Reform Scotland News: 6 May 2015

Politics
Scottish votes: Political leaders are targeting Scottish voters in the final day of campaigning before the General Election. Both David Cameron and Nick Clegg will end their campaigns north of the border with the Tories putting the threat of a Labour/SNP pact at the forefront of their message. Meanwhile the SNP will make a final appeal to Scottish voters with polls showing they could take more than 50 of the 59 seats available. (The Scotsman page 1, The National page 2, Scottish Daily Express page 12, The Sun page 6, Daily Record page 13, Scottish Daily Mail page 1)

Hung parliament: Labour, SNP and the Tories have clashed over what arrangements will be acceptable in the event of a hung parliament. David Cameron warned that there would be a “massive credibility problem” if Labour emerged as the second biggest party but sought to govern with the SNP. Meanwhile a Lord Ashcroft poll suggests that the prospect of a Labour government propped up by the SNP would deter English voters from supporting Ed Miliband. (The Herald page 1, The National page 4, The Times page 1, Financial Times page 1)

Gordon Brown:  Gordon Brown has warned that an SNP landslide could put the Tories back in Number 10. He stated that Ed Miliband would be unable to do a deal with the SNP out of “principle” and that Labour were in an historic fight “against the odds” to prevent the losses that could allow David Cameron to remain as Prime Minister. (The Scotsman page 6, The Herald page 6, The National page 5, The Telegraph page 1, The Times page 10, Scottish Daily Express page 6, The Sun page 1, Daily Record page 14, Scottish Daily Mail page 3, The Courier page 16, Press and Journal page 12)

Voter turnout: The legacy of the referendum is expected to produce a high voter turnout at the polls tomorrow, according to polling expert John Curtice. (The Herald page 7)

Independence: Research by the European University Institute has shown that voters are driven towards the SNP when their opponents bring up the subject of independence. (The Herald page 7, The Times page 12)

Austerity:  According to Professor Steve Keen, only the SNP and the Greens have reasonable economic policies. He suggests that those of the Conservatives, Labour and Lib Dems reflect “kindergarten economics”. (The National page 1)

SNP in Westminster: Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh in The National suggests that the SNP is on the verge of delivering a fairer society for Scotland with a strong representation in Westminster.

Pat Kane in The National claims that a strong SNP showing in Scotland would allow for a remodelling of Scottish society away from consumerism.

Tactical voting: The Scottish Daily Mail highlights each constituency in Scotland, showing which party has the potential to defeat the SNP should tactical voting being employed. (Scottish Daily Mail page 14)

Jonathan Brocklebank in The Scottish Daily Mail says that it is time for the “quiet majority” of Scottish voters to mobilise again, claiming that tactical voting is required in the General Election.

Alex Massie in The Times claims that many voters in Scotland will be forced to choose between the “unbearable and the unpalatable”. He says he will “plump for the least bad choice” and vote Labour.

SNP suspension: The SNP has suspended two party members involved in the protests against Labour in Glasgow. Piers Doughty-Brown and James Scott have been placed under “administrative suspension”. Labour branded the scenes “the ugly face of Nationalism”. (The Scotsman page 6, The Herald page 6, The Telegraph page 8, The Times page 13, Scottish Daily Express page 7, THe Sun page 7, Scottish Daily Mail page 8, The Courier page 18, Press and Journal page 13)

Education reality: Jenny Hjul in The Courier claims that the reality of an SNP governed Scotland is one in which educational standards are falling consistently and this should inform voters at the General Election.

Second referendum: Ruth Davidson has claimed that every vote for the SNP risks another independence referendum in the future. (Scottish Daily Express page 6)

Ed Miliband: 
 Andrew Whitaker in The Scotsman notes that Ed Miliband has been on the receiving end of some of “the most vitriolic and personal attacks seen on a Labour leader in decades” but claims that by standing tall, he has shown himself to be a strong and capable leader, in defiance of his critics. (The Scotsman page 23)

Large parties out of touch: Ian Bell in The Herald claims that only the Conservatives and Labour refuse to accept the fact that the notion of “speaking for Britain” is dead. The reality of this year’s election, he suggests, is one of backroom deals.

Ruth Davidson:  Alan Cochrane in The Telegraph has predicted that Ruth Davidson may be able to revive a strand of “blue collar conservatism” in Scotland that had “looked close to extinction”.

Nicola Sturgeon: Allan Massie in The Scotsman claims that Nicola Sturgeon’s claim that the government in Westminster must reflect the votes of the whole of the UK, lacks legitimacy and that if the SNP are prepared to engage in Westminster politics, then they must be prepared to accept the system of voting that goes with that.

Alex Salmond: One of Alex Salmond’s former classmates has written an open letter accusing him of “eroding Scottish democracy”. (The Telegraph page 5)

Cyber abuse: Cyberbullying has reportedly reached levels of concern as journalists report fearing for their personal safety, particularly when reporting on political stories, according to a survey by union the NUJ. (The Scotsman page 7, The Herald page 12)

Second General Election: Nick Clegg has warned that there may be a second General Election before Christmas, arguing that the stances taken by Ed Miliband and David Cameron are unlikely to lead to stable, majority governments. (The Scotsman page 5, The Herald page 7, The Sun page 5, The Guardian page 8, The Courier page 14, Press and Journal page 12)

Education
Lecturer strike: Members of the UCU union at Aberdeen University are to be billeted over strike action following the university’s plans to axe 150 jobs. (The Herald page 1, Press and Journal page 1)

Health
E-cigarettes: E-cigarettes will be banned for under 18s in a forthcoming Health Bill which aims to protect children from the harmful effects of nicotine while allowing e-cigarettes to be used as a tool for adults wishing to stop smoking. (The Scotsman page 9, The Herald page 13, The National page 13, The Times page 15, Scottish Daily Express page 10, Scottish Daily Mail page 29, Press and Journal page 18)

Alcohol minimum pricing: Plans to introduce minimum pricing for alcohol in Scotland will come before the European court today. The Scottish Government wishes to introduce a minimum price of 50p for a unit of alcohol. (The Scotsman page 15, Press and Journal page 18)

Justice
Fraud: A poll for the insolvency body R3 found that one in eight Scots has been the victim of fraud in the last year, this compares with one in nine across the UK. (The Scotsman page 16)