Could the SNP effectively block a Conservative-led government?

As the smaller parties grow, so too does their power

Today there is more evidence that the two-party system is on its knees.

The SNP has said it would block a Tory government if it held the balance of power after the election.

Highlighting the new powers which smaller parties may be able to wield as their support base grows, former SNP leader Alex Salmond said the party would vote against a post-election Queen’s Speech helmed by Cameron.

Speaking to the New Statesman, Salmond said that in the event of a hung Parliament, a minority Conservative government would have to “go straight effectively for a vote of confidence - usually the Queen’s Speech, although it could be otherwise, of course - and we’d be voting against”.

Salmond stood down as leader of the SNP after the Scottish referendum, but now has his sights set on becoming a Westminster MP at the general election. He also still clearly has a hand in shaping the party’s tactics.

Responding to Salmond’s remarks, a Conservative spokesman said: “Alex Salmond has confirmed he would sabotage the democratic will of the British people in order to make Ed Miliband prime minister.

“That would mean chaos for Britain, with weak Ed Miliband dancing to Alex Salmond’s tune.”

An ICM/Guardian poll yesterday indicated that the Labour party was facing annihilation in Scotland, and the Lib Dems being scythed down too, with Danny Alexander on course to lose his seat.

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Readers' comments (3)

  • It would be outrageous if the SNP tried to block an elected conservative governement. This would be the Midlothian question with knobs on. We know the SNP want independencre and they will provoke the English until they get it: and maybe it;'s time to say good riddance to this extreme Left, anti-British country and let them stew in their own juice. Any Scot who's any good will leave for England, as the brighter ones have done for generations.

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  • During the referendum when I predicted this megalomaniac would end up in Westminster and that the Oil price would crash I was scoffed at by most Scot's.

    When I dared suggest it wan't democratic for the leader of Scotland to influence people to vote a particular way, I was ridiculed by the YES contingent.

    But mark my words, Mr. Salmond has his peepers on being Prime Minister, and he's capable of doing it because, as has been stated, he's probably the best politician in the UK just now.

    However, I dread to think what would happen when Alex gets power. He has been compared with Mugabe, and the violence that threatened to erupt, and in isolated cases did, in Scotland suggests that might not be so far from the truth.

    For God's sake vote Conservative and keep this man at arms length. And I'm a Jock!

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  • @Ian Harris - It wouldn't be an "elected Conservative government". That's the whole point.

    In the scenario being described, the Tories would be a *minority* party in the House of Commons trying to form a Government.

    Under these circumstances, it is perfectly legitimate for any other elected party with sufficient seats to block such a move.

    The label that we put on this system is "democracy".

    As for your racist comments about Scottish people, they are beneath contempt.

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