Scottish Hearts and Minds
On Sunday I said:
Cameron wants to be the Prime Minister of the UK but he also wants to run England as UK Prime Minister. To do this he must try and win votes and MPs in Scotland to claim that his government has a Scottish mandate on reserved issues, and he must also give Alex Salmond absolutely no opportunity to attack him on grounds of anti-Scottishness....Scotland is the battleground. And if he loses in Scotland Cameron will face the prospect of a Conservative cabinet with no Scottish representation; and that means he will be heading an English government running Scotland on reserved matters. The Conservative Party will not be the Party of the Union; a Conservative government on those terms will be the final nail in the Union’s coffin.
Today, The Scotsman says:
SNP figures admit privately that a Tory victory would be good for their cause, allowing them to accuse Mr Cameron of having no mandate to govern in Scotland, where the Tories admit they are unlikely to add many – if any – seats....It is a concern of which the Conservatives – and their leader David Cameron – are only too well aware. And while a general election may yet be two years away, the party is tackling head-on the suggestion that it could play into the hands of Alex Salmond, the First Minister, if it fails to make gains in Scotland.
Can you imagine the Conservatives winning a General Election that gave Scotland 20 Scottish Nationalist MPs but no Tories? I can. Cameron can. Salmond can. Gordon Brown is trying very hard not to.