily Telegraph page 10, The Scotsman page 11, The Financial Times page 4, The National pages 8 and 27, The Daily Express page 4, The Guardian page 29, The Scottish Daily Mail page 2, The Courier page 13, The Press and Journal page 12).
Oil Revenue: The critical state of the North Sea oil and gas industry was reportedly laid bare yesterday by figures from the Scottish Government indicating the collapse of oil revenues (The Times page 11, The Daily Express page 2).
NHS: First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has joined Labour and the Scottish Greens in calling for the NHS to be protected from private incursions by US healthcare providers (The Herald page 6, The Scotsman page 6).
Bill Jamieson comments on the reality of Holyrood’s new powers, new spending related to the Smith Commission in the Scotsman (page 23).
Football and alcohol: Football fans would face a lottery over which grounds sold alcohol during matches, with Scotland’s councils having a veto on where it would be available, according to liquors experts (The Herald page 5).
Financing teachers: Councils are reportedly to face the loss of millions of pounds in Government funding even if they narrowly fail to meet their share of new targets on teachers number. Deputy First Minister John Swinney has offered councils £51 million pounds if they maintain both their teachers number and their pupil-teacher ratio (The Herald page 2, The Scotsman page 6, The National page 15).
Council Clarity: The Justice Secretary Michael Matheson confirmed the creation of the Scottish Sentencing Council (SSC), that would help ensure the country has the most “transparent criminal justice system possible” (The Herald page 6).