In the previous post Malc suggested the “utter madness” of a grand coalition between bitter foes, the SNP and Labour, but pointed out reasons why it may be beneficial for both sides. To my mind, it is simply impossible. There is no love lost between the two parties and the visceral hatred that does exist is an insurmountable barrier, a barrier all the more strange as the two parties are not really so dissimilar. Perhaps opposites attract after all.

With that in mind, I’m going to go one better than Malc’s ‘crazy concept’ of an SNP/Labour coalition and that is to suggest an SNP/Conservative coalition. Yes, that’s right, thinking the unthinkable but you can call me names and throw things at the end but please hear me out.

For a start, the cuts are on their way, there’s no avoiding that so, if you can’t beat them, join them. The SNP could even use the Tories as a shield in the same way that the Tories are using the Lib Dems as a shield down south. Imagine putting Annabel Goldie up to bat to defend health cuts against a baying media scrum.

And hey, let’s be honest, the two parties get on very well indeed, arguably the best relationship among the four main parties. At the top, Annabel Goldie and Alex Salmond do not enjoy a working relationship, which could be a problem, but I envisage Annabel calling it a day at the next election, if the electorate do not decide to call it a day for her. Whichever of the young Tory turks were to take over, I would imagine there would be enough personal chemistry between the two parties for a stable Government to be formed, something along the following lines:

Alex Salmond – First Minister
Murdo Fraser/Derek Brownlee – Deputy First Minister & Education Secretary
John Swinney – Finance Secretary
Nicola Sturgeon – Health Secretary
Kenny MacAskill – Justice Secretary
Derek Brownlee/Murdo Fraser – Business Secretary
and so on and so forth…

Furthermore, the numbers make this prospect all the more possible if the Lib Dems haemorrhage seats, as current polling and knowledgable talking heads suggests they will do.

Let’s say the election result was:

Labour – 47 seats
SNP – 45 seats
Conservatives – 20 seats
Lib Dems – 10 seats
Greens – 6
BNP – 1

Labour, being the biggest party, unofficially receives the first chance to form a coalition. The Grand Coalition fails to take off (sorry Malc), a coalition with the Conservatives isn’t even entertained and the Lib Dems and Greens don’t offer enough seats. The Conservatives see their ‘Scottish Tory moment’ and let it be known that the SNP can have their referendum if a deal can be reached.

This is where timing would come into it.

An election has just been held so there isn’t another one for four long years, an election that will be taking place at the same time as (perhaps even on the same date as) the Westminster election in May 2015. The SNP will probably suffer in that election for the same reasons as why they suffered this May due to the TV leader debates and being squeezed out of the national spotlight. So, why not go for the ‘all-in’ strategy of an unholy alliance and take the only independence referendum that is open to them?

Sure, many Scots would go absolutely mental, I mean heads would explode kind of thing (not least of which would be Iain Gray himself) but the SNP/Tory administration would have four years to win them round, a philosophy that Nick Clegg has clearly adopted down South.

Ok, there’s the minor issue of the SNP having a clause in its statute book saying that it will not form coalitions with the Conservatives. I admit that would be a problem. However, if that could be erased in a Blair-esque ‘Clause IV moment’ or even an informal deal could be reached on a confidence-and-supply basis, some sort of deal is doable.

The Conservatives need some way back into Scotland’s hearts and the SNP needs some way past the Unionist blockade in order to achieve independence.

Perhaps this unholy alliance could act as divine intervention for both parties.