Unionist pact

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In September, the Yes campaign won 45 per cent of votes cast, a ­figure which represents no more than 38 per cent of those eligible to vote. The SNP membership of 85,000 still ­represents only 2 per cent of the electorate.

These figures make it highly unlikely that the SNP will ­gather more than 50 per cent of the vote in more than a handful of constituencies in the upcoming general election.

Nevertheless, recent opinion polls suggest that the first-past-the-post system may grant them more than 30 seats at Westminster. In that case, a minority of Scottish voters may end up ­dictating the future policies of the British government – a ­government that the majority of Scots want, but which the SNP only wishes to destroy.

It therefore seems logical that for the 2015 general election, unionist parties should form a pact to stand down in constituencies where they might divide the vote and allow the SNP to win by default.

If voters were given a choice between unionist and separatist candidates, it is highly ­unlikely that the SNP would win more than a handful of seats. The ­initial reaction of Tories might be to spurn an electoral pact that would benefit Labour and the Liberal Democrats.

However, since they are ­officially the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, wiser heads should realise that a ­short-term loss of seats is ­preferable to the long-term loss of their country.

Martin Foreman

Craigend Park

Edinburgh