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."

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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."


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  • rate this

    Comment number 516.

    "It very much looks like the Salmond Youth are out in force here rating positively positive comments while negatively rating the negative."

    Yes, it is always the same, I don't think they have real jobs but they are good atr shouting down opposing arguments

  • rate this

    Comment number 515.

    ...as there is nothing in 1707 Act of Union regarding Scotland's currency?

    except article 16
    "That from and after the Union the Coin shall be of the same standard and value, throughout the United Kingdom, as now in England, And a Mint shall be continued in Scotland under the same Rules as the Mint in England"

  • rate this

    Comment number 514.

    Simple he needs a way out when he looses the referendum. Now he can say I told you I would be going soon nothing to do with not winning the referendum

  • rate this

    Comment number 513.

    Trouble is; People assume an independent Scotland will automatically be led by the SNP
    Quite the reverse. We would have to have a brand new election, and then we will have the choice about being led by an independent Scottish Labour Party; and Independent Liberal or Democratic or republican party; or a scottish green party.

    All will be independent from England, and SNP will be redundant So vote!

  • rate this

    Comment number 512.

    The reason he is thinking of going is to avoid the flak as all the SNP policies unravel...Would an Independent Scotland not have to have its own Embassies Worldwide?? Think of the cost..and dump Independence!!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 511.

    We had to put up with the Scottish political thinking during the Bliar/Brown governments,ie Quite good to start off with but just look at the mess we were left with, so if and when you get to vote for independence think also of the type of politicians and government you get, its not just a local government, who always have a get out clause,they will be running the country.

  • Comment number 510.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 509.

    Violet Mildred; you have to live in a country to get a vote on how it is run. Why in the world would non-residents get a say in how a country is run? It's not about heritage, it's about self-determination, about the future of a country, about how we run our economy, for THE PEOPLE OF SCOTLAND to decide what is to be done, not ex-pats, they can vote in and for the country in which they live.

  • rate this

    Comment number 508.

    499- the Sun- our "great national paper of record"? Owned by the man who salmond calls "Sir Rupert" and invites to events and who just happens to be trying get his own back on westminster for the Leveson enquiry? No chance of any proSNP bias there then...

  • rate this

    Comment number 507.

    Scotland spending its oil wealth on Scotland is as outrageous, greedy and downright wrong as France spending its wealth in France or the USA electing its own president instead of being governed from Westminster. It has to end immediately. ALL money must flow to London and these 'countries' , which are merely a veil for anti-English prejudice, must join in union with England FOR THEIR OWN GOOD.

  • rate this

    Comment number 506.

    It would be good to understand when DS is going to explain how Mad Donald Trump got planning permission for his golf course in Aberdeenshire and why the police acted in such a heavy handed way.

  • rate this

    Comment number 505.

    You mean as opposed to use pro-independence campaign? Like Salmond starting court action to stop any information being made public regarding scotlands stance within the EU? Or using GERS to justify Scotland strong finances when GERS is just complete estimation based on population % NOT real income/expenditure? Or Salmond failing to mention important points like RBS debt?

  • rate this

    Comment number 504.

    The recent demonization of Salmond is repugnant. Unionists north and south of the border cared little about him during the 2007-11 SNP government, but with the 2011 landslide a torrent of lies and personal abuse was unleashed. Why? Because he is the most popular politician in Scotland, and is too intelligent, too well informed, too able, too good in debate - and wants an independent Scotland.

  • rate this

    Comment number 503.


    These figures and other propaganda supplied by opponents of independence are then endorsed and broadcast as fact by bbc.

    I for one would like external EU monitors to assure the process is fair including the media coverage right up to ballot day.

    P.S. it's not just bbc, every media outlet bar the Scottish Sun is hostile to SNP.

    C McK

  • Comment number 502.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 501.

    Fact = Most Scots want to stay part of the UK.
    The Nationalists just make more noise than anyone else.
    To date, the opposition to Nationalism has been utterly woeful. I sincerely hope they get their act together and show the Scottish people just how dangerous small minded nationalism really is.

  • rate this

    Comment number 500.

    So, another chance for the BBC to let tabloid readers display their ignorance of Scottish politics. It's a pity the BBC doesn't do anything to encourage informed debate on this issue. It would seem as if the BRITISH Broadcasting Corporation has it's own agenda?

  • rate this

    Comment number 499.

    Today’s Scottish Sun (7 November) asserts that the UK Treasury has rushed out statistics which do not compare like for like in order to do down Scotland and “speaks volumes” about the anti-independence campaign

  • rate this

    Comment number 498.

    Nice to see all the Anti Scottish sentiment from our "friendly" neighbours.....keep it coming, your really helping our cause, it's comical the amount of nonsense being posted like,

    Scotland will go bust, they can't have the £, they can't join the EU etc etc etc......you know what......we'll do what we darn well please once we have independence and it'll have nothing to do with you anymore!

  • Comment number 497.

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


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