Angus Robertson is correct to state that the SNP have an opportunity to act as a real opposition to David Cameron’s Conservative Government. I genuinely hope that in key votes they will constructively support the Labour party in its efforts to undermine David Cameron’s slender majority.
However, I am a little uncertain about what issues the SNP will oppose the Conservatives on. This weekend David Cameron confirmed that the Conservatives will soon give Westminster an opportunity to repeal the Hunting Act – a move which will reintroduce fox hunting in England. The SNP’s stated position is to abstain as this is an English only issue.
This is the first of many issues where the SNP will be torn between their nationalist ideology, populism and a strong moral argument – what is most important to them? Over the next five years Scotland will see no opposition to the Tories from the SNP on issues they judge not to impact directly on Scotland. For example, will they abstain if the Bedroom Tax increases in England?
This position the SNP has adopted on the Hunting Act also highlights the extent to which the SNP would have backed a minority Labour government. It is now very clear that the SNP would have abstained on a whole range of Labour’s plans to tackle poverty in England.
Is this the stronger voice Scotland voted for?