There are arguably two main factors that will, and already have, destabilised the SNP’s push for a second term at Holyrood.

These are:
(1) The perception that the SNP failed to address the financial crisis with the appropriate rhetoric, language and policies.
(2) The release of Lockerbie bomber Abdelbasset Al-Megrahi.

The party has noone to blame for the former electoral liability with Salmond’s ‘spivs and speculators’ line still painfully cringeworthy, particularly when set against the pragmatic backroom manoeuvres from Gordon Brown that assisted HBOS being bought over by Lloyds and saving Scottish (and UK) jobs.

For the latter, the SNP still has a battle on its hands and, as the latest Wikileaks revelation on the matter shows, it is around other backroom manoeuvres from then Prime Minister Gordon Brown that a public discussion over Megrahi, and scrutiny into the events leading up to the release, remains outstanding.

The Sunday Telegraph has revealed tonight that “Britain helped Libya secure Megrahi release” and that the Middle East and North Africa Minister assured the Libyans that the Prime Minister did not want Megrahi to die in prison. Even the fact that UK Government Minister provided legal advice to Libya regarding how Megrahi could be released on compassionate grounds is highly concerning in light of the furious reaction that we witnessed after Kenny MacAskill made his decision.

I remain of the view that any civilised society does not keep dying people incarcerated but that view was probably in the minority amongst the Scottish public, a fact that Iain Gray exploited at the time with his assurance that “if I had been First Minister, Megrahi would not have been released”. An easy hit from the Labour leader at the time, but how that statement sits against evidence that seems to point to Labour helping Megrahi be released from prison deserves consideration.

Anyone who disagrees with MacAskill’s decision are of course still welcome to do so and perhaps it was the wrong decision. However, who is more to blame, the person who was legally obligated to come to that decision or individuals who tried to move events in that direction?

The whole furore regarding Megrahi got very old very quickly, and I’m sure it would do again if the same press hysteria was to reemerge. However, if one party is being hung out to dry while another party that facilitated the decision that caused the outrage is getting away with it scot free, then perhaps the whole issue needs to be revisited and any blame or disappointment be apportioned more appropriately across a highly judgemental Scottish electorate.