Confidence vote

Would a vote of no confidence in the SNP administration at Holyrood be appropriate in the event of a No vote in September’s referendum?

I can understand Scottish Conservative leader Jackson Carlaw’s desire to cause First Minister Alex Salmond and his colleagues maximum embarrassment (your report, 11 June). He should, however, pause and look at some of the political realities.

Any government that puts its weight behind a cause and then loses a subsequent referendum is bound to have its credibility dented to some extent. But I think the mood of the Scottish voters on this is quite interesting.

It does feel that the Scottish Government has been competent in government.

It does not yet feel that the 
reward for that competence should be the creation of a new state with all the uncertainty that entails.

It is that uncertainty, particularly around the outcome of the negotiations that would follow a Yes vote, that will be the crucial factor in determining the referendum result. Mr Carlaw wants to justify the case for a confidence vote partly on the grounds that the Holyrood government has “parked the business of running the country for more than two years”.

He only needs to look at the progress on the Queensferry crossing at the Forth, the determination to freeze the council tax at 2007 levels, the abolition of tuition fees, the range of new health and sporting facilities that have sprung up around the country to know that is not the case.

A No vote means that most Scots are content with the current constitutional set-up. It will not and should not mean the end of the first majority government since the Scottish Parliament was created.

Bob Taylor

Shiel Court