Longest-serving first minister Salmond will not 'go on and on'


Alex Salmond: "I wake up every morning and look forward to the day ahead."

Related Stories

SNP leader Alex Salmond said he was proud to be Scotland's longest-serving first minister but he had no intention of going "on and on" in the post.

In interviews with the BBC, the politician added he had no immediate plans to "depart the scene" with the independence referendum due in 2014.

Mr Salmond is Scotland's fourth first minister and to date the only non-Labour politician to take the post.

Donald Dewar, Henry McLeish and Jack McConnell went before him.

Mr Salmond conceded that his darkest days were around the time of the release of the Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi.

He said his political high point was his election victory in May 2011 when he delivered a historic majority of MSPs to Holyrood.

Mr Salmond told BBC Scotland's Raymond Buchanan: "I wake up every morning and look forward to the day ahead."

Previous first ministers

Donald Dewar, Henry McLeish and Jack McConnell

1. Donald Dewar: First minister from 13 May 1999 to 11 October 2000

2. Henry McLeish: First minister from 26 October 2000 to 8 November 2001

3. Jack McConnell: First minister from 22 November 2001 to 16 May 2007

He insisted he would not go "on and on", but added: "I want to see Scotland win the referendum, I want to see the opening of the door of opportunity in that referendum and I have no immediate plans to depart the scene."

In an earlier interview with BBC Scotland's Good Morning Scotland programme, Mr Salmond said he was proud of his achievements during his 2002 days in the post.

He told presenter Hayley Millar: "I think the most substantial thing that I am proud of, and the administration should be, is the establishment of a social contract between the Scottish government and the people of Scotland in extraordinarily tough times.

"In these difficult times we have managed to both preserve and indeed extend social objectives like the removal of tuition fees, the protection of free care for the elderly, the importance of having a national health service which is free at the point of need to everyone.

"These are big social protections and advances and that is what I would describe as a social contract between the government and the people."

Start Quote

It was Margaret Thatcher who said in a BBC interview in 1987, after winning her third election victory, that she intended to go "on and on". Her colleagues duly precluded that option by preventing her from contesting a fourth election.”

End Quote

Following devolution and the first elections to the new Scottish Parliament, Labour grandee Mr Dewar became the first minister on 13 May 1999.

He held the post until his death in October 2000.

Mr McLeish was Scotland's next first minister, taking on the role from 26 October, 2000, to 8 November, 2001.

By the end of November that year Mr McConnell was in the hot seat. He lasted until May 2007 when the SNP, under the leadership of Mr Salmond, won minority government.

On Wednesday, 7 November, Mr Salmond overtook Mr McConnell's time in the post.

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon congratulated the SNP leader on reaching the political milestone.

She said: "The people of Scotland overwhelmingly trust the Scottish government headed by Alex Salmond - 71% trust the Scottish government to act in Scotland's interests, up from 51% under the previous Lab/Lib Executive in 2006, and compared to just 18% who trust the UK government.

"In 2011, people in Scotland gave a remarkable vote of confidence in Alex Salmond's leadership and the team, record and vision of the SNP - delivering an overall majority at Holyrood, and becoming the only first minister to win two elections.

"It is this record of success that will help win a yes vote in the referendum for an independent Scotland in autumn 2014."


More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites


This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
  • rate this

    Comment number 116.

    Salmond is the only able party leader in Scotland at the moment.

    Johann has little positive to say about anything and is on a single track recording of anti SNP bile.

    Ruth can't put two paragraphs together without contradicting the first one.

    Can't even think of the name of the Lib Dem guy - is it a male?

    Lest face it, Alex has more competition from his own party than elsewhere.

  • rate this

    Comment number 115.

    Congratulations to Mr Salmond for being the longest serving First Minister of Scotland. The Scottish electorate liked what he and his party have been doing and relected them with a resounding YES. More of them to come!

  • rate this

    Comment number 114.

    83. Teapot. Why wait until 2014?! thats only 2 years away for one of the biggest decisions in Scottish history. I might equally ask why it took Westminster years to give us 'permission' I don't hear you complaining about their time wasting tactics?

  • rate this

    Comment number 113.

    Let's be grown up about this. The praise for Mr Salmond is what's to be expected from people who think he is worth the praise. I do not like him. That aside can we please bring on the actual freedom 'to' debate rather than the stale freedom 'from' debate. The only thing I see positive about an independent Scotland is the freedom from the UK Tory party and they are not looking to healthy.

  • rate this

    Comment number 112.

    Do you realise if there weren't any politicians, there would be very little news!

  • rate this

    Comment number 111.

    As a person who has Scottish ancestory I was always very proud of this, but in all honestly cannot comprehend why Scottish people are so anti-English now. I think Alex Salmond will go down in history as a man who tried to destroy the union and feel saddened that with all the independence they already have, that the Scottish people still are not happy. I will always be proud to be British.

  • Comment number 110.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • rate this

    Comment number 109.

    70 Finlay M.

    Too right! I've lived in Scotland and have friends there but the whiny victim hogwash peddled by Salmon has poisoned any chance of a happy relationship post independence. He may find the real-politik of negotiations with a neighbour of 55 million folk bruised by his smug pronouncements a bit of shock! The "canny Alex" might then be revealed as just a little chubby guy on the margin

  • rate this

    Comment number 108.

    Why is the top rated comment currently just +3.

    There must be more than three people who think Salmond is doing a Good job?

  • rate this

    Comment number 107.

    Congratulations to Alex Salmond.

    However, this topic is being spoiled by the anti Scottish comments from our 'friends' south of the border. I can't wait for Scottish indpendence!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 106.

    Congratulations to Mr. Salmond. I think that he is without doubt the best first minister we've had and makes the leaders of the Scottish opposition parties look like the political lightweights they really are.

    However the next two years will be extremely difficult as he faces a hostile media agenda and increasingly aggressive political attacks. I expect he'll lose the vote but not the argument.

  • rate this

    Comment number 105.

    Another article on Scottish politics and yet more pre-moderation of our views by the ever-so-reliable BBC. I'm not sure how this can ever be justified - I just searched a huge amount of pages on this site and can't find another pre-moderated discussion. Why this peculiar behaviour from the BBC? I pay my license fee but because I'm Scottish I can't be trusted to air my views?

  • rate this

    Comment number 104.

    49 ... Your cloying comparison with Norway is utterly flawed; we are not them, and can't be them - nor were we ever them ... The myriad ways in which our long pasts have brought us to our presents have generated gaping chasms between us - politically, socially and culturally (for Norway read 'any other country') ...

    In all sorts of ways 2017 (October 31st) is much more important than 2014 ...

  • rate this

    Comment number 103.

    If only the truth was printed about his efforts to achieve an Independent Scotland for the improvement in the quality of the lives of those who live here. The unionist media hammers home the unionist message via sound bites on "Trust"" / "Arrogance" / "Manipulative" etc etc.

    We have examples here of people repeating these comments. This is someone fighting hard for YOU.

    Vote YES in 2014

  • rate this

    Comment number 102.

    Given Alex is now spending over £2m to convert Gov Hse into his own castle and given he is spending more on a helcopter flights since wrongly meeting Donald Trump (at least DT used his own money) and given he changes his story at every turn............let's get rid!

  • rate this

    Comment number 101.

    I'm a bit surprised at the BBC -- the whole piece reads like a puff for Salmond. Is anyone really interested in how long he has been First Minister ? Apart from members of the SNP, I doubt it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 100.

    Highest congratulations to this skilled politician whom history will recognise as always putting the interests of their country first. Would that we had more like him. He needs the continuing support of the people though, in order to stand up to the disgraceful personal attacks from the unionist establishment, politicians and mass media. Despite their behaviour, we shall have a free country.

  • rate this

    Comment number 99.

    At his party's conference he stated, "In 2014, the nonsense ends." We all very much hope so, with a substantial majority voting against separatism in the referendum. We can then get on with the serious business of building the most sensible logical solution to governance in these islands, which is to construct a federal UK.

  • rate this

    Comment number 98.

    It still amazes me that we trust ANY politician...

  • Comment number 97.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.


Page 29 of 34


More Scotland politics stories



BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.