10 May 2007

One week since polling

Two conflicting rumours are now coming to the fore over the Presiding Officer post. The first is that it's Margo to the rescue, and the Independent will take up the job for about a year to allow the parties to sort themselves out. The second is that David McLetchie has been appointed to the Parliamentary Bureau in place of Bill Aitken so that Aitken is free to stand for Presiding Officer.

While I'm on the subject of the Bureau, what of Alasdair Morgan? He's the SNP representative on the Bureau temporarily, but The Herald reports that Bruce Crawford is likely to be the SNP's Minister for Parliament (I was expecting Crawford to be appointed to the Bureau rather than Morgan). I think he's being moved to another Parliamentary post, a key Convenership, the Corporate Body, or (and this is my favourite) Deputy Presiding Officer. We shall see.

In any case, focus today has shifted southwards, with Blair about to announce his departure in at 12 o'clock today, and while Holyrood can't agree a Coalition, a number of Councils have done.

We know already that Labour control Glasgow and North Lanarkshire. We know that Independents control the three Island Councils. Argyll & Bute will be run by a Coalition of Independents and the SNP, with 26 out of 36 seats. The SNP and LibDems have agreed a Coalition in East Lothian, with a combined 13 seats out of 23, and Moray will be run by a Coalition of Independents and Conservatives, with 15 seats out of 26.

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