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Salmond sets out SNP election stall

By Channel 4 News

Updated on 17 October 2009

Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond says the SNP should have more sway in the House of Commons after the next election.

Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond (credit:Reuters)

Mr Salmond, who was speaking at the Scottish National Party conference in Inverness, is hoping to increase his party's representation at Westminster from seven seats to at least 20, with an ambition to hold the balance of power in a hung parliament.

Mr Salmond had already declared that his party will enter into no coalitions but will negotiate on a case-by-case basis with whoever is the largest party.

This has left the SNP open to Labour charges that it would be prepared to prop up a minority Tory administration, a charge denied by the SNP leader who argues his party will instead seem to maximise social and economic concessions for Scotland.

His early shopping list, as set out in today's speech, includes demands for Scotland to be given permission to bring forward £350m of capital spending earmarked for future years, more money for home insulation, and £300m extra for Scotland as a consequence of Olympic Games spending in London and extra prison spending south of the border.

The SNP would also seek to extract concessions from the Treasury over extending the timescale for paying for the new Forth road bridge because of the "scale and unique nature" of that project.

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