Back to the drawing board for referendum on independence

After raising the possibility last week, Mike Russell Scotland’s constitutional affairs minister, is now reported on orders from Alex Salmond to be working on drafting a multi option referendum to include more powers for the Parliament as well as the independence option. It’s the inevitable response to facing up to inevitable of majority opposition to “referendum 2010” in the Parliament, stiffened by the drubbing the SNP received in last Thursday’s Glasgow north east by election. The redraft is unlikely to make the referendum idea any more palatable. But Alex is pinning his hopes in the longer term of Scots turning back to him after a UK election that will return a Conservative government glaringly lacking a Scottish mandate, and a Holyrood majority which also denies the Scottish people a voice of their own on the essentials of their future. It’s a long shot.

  • Dewi

    Are the Unionist parties intending to hold a referendum on Calman?

  • The answer to Dewi’s question is no. The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats appear – at present anyway – to believe in referendums on just about everything apart from Scotland’s future.

    Having said that, I’m struggling to understand why Brian thinks that the SNP’s strategy for a referendum is such a “long shot”, unless he simply means “long shot before 2011”. The Liberal Democrats have very carefully not ruled out a referendum after the next Holyrood election, so everything hinges on the arithmetic thrown up at that election. An SNP/Liberal Democrat coalition enacting a multi-option referendum looks a perfectly plausible (even likely) outcome from here.

  • Again the “multi-option” referendum rears its head. Is nobody worried that the result of such a referendum could easily be engineered through judicious choice of questions?