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Lets not kid our(Scottish)selves, i think if we even hold the seats in Scotland we'll be doing well. The Herald and even the Times are backing the SNP this election. It is a two horse race, pure and simple, never mid third party squeeze, we are facing fourth party squeeze. Heck, even im voting SNP in the constituency vote this election to try and oust Pauline McNeil. My friends in Perth, which could have been possible, tell me the outlook even there is grim.

The Times are backing the SNP, Scott?!?! I've missed that.

42% or 43% will not be "very good news" --- it will be essential if we are to be in a winning position for the General. Remember this is before the Brown honeymoon and before our difficult policy review process.

Thank God i'm not the only one who's unimpressed by the Tory campaign oop here in Scotland. I'm seriously considering voting SNP for the regional list, but shall hold my nose going into ballot booth and vote for the Party in the Consituency seat (candidate Bob Carolgees- joking- just). For the local elections? Again, hold nose and Tory for 1 and prob SNP for 2. Anything to keep LDems out.

Goodness Tim you don't ask for much do you?

I think we will get 40% or a touch over but that would be fantastic. Let us not lose number 6 in advance by demanding gold medal performance up and down the land as a bare minimum requirement.

Suggestion? How about some ideas of what would be good and bad for the other parties, maybe Sean Fear could oblige.

Reid got a real noddy interview from Marr - talking of "Charlie Falconer" rather than "Right Charlie" shows just how buddy-buddy Mr Jackie Ashley is with the NuLab Junta.

Reid was pathetic - if there is a terrorist threat you don't believe in it when you hear Reid or Blair, it seems so party-political. It is a game. They are simply incompetent.

A Government that does not eve specify a security-layer on the MTAS Website for Hospital Doctor recruiting wants an National ID Database and National Patient Records database accessible throughout the EU !

This is becoming a cardboard cutout country...and all Reid could do was to prate on about iPods and mobile phones

ToryT - "Goodness Tim you don't ask for much do you?"

I do not think he does actually. A little more than 40%, clawing back in the north, holding steady in Scotland and beating some LibDems who hold seats we once took for granted... None of these are unreasonable expectations for replacing a government that is exhausted, divided, incompetent and out of ideas.

The opinion polls seem to be indicating some tactical voting in Scotland, with the discrepancy between candidate and regional list intentions.

However, the accuracy of poll intentions to outcomes is questionable. The Sunday Times has an article about the Labour party in Leeds deliberately breaking the law on postal voting. Given the level of reported fraud at the 2005 General Election, it seems unlikely that Leeds will be the only local Labour machine doing that.


Umbrella man,

Benchmarks set today by the BBC and Sunday Times for Labour "meltdown" are 330 Tory gains and Tories at 38% of the vote.

I think we can better that (in notional national vote share, too many small parties around for anybody to get much over 40% in actual votes)

But we got 40% last time on projected national share of the vote last year, ToryT. Getting 38% this year after Labour's troubles would be terrible. 42% is a must hit target.

330 net gains would be rather disappointing. We managed that last year, with less than half the number of seats that are being fought this year.

"Francis Maude's cup of joy will overflow if we break into certain councils where we currently lack any representation. "

LOL because ofcourse there are so many Labour/Tory marginals in Liverpool and Newcastle.

Tories will not do too badly but seats will not increase, in anyway shape or form. I can see some if not a lot of Tories tactically voting SNP, and the YouGov poll shows 1 in 5 tories favouring independence. I've advocated this financially for some time aswell as a seperate party like the old days. Basically in Scotland the Sunday Times, Sunday Herald, Scotland on Sunday, and the Sunday Express have all basically said although we are unionists in the main, we support the SNP for a new administration at Holyrood examples below. I never thought I would see the day establishment newspapers would support this kind of development in Scotland. I do not want to see us go through the devolution denial debate disaster again. We have to reform or fade completely from Scotland;

Time for a change
“The Sunday Times has always been a Unionist paper. It may seem strange
therefore that we should now come out for an SNP-led coalition. Yet that
is our position . . . The choice now is not between the Union and
independence, but between a Labour party that has run out of ideas and the
SNP which promises more vigorous and imaginative government. We need a
change of government, and only the SNP can provide this. Within the
confines of devolution, and in the awareness that there will be another
opportunity to vote for the Union, we have concluded that an SNP-led
coalition is the best option for voters.”

A vote for change is a leap of faith. It’s a leap this newspaper is
prepared to make
“It is our belief that the Scottish Labour party has not earned the right
to a third term . . refusing to align ourselves to a particular party does
not preclude us from offering our opinion on the best outcome. In this
election, we believe that would be a coalition led by Alex Salmond. Like
you, we can weigh up promises and add up economic policies, but in the end
for change is leap of faith. It’s a leap this newspaper is prepared to
make. Here’s to working as if we live in the early days of a better

Time for a new vision
“the Labour Party does not deserve another four years in office . . The
outcome of the Holyrood 2007 elections is most likely to be an SNP-led
coalition with the Liberal Democrats. The hope is that Salmond’s SNP will
rejuvenate devolution . . . This, we believe, offers the best chance of
restoring public confidence in our democracy, and a new sense of
possibility among the people of this country. If this contest really is a
battle between hope and fear, we choose hope.”

It’s Time
Thursday’s poll is all about change, not independence
“In his party’s manifesto, Alex Salmond offers ‘fresh thinking’ and there
are few who would disagree that this is exactly what the country needs.”

If the SNP win the most seats, then they should be given the chance to form an administration. But the Conservatives should not form any administration with them.

Thank you Scott. Fascinating.

601: Just because they are not many Labour/Tory marginals does not mean that the issue of our party's representation in these areas is unimportant.

After Thursday i would prefer an SNP/Conservative/Green coalition. The Ldems are WORSE than Labour and should be kept out of the Scottish Exec at all costs. I have no idea why the hierarchy in the Scottish Conservatives have gone down the road of perpetual opposition. If that's all they aspire to then what is the actual point of voting Conservative in the Scottish elections. For the electorate to make you an irrelevance is one thing , but to make yourself an irrelevance is something else!

"hank God i'm not the only one who's unimpressed by the Tory campaign oop here in Scotland."

Not just you - the campaign has been shambolic when it's not too busy being anonymous.

601: There may not be marginals in Liverpool or Newcastle - but there are loads nearby our major cities. Merseyside and Greater Manchester alone have lots of seats we need ot win to form a government, as does the area around Leeds.

Dismiss the cities at your peril!

"After Thursday i would prefer an SNP/Conservative/Green coalition. "

Despite their "nice" image the Green are raving lefties. I've read their long term manifesto and it's all about government coercion to create what looks suspiciously like an environmentally friendly socialist society.

Ive read lots of people praising the Tory campaign in Scotland, Goldie is lovely and im sure she will shore up the oldies, who would have been voting TOry anyway. The thing is, in my opinion, the Tory campaign in Scotland is only 'good', if you already a Tory!

We have put ourselves in a big corner by saying we will not go into a coalition, but then several hints that we would prop up labour in a bout of Unionism have made things even worse. "We will do nothing or, alternatively we might shore up the discredited labour party!" does not light up imaginations.

Anyone know where to find out what counts are actually taking place on Thurday night after close of polling?
I'm worried I'll have to stay up till lunch time on Friday!!!

Interesting so many people are predicting / hoping on the basis of vote share in the opinion polls. The fact is that local elections are determined largely on turnout. It matters not how many people say they favour one party or another unless they are motivated enough to actually go and vote - and in local elections real voters are a small minority of the population. It could be a big anti-Brown turnout, or a Bromley-style anti-Cameron stay-at-home. I suspect it will be the latter, but we just won't know until After Thursday's vote. Until then it's all guesswork. The winners will not necessarily be the biggest party, but rather the one with the most motivated voting supporters.

In response to Richard- not all the green MSp's are looney-toons! Admittedly , Sheeoona Baird is HOPELESS and Patrick Harvie -TRAGIC, but the quieter ones like Ballard and the like are relatively sane. I would not be surprised if Harvie sang Christina Ag's 'Candyman' in the Scots Parly if re-elected!

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