Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 30 March 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.
50p Tax: Deputy SNP Leader Stewart Hosie brought the prospect of a post-election deal with Labour a step closer when he said in a Conference speech that the SNP would back Labour on the introduction of a 50p top rate of income tax across the UK. This was echoed in John Swinney’s speech where he pledged to reintroduce the top rate of tax. Mr Hosie also said the SNP would demand talks on the contents of Labour’s first legislative programme in return for their backing (Herald page 6, Scotsman pages 1&4, Guardianpage 10, P&J pages 12&13, Courier page 16, Sun page 2, Record page 9, Express pages 1&2, National page 3, FT page 2, Times page 7)
All female shortlists: the SNP voted in favour of allowing the introduction of all female shortlists for the 2016 Holyrood election (Herald page 6, Scotsman page 4, P&J page 13, Courier page 17, Express page 2, National page 3)
Party rules: The SNP have been accused of ‘gagging’ their MPs after the party passed a rule change to block new MPs from speaking out against party policy (Herald page 6, Scotsman page 5, Mail page 11, Record page 9, Times page 6)
BBC Bias: During a Q&A session at SNP Conference, Alex Salmond said that the BBC would remain biased against the SNP unless power over broadcasting is transferred to Holyrood (Herald page 1, Scotsman pages 1&5, Mail pages 10&11, Express page 1, Times page 6, Telegraph pages 1&5)
SNP Westminster Challenge: In the Scotsman Lesley Riddoch discusses the challenges for the SNP of having a strong presence in Westminster as well as at Holyrood. Also, in the Guardian Neal Ascherson discusses challenges for the SNP in Westminster, suggesting they risk becoming part of the system, outflanked by radicals.
Democratic Legitimacy: In the Herald David Torrance discusses the notion of democratic legitimacy, accusing the SNP of trying to re-write history.
Labour-SNP Coalition: In the Sunday Herald, Iain Macwhirter discusses whether Ed Miliband is ‘tough enough’ to form a government with the support of the SNP.
Nicola Sturgeon: In the Telegraph, Alan Cochrane suggests that Nicola Sturgeon is frustrated with former leader Alex Salmond’s antics.
Alex Salmond: In the Sunday Times AA Gill interviews Alex Salmond as he gears up for the General Election (page 18)
Tory Poster: Alex Salmond has criticised the Tories over their ‘stupid’ poster depicting Ed Miliband in his pocket (National page 2, Record page 9)
British Values: Gillian Bowditch in the Sunday Times says that the Scots are more like the English than the SNP would like people to believe (page 25)
Labour: In an election essay in Scotland on Sunday, Douglas Alexander says that radical tax and welfare policies and preserving the Barnett formula are vital to ending austerity.
BES Survey: Analysis by the British Election Survey has found that Labour is unlikely to win back voters they lost to the SNP during the referendum (Herald page 6, Scotsmanpage 4, P&J page 11, Courier page 16)
Campaign Launch: Labour launch their election campaign in Glasgow with the message that only a vote for Labour in the General Election can oust the Conservatives and deliver ‘social justice’ across the UK (Scotsman page 6)
YouGov Poll: A new opinion poll by YouGov taken after the studio interviews with Jeremy Paxman shows that Labour have opened up a four point lead over the Conservatives with Labour on 36% and the Tories on 32%. (P&J page 11, Sunday Times page 1)
ComRes Poll: According to a ComRes poll for the Daily Mail, the Conservatives have a four point lead over Labour. The same poll also suggests that one in five Labour voters think David Cameron would make a better prime minister than Ed Miliband (Mail page 12)
Liberal Democrats: Kicking off a campaign tour in Kirkintilloch Willie Rennie says the Lib Dems will invest an extra £800 million in the Scottish NHS (Scotsman page 7, P&J page 14, Courier page 16)
Conservatives: David Cameron says he will win back ‘instinctively Conservative’ voters as he set out a series of policies aimed at traditional Tory voters including the prospect of a new tax break for married couples (Herald page 6, Scotsman page 7)
Secret Service: In response to a question during an SNP conference event, Robin McAlpine, Director of the Common Weal think tank said he believes UK secret services intervened in the referendum campaign (Herald page 9)
Oil Fund: In the P&J (page 22) and Courier (page 14), Alex Salmond hits out at the UK Government’s failure to set up an oil fund when times were good.
Media: Ian Bell in the Sunday Herald discusses the media portrayal of the parties in the General Election.
Meningitis B: A vaccine for Meningitis B will soon be given to all infants in Scotland once talks have been held between the Department of Health, the Scottish Government and GlaxoSmithKline (Herald page 7, Scotsman pages 1&11, Mail page 8, Guardian page 13, P&J page 10, Courier page 19)
Palliative Care: In the Herald, Stephen Naysmith discusses the difficulties around end-of-life care for those with dementia.
NHS: On the back of Nicola Sturgeon’s conference speech in which she praises NHS staff, Chris Deerin in the Mail suggests that not all NHS staff do an amazing job (page 14)