Working with the new Scottish Government

Nicola Sturgeon in a pharmacy

The Scottish elections of May 2011 resulted in a huge victory for the SNP.  They now have a majority in the Scottish Parliament.  This is something that no other political party has been able to do since the Parliament was set up in 1999.  Indeed, the system was designed to prevent something like this from ever happening.

The Campaign

This gives some idea of the scale of the SNP’s achievement. 

•  The party campaigned well.

•  They had a well-funded and well-presented campaign that was positive about Scotland’s future, whilst also reinforcing their claims to be the best party to stand up for Scotland.

•  The other political parties did not produce campaigns of similar quality.

•  Fairly or not, Labour’s campaign was defined in the media’s eyes when leader Iain Gray retreated from a group of vocal protesters and took refuge in a cafe.

•  The Lib Dems in particular suffered as their left of centre supporters deserted them in response to the party’s decision to go into coalition with the Conservatives following the UK 2010 General Election.


The Aftermath

Following the results becoming clear the leaders of the Conservatives, Lib Dems and Labour all announced they were standing down.

Alex Salmond was re-appointed First Minister. He then revealed a new Cabinet and team of Ministers.  Whilst there was little change in the senior Cabinet posts, some fresh faces have been appointed to the junior ministerial posts.

For pharmacists the most relevant minister remains Nicola Sturgeon as Cabinet Secretary for Health and Well-being.  There is a new Minister for Public Health however, with Falkirk East MSP Michael Matheson taking over from Shona Robison.  Ms Robison has moved over to a new role looking at the delivery of the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.