It has been quite an exciting 48 hours in Scotland with the announcement of the Alba Party by former First Minister Alex Salmond, we’ve seen two defections from the Westminster delegation which Ian Blackford has reacted to the defections dispassionately to rival the the way so many Conservatives handled the defection of Mark Reckless in 2014. Blackford’s comment reminded me of one Conservative’s observation at the time of the defection of Mark Reckless “I can’t say the word c**t but [Reckless is] a f**king c**t who deserves a hot poker up his arse.”
My hunch is that we won’t see that many defections at Holyrood because of the forthcoming election where it will take an astonishing level of chutzpah to fight an election under one party’s banner then defect to another shortly after being (re)elected, I think that level of chutzpah required is beyond most politicians these days.
As for the remaining Westminster SNP MPs I wonder if they are waiting for the Holyrood results (and the Airdrie and Shotts by election) to see if Alba is more light than heat. It is clear that this is going to be a very messy and dirty election between the former first minister and the current first minister where the latter is trying to convict the Alex Salmond in the court of public and see him be hoist by one’s own petard. (See the Scotland on Sunday front page as an example.) I’m sure Alex Salmond’s admission that he is no saint will be used as lot.
I suspect all the defections will come from the SNP and Green side, I’d be astonished if there were any defections from the Unionist side, I’m not expecting any Christopher Brocklebank-Fowler de nos jours as I’ve noticed Alba was announced on the 40th anniversary of the founding of the SDP.
So over to the bookies to put up some markets on this please.