Papers Make their Pitch as Polls Open

There are no real surprises on the front pages of today’s Scottish daily newspapers as voters go to the polls in the Scottish Parliament elections.

Predictably, The Scottish Sun, which is backing the SNP, devotes its front page to a poster picture of Alex Salmond with the heading: ‘Keep Salm and Carry on’.

The Labour-backing Daily Record also gives its front page over to the election – with an unflattering picture of Salmond,  alongside the heading: ‘He thinks it’s all hover' with a sub-heading pointing out: ‘It’s not yet .. Your vote can stop another five years of broken promises and failure’.

The ‘hover’ follows claims that the SNP has booked helicopter to whisk Salmond to the lawn of Prestonfield House Hotel, in Edinburgh, the scene four years ago of his victory speech.

This story, which is carried by several papers today, appeared in The Scotsman yesterday.

The Daily Record’s Trinity Mirror stablemate, the Scottish Daily Mirror, predictably, asks to readers to back Scottish Labour.

The Scottish Daily Express, which has declined to back any political party, has a similar front page heading to the Daily Record – but more prosaic: ’They think it’s all over’.

The Scottish Daily Mail warns Salmond in its front-page heading: ‘Keep your hands off the union’ and says that an exclusive opinion poll carried out by the paper …”has revealed that only one-third of voters back the SNP’s plan to tear Scotland out of the Union”.

In a full-page leader comment, while granting that Salmond is “head and shoulders above his opponents in political skills”, it points out: “the reality behind the Salmond myth is a serially failed politician who has a propensity for skidding on banana skins”.

The paper recommends that its readers vote Tory, stating: “The only resort for responsible voters is to support the Conservatives, not enthusiastically, but with a view to awarding as many seats as possible to the one party that might hope to rein in the further extravagances of a renewed SNP government.”

Neither The Herald nor The Scotsman produces any dramatic images for their respective front pages.

The Scottish Daily Express reports on a spat between the Scottish Conservatives and Scottish Labour on an advertisement in a free newspaper in which it is claimed: ’Tories bite off babies’ heads’.

The tabloid reports: “Glasgow South West MP Ian Davidson placed the advert in a free newspaper, which is distributed to 20,000 homes in his constituency.

“Tory leader Annabel Goldie said the advert, placed in The Govan and Glasgow South West Press, would backfire on the Labour Party.

“Editor John Maclean, who said the advert had appeared in a section of the paper prepared by Mr Davidson, added: 'I thought it was quite funny.'”