Scotland on Sunday Election Supplement 2007

Scotland on Sunday Election Supplement 2007

The next king of Scotland

YOU know they think they're going to win when they start talking curtains. The drapes in question are those that hang high in the grand Georgian public rooms of Bute House, the official residence of Scotland's First Minister. "Alex is not thinking about choosing curtains, that's Moira's job," one of Salmond's aides quipped last week. "We don't think too much will need done. We understand that Bridget [McConnell, wife of Jack McConnell] has excellent taste."

Sure, the SNP has ideas - but to vote for them is a bit of a stretch

FOR Alison Punnet, voting used to be simple, it was a matter of plumping for Labour. Now, disaffected by Blair and the Iraq War, she cannot bring herself to vote for a leader she calls "arrogant".

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Support act waits in the wings

THE drama is in Edinburgh, where Alex Salmond is unveiling the manifesto he hopes will propel Scotland towards independence. There, too, is Jack McConnell, preparing his rebuttal in this increasingly fascinating duel for the job of First Minister. But, on Thursday last week, I am at a bicycle repair centre in Castlemilk on the south side of Glasgow, along with a few children, one TV camera, some well-wishers... oh yes, and Nicol Stephen.

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