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.
Labour-SNP deal: Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, has claimed he would rather refuse the office of Prime Minister than accept any post-election deal with the SNP. During a showing of Question Time, the Labour Party leader said that, “If it meant we were not going to be in government by not doing a deal then so be it.” However, he was unclear over his intentions for vote-by-vote support from the SNP. Nicola Sturgeon has criticised his actions, warning that such a move paved the way for the Conservatives to be the government. (Herald page 1, Scotsman page 1,Times page 1,The National page 2, The Scottish Sun page 2, Telegraph page 4, Scottish Daily Mail page 1, Guardian page 1, Press and Journal page 12, Courier page 19).
Fraser Nelson in The Daily Telegraph (page 24) has criticised the potential Labour-SNP government at Westminster.
Question Time: The leaders of Britain’s three largest political parties failed to impress voters during a showing of Question Time which interviewed the candidates separately, according to post-debate polls. (The Herald page 7, Telegraph page 1, Scottish Daily Mail page 8, Guardian page 1).
Scottish independence referendum: Nicola Sturgeon has come under attack for failing to rule out a second referendum during First Minister’s Questions and a TV debate. Former deputy leader Jim Sillars has claimed that this should be staged ‘when it suits us’. Ruth Davison has also distanced herself from comments made by the PM that the Conservatives would block a fresh vote.(Herald pages 6 and 8, Scotsman page 2,The National page 4, Daily Express page 1, Scottish Daily Mail page 2, Press and Journal page 13, Courier page 18).
Alan Cochrane has commented in The Telegraph (page 6) that Ms Sturgeon’s real aim in this election is to secure support for a second referendum.
EU referendum: Liberal Democrat opposition to a vote on the UK’s membership of the EU risks scuppering a post-election deal between the party and the Conservatives. (Times page 4).
Alex Salmond: The former First Minister and SNP candidate for Gordon has claimed that the Tories are running an anti-Scottish campaign in order to increase their appeal among English voters. Labour and the Liberal Democrats have accused Mr Salmond of ‘lying’ to voters after he sent out campaign leaflets that said the SNP had led the way in providing free personal care and bus passes for pensioners. (Scotsman page 4, Telegraph page 1, Press and Journal page 14).
Jim Murphy: The Scottish Labour Leader has downplayed rumours that he will stand down after predictions from a series of polls that show his party could do very badly at the General Election. Ian Davidson, a former Labour chairman of the Commons Scottish affairs select committee, said that it was up to Mr Miliband to improve Labour’s fortunes. (Times page 1, Telegraph page 6).
David Blunkett: The former Home Secretary has claimed that Scotland could cost the Labour Party the chance to form a majority, describing the SNP surge as a ‘tsunami’. (Herald page 6, Times page 4, Press and Journal page 11).
Norman Tebbit: Former Conservative Party chairman has urged Tory voters in Scottish seats to back the Liberal Democrats in key seats to keep out the SNP. (Press and Journal page 10).
Postal votes: Electoral administrators have been warned by the Crown Office and Police Scotland to keep the results of postal votes secret after claims that those returned prior to last year’s independence referendum had been ‘tallied’. (Herald page 7).
Democratic deficit: Alison Rowat in The Herald (page 17) has warned that the return of all of Scotland’s Westminster parliamentary seats to the SNP would be dangerous for democracy north of the border.
Labour: Joyce McMillan has commented in The Scotsman (page 33) that talk of a grand coalition with the Conservatives after the general election shows how out-of-touch the Labour Party is with political feeling in Scotland.
Voting rights: Kenny Farquharson has questioned Nicola Sturgeon’s comments in The Scotsman (page 35) that the SNP would vote on matters such as health and education relating only to England.
Business fears: Business leaders in Scotland have voiced their fear that major wins for the SNP could spell uncertainty for the economy, shifting business policy to the left. (Financial Times page 2).
Redundancies: Leaders of the trade union Unite have called for redundancy laws to be strengthened as it emerged that over 300 workers at a paper-making firm in Glenrothes received no consultation over their jobs being axed (Herald page 1, Scotsman page 22,).
Population: The National Records of Scotland have released figures that show Scotland’s population has hit an all-time high of 5.3 million, due in part to people from the rest of the UK moving north. (Herald page 10, Scotsman page 15, Daily Express page 4, Scottish Daily Mail page 19, Press and Journal page 21).
Assisted suicide: a Bill to allow assisted suicide currently under review in the Scottish Parliament has been criticised as ‘significantly flawed’, but left it up to MSPs to decide how to vote. (Herald page 2, Daily Express page 4, Daily Record page 4, Scottish Daily Mail page 12, Press and Journal page 16, Courier page 15).
Colleges: Leaders of Glasgow Clyde College are being investigated over the payment of more than £55,000 to a legal firm. (Herald page 5).
Housebreaking: A former senior detective has criticised Police Scotland for allowing too many alleged criminals to re-offend after being released from prison. (Herald page 4).
Drugs haul: Over £500 million worth of cocaine has been recovered by police off the Aberdeen coast in the North Sea, the UK’s largest ever drug haul. (Scotsman page 8).
Glasgow Subway: Passenger numbers on the Glasgow Subway hit record levels in 2014 after the Commonwealth Games, but were still 500,000 behind previous targets. (Herald page 4).