Political strategist John McTernan who has worked for the Labour party analysed Nicola Sturgeon and Alex Salmond’s ongoing feud and argues the disagreements between the two are more personal than some may believe. Mr McTernan pointed out that Mr Salmond sees himself as a Scottish independence hero who nearly succeeded during the Indyref in 2014 but was now seeing his achievements going to his successor Nicola Sturgeon. The First Minister on the other hand wants to prove she is no longer in a “master and apprentice” relationship and can forge her own path according to Mr McTernan.
Appearing on George Galloway’s Mother of All Talkshows, Mr McTernan said: “Anything that’s done they [independence movement] will complain about and nothing is good that comes from being within the United Kingdom has ever been recognised.
“Even to the point of during the Covid pandemic to not call their Nightingale hospitals as such or define some obscure Scottish nurse to name them after instead.
“Someone nobody has ever heard of I can’t even remember now.
“But they held us together with some discipline with disagreement on tactics disagreements, sometimes it’s on strategy, but never falling out, never having fights.
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“This drama we’re in now with the Alba party and Alex Salmond seeking to return to Parliament.
“And would that not be a great parliament with you [George Galloway] in it and Alex Salmond in it that would certainly be great it would be political box office television.
“But what you’re really seeing is the fight between Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon partly because Alex feels that he has been written out of history.
“He, in his mind, took the country so close to independence that you can almost feel it, almost touch it.
“And he believes one more heave and you could get there and he sees all of that adulation go into Nicola’s direction.
“And you also feel Nicola Sturgeon’s feeling that I was your apprentice, you’ve retired, don’t come back and I will use every trick in the book that I have to keep you out of politics.
“In the end what has happened is this psychodrama has grown and erupted in the party and in the committee inquiry against Alex Salmond.
“This election is going to be a judgement on that because Alex Salmond has looked at the SNP and he’s taken MPs from the SNP and taken leading candidates off the SNP and plans to take votes from the SNP.
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“He is now gaming the system, he admits he’s gaming the system but he could at six or seven percent of the vote could be bringing in new parliamentary seats.
“And he’ll have a group in the special parliament and he will hope that he denies Nicola sturgeon the majority in her own right, which is very hard to achieve, and provides the votes that take her over the majority threshold.”
Alex Salmond is hoping to game the Scottish electoral system by only standing in regional list seats – an area the SNP do not typically secure seats in.
The Additional Member System used in Scotland punishes parties who do well in bigger constituency seats by reducing their number of accepted votes in regional seats.
This usually means the majority SNP are kept accountable by regional list MSPs which are mainly made up of Conservative and Labour politicians.
However, Mr Salmond wants to secure a “supermajority” by standing only in regional seats to increase the number of pro-independence MSPs in Holyrood