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BLOG: Salmond's defeat is Scotland's 'Portillo moment'

Photo: Press Association
  • Blog posted at 5:05am

It was the 'Portillo moment' of this general election in Scotland.

As dawn broke, Alex Salmond was defeated by the Tories in Gordon.

Mr Salmond is, as many have said, a 'marmite' figure in Scottish politics.

Nationalists love, nae, worship him. He took them from relative obscurity to government at Holyrood, and on to an independence referendum.

Non-nationalists don't like him. Let's be frank it's more than simply don't like.

Some simply loath him, seeing him as the man who nearly broke the Union.

But you cannot take away Mr Salmond's record. A Holyrood minority government, then a majority, then that vote which took Scotland close to independence.

His loss will be felt most keenly in the party group in Westminster where as a seasoned parliamentarian he brought experience and pugnacity.

Had he survived he might even have been suggested as the leader of the group, after the defeat of SNP deputy leader, and Westminster leader, Angus Robertson.

Mr Salmond has just quoted a Jacobite song: "...you've not seen the last of my bonnet and me."

He subsequently said that meant he will continue to make a contribution to political debate, though it is hard to see him coming back into elected politics.

Defeated he may have been - for the first time in ten attempts - but we can be sure that the "bonnet" he talked about will continue to be seen on the Scottish political scene.

Watch this space, as they say.

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