Less than 24 hours after the Scottish Referendum, SNP Leader and Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond has announced he will step down in November.
Although the Yes side lost by a 10 point margin, it is certainly far better than anyone expected. So I doubt there was any pressure brought to bear on him to resign if they lost. Of course, maybe there was pressure on him to step aside but for reasons unrelated to the referendum. As I wrote the other day, Salmond has come a long way from when he had a broom sized office at Westminster.
I remember when Jacques Parizeau resigned as Premier of Quebec the day after the Yes narrowly lost the 1995 Quebec Referendum. But this was because Parizeau blamed the loss on “money and the ethnic vote”. And by ethnic vote, Parizeau meant Jews, Italians and Greeks. When the Yes forces only garnered 40% of the vote in the 1980 Referendum, Rene Levesque not only did not resign, but his Parti Quebecois government was re-elected with more seats the following year.
Salmond will most likely be succeeded by his deputy, Nicola Sturgeon. I saw her interviewed during the BBC’s coverage of the referendum. She comes across as very candid and direct even if she is a useful idiot where it concerns Israel. Of course, the same could be said for Alex Salmond.
In any case, there will be no more talk of Scottish independence for awhile, but only awhile.