Express & Star

‘No plans’ for talks between Greens and SNP on coalition

The chances of an overall SNP majority dropped after they did not win Aberdeenshire West from the Tories.

Patrick Harvie

There are currently “no plans” for talks between the SNP and Scottish Greens on a possible coalition, a Greens source has told the PA news agency.

The chances of an SNP majority at Holyrood dropped significantly on Saturday after the party failed to take Aberdeenshire West from the Conservatives.

Throughout the election campaign, members of both parties were asked about a possible coalition in the event of no majority being secured and leaders on either side did not outright reject the idea.

Sturgeon giving a thumbs up
The First Minister has also not ruled out working with the Greens in coalition (Jane Barlow/PA)

Just minutes after the announcement of the Aberdeenshire West result, a source in the Greens told the PA news agency there were “no plans” for talks between the two parties.

However, the chances could increase when the final results are known.

Under the internal rules of the Scottish Greens, members would have to approve any coalition agreement.

On Saturday, leader Patrick Harvie said it would be for the SNP to decide whether they wanted to reach out and begin talks.

“If the SNP decide that they are short of a majority at the end of the day, it will be up to them to decide if they want to continue as a minority government,” he told the BBC.

“I think the Greens have shown that we can make a really serious impact, by pushing a minority government out of its comfort zone and pushing it to be more progressive and bolder, or if they want to reach out and discuss other arrangements.

“If they do, it will be for our whole party to decide how we respond to that.”

In April, Mr Harvie said there could be sticking points that would have to be addressed before Green members would vote to back a coalition agreement.

He said: “I suspect a lot of our members would be willing for us to have the conversation, but I think there would be a really challenging issue around taxation policy, around oil and gas policy, and around a lot of those transport policies that have been going in the wrong direction.”

Also speaking during the election campaign, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “We have worked with the Greens in Budget negotiations for the duration of the Parliament that has just passed, so I know we can work with the Greens on that kind of basis.”

The SNP leader was clear: “There have been no discussions between the SNP and the Greens about anything more formal than that, and until the election is over that would remain a hypothetical issue.”

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