Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Nicola Sturgeon vows her government will ‘reach out’

Nicola Sturgeon announces she won't form a coalition but that her government will be inclusive at Holyrood
Nicola Sturgeon announces she won't form a coalition but that her government will be inclusive at Holyrood

Nicola Sturgeon has vowed to lead an “inclusive” minority government following a Holyrood election campaign defined by constitutional divisions.

The First Minister said the SNP had been given an “unequivocal mandate” to govern, although the party did not win the majority predicted by polls.

It followed a seismic election where the Conservatives capitalised on Scotland’s unionist vote to slam Labour into third place.

Speaking on the steps outside Bute House, Ms Sturgeon said: “The government I lead will reach out.

“We will govern with conviction and determination but also with humility and a willingness to listen and to learn from the ideas of others.

“And on the question of independence, the SNP will make our case with passion, with patience and with respect.

“But our aim is to persuade, not to divide. We will always respect the opinion of the people – now and in the future – and we simply ask that other parties do likewise.”

Sources close to the First Minister indicated she would consider different offers for each opposition party when it came to persuading them into back SNP policy at Holyrood and ensure it becomes law.

The SNP have been far more cautious on tax than the Scottish Greens, who were seen by some as potential allies because both parties favour independence, and are also against income tax hikes proposed by Labour and the Liberal Democrats.

When it comes to a budget, the Conservatives have made big play of being close to the Nationalists in some areas but any easy deal is unlikely between the Scottish Government and its official opposition.

John Swinney.
John Swinney.

Deputy First Minister and Finance Secretary John Swinney made it clear any deals must be based on fiscal competence.

He told The Courier: “We’ve always been a government that has looked to govern by a broad consensus and on countless issues, even when we were in majority, we have had some of the opposition parties with us on a variety of different issues.

“But what the First Minister made clear was that she will lead an SNP government, she will not be pursuing any formal arrangement with any other parties.”

Perthshire North MSP Mr Swinney added: “The issues will be no different to the issues we faced when we were a minority government, even a majority government when I tried to find common ground with other political parties and succeeded in securing that on different occasions.

“There will be times where we are able to agree points with other political parties, there will be times where we have to take difficult decisions but ultimately on the budget decisions parliament has to accept it has to live within its means.

“All the numbers have to add up at the end of the process. That’s the world I live in and have lived in for the past nine years.”

The SNP governed with 47 MSPs from 2007 until 2011 with then leader Alex Salmond and his team negotiating as a minority administration.

Although it was largely stable, a shock election was almost called mid term when the SNP struggled to garner enough support for their 2009 budget before it eventually passed.

Ms Sturegon highlighted policies which have broad support amongst multiple parties as she attempted to set the scene for deal making.

Education is seen as an area of priority across the chamber, although there have bee disputes around funding.

The SNP leader said: “I made clear in this election that education will be the defining and driving priority of my tenure as First Minister – and that I expect to be judged on it. I reiterate that today.

“Education is my passion and priority, but I was heartened that all parties chose to put a clear focus on it.

“I hope we can put party differences aside and work together.”

Ms Sturgeon also cited climate change, transforming the economy and mitigating austerity as areas of common cause between the parties.

“We will govern with conviction and determination, but also with humility and a willingness to listen and to learn from the ideas of others,” she said.

The SNP’s election manifesto stated the Scottish Parliament should have the right to hold another referendum if there is “clear and sustained evidence” that independence has become the preferred option of a majority of the Scottish people.

She added: “I have a duty to rise above party politics and to govern in the best interests of all of our country.

“My pledge today is that I will always seek to do that.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]

More from The Courier Scottish politics team

More from The Courier