Scotland's future will be at the heart of the campaign for the 2011 elections.
First Minister and SNP leader Alex Salmond has said that if opposition parties block a referendum on independence he will put Scotland's future at the heart of the 2011 elections.
Speaking to the Sunday Express Mr Salmond said:
“I’ve always said that if the other parties don’t pass the bill – and that doesn’t look likely now, does it? – the people will have their say as to whether they want that opportunity in the election next year.
“People can take the decision to force the issue.
“It will be a major, perhaps dominating issue, in the election, not because it is about not giving the people a say in their own future, which is very important, but because we will be making the link to the economic crisis and saying if we have economic and financial powers then we can deal, not with all, but with the majority of this economic problem, which otherwise we have to deal with within a fixed budget.”
Discussing the cuts the scottish budget is set to face from Westminster and the impact they will have the First Minister added:
“Everybody understands we are moving into financial circumstances the like of which we have never seen before, but we can say we have the answer to part of this problem. The other parties don’t.
“In the case of the Tories and Liberals, they are the ones who are proposing the cuts, in the case of Labour they don’t have the slightest idea what to do about them.
“Over the course of this summer Labour have moved from 15 points in the polls ahead to level pegging. The effect of the General Election is wearing off, and people are starting to turn their mind to the next election. The problem with Labour is they have got no Scottish heart and people know that – where is the Scottish heart?”