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The pact

Brian Taylor | 15:17 UK time, Monday, 4 October 2010

Question is: who will come to Annabel's party?

The Scottish Conservative leader says she is no longer institutionally averse to joining a Holyrood coalition with others.

At the Tory conference in Birmingham, Annabel Goldie argues that the Westminster coalition has now pointed a possible way.

It has been - and here I paraphrase her verdict - a triumph, an unalloyed success, a source of joy and delight to all who witness its work.

Why, she ponders, should such a prospect not now be possible at Holyrood, after the next election?

You will recall that the Tories have entered previous Holyrood elections indicating that they would form either a victorious government or a robust opposition.

No messing with coalition.

But things have apparently changed. The Tories are still seeking every conceivable vote, every conceivable seat.

Suggestion 'ludicrous'

But, in the event that they do not sweep to complete power, cheered by an adoring electorate, they are now ready to consider the option of coalition.

However, things have not changed that much. The Tories' rivals seem stubbornly reluctant to consider the prospect of forming a pact.

A Labour insider describes the idea as "utterly inconceivable". The Lib Dems privately describe the concept as "not on the radar" - even if the sums added up.

Which, to date, they have not.

And the SNP? They describe the suggestion as ludicrous, pointing out that they retain a constitutional bar on working with the Tories at Holyrood.

If this was a wooing, it would appear to have had a fairly rough response.


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