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.
SNP-Labour deal: Nicola Sturgeon has made a plea to Ed Miliband to join with the SNP in a post-election deal which could prevent the Conservatives forming a government after May 7th. In the third of the televised leaders’ debates, Ms Sturgeon warned that ‘people will never forgive you’ if Ed Miliband refused such a deal, while the Labour Party leader highlighted the ‘profound differences’ between the parties. David Cameron has also rejected any deal with the SNP over the devolution of more tax powers, calling talk of delivering full fiscal autonomy to Scotland after the election a ‘grubby deal’ which would undermine the ‘fiscal union’ of the UK. (Herald pages 1 and 6, Scotsman page 8, Daily Telegraph page 1, The Times page 1, Daily Record page 7, The Scottish Sun page 8, Scottish Daily Mail page 10, The Guardian page 1).
TV Debates: Nicola Sturgeon has been labelled the ‘winner’ of last night’s BBC leaders’ debates according to a series of polls, which included major party leaders but excluded Nick Clegg and David Cameron. The Daily Telegraph has picked up on Nigel Farage’s on-air accusation that the BBC audience was ‘left-wing’. (Daily Telegraph page 4, The National page 2, Daily Record page 6, Press and Journal page 10, Scottish Daily Mail page 10, The Guardian page 7, The Courier page 16).
Ineos: Anti-fracking campaigners clashed with Ineos bosses at the first public meeting the petrochemical giant has held over its plans to extract shale gas in Scotland. The meeting outlined the company’s plans to develop shale gas after acquiring full fracking rights for a 127sq mile sit between Stirlingshire and Bishopbriggs. Ineos also plans to give six per cent, about £2.5 billion, to local communities. However, Friends of the Earth Scotland accused the company of resorting to ‘spin-doctors and glossy videos’ in an effort to win over support. (Herald page 1)
Pollution: Campaigners from the environmental campaign group ClientEarth have called for action from the Supreme Court over pollution levels in UK cities, including Glasgow, which are nearly twice EU limits. The group blamed the pollution levels for up to 29,000 deaths per year across the country and called for mandatory air quality standards. (Herald page 5, Scotsman page 14).
Scottish Conservative Manifesto: Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson launched her party’s manifesto in Glasgow yesterday, including proposals to reintroduce the right for tenants of social housing to buy their homes, and the creation of an extra 10,000 apprenticeships by 2020. The Prime Minister was present at the event, calling the Tories ‘the real party of devolution’. (Herald page 6, Scotsman page 7, The Daily Telegraph page 6, The Times page 7, The National page 4, Daily Express, page 4, The Scottish Sun page 2, Press and Journal page 14, Scottish Daily Mail page 12, The Guardian page 9, The Courier page 17)
Scottish Labour Manifesto: Jim Murphy will launch his party’s manifesto today, including proposals to protect the Scottish NHS and suggesting that a vote for the SNP increased the chance of a Conservative government and ‘five more years of Tory austerity’. (The National page 4, Press and Journal page 13).
Liberal Democrats: Nick Clegg has urged Labour and Tory supporters in Scotland to vote for his party in an effort to curb an SNP surge, and anchor any post-election government in the centre ground. (Herald page 6, Scotsman page 6, Press and Journal page 10, The Guardian page 9).
Voting rights: The SNP will demand that Scotland retains all of its 59 constituency seats at Westminster, as part of its plan for full fiscal autonomy, after an academic paper suggested that Scotland’s representation in Parliament would come to an end with devo max. (Herald page 8).
Voter Registration: The National Records of Scotland have released figures that show 4.04 million Scots have registered to vote in the upcoming general election, representing 94 per cent of the electorate compared with 90 per cent in the rest of the UK. The rise has been attributed to last year’s referendum on independence. (Scotsman page 9).
Museums strike: About 100 staff members at the National Museum of Scotland and National War Museum who belong to the Public and Commercial Services Union have gone on strike after a breakdown in talks on the removal of weekend working allowances for staff. (Herald page 11).
MI5: Alison Rowat has commented in The Herald (page 17) on Julian Assange’s claim that the Yes campaign was spied on by the UK government during the Scottish referendum campaign.
SNP: Joyce McMillan in The Scotsman (page 27) has commented that the SNP’s popularity is down to political ability rather than the ‘zealotry’ of its support for Scottish independence.
Online sales: The Scottish Retail Consortium has published new research which shows that Scottish shoppers are three times more likely to buy products online and collect them than those across the rest of the UK. (Herald page 12).
Corroboration: The Lord Justice Clerk of Scotland, Lord Carloway, has been criticised for his proposal to abolish corroboration by other senior members of the legal profession in Scotland. (Herald page 15).
Wind farm: Strathy and Armadale Community Council in the north of Sutherland has argued that a £100 million plan for a 39-turbine wind farm by energy company SSE will reinvigorate the local economy amid protests from conservationists. (Herald page 11).
Council Hearing: A hearing has cleared Labour and Conservative members of Aberdeen City Council after accusations that they had breached rules by sending out business leaflets that suggested a pro-Union message during the independence referendum. (Press and Journal page 6)