WITHIN days of his landslide victory in last May's Parliamentary elections Alex Salmond was in Glasgow firing warning shots at Labour over the Commonwealth Games.
The significance was clear: Glasgow was next on the SNP's list. For the first time in a generation Glasgow has a contest in the local elections and the stakes are massive.
If the SNP unseats Labour for the first time since the 1970s there is the symbolism of taking the scalp of its bitterest foe in one of its last heartlands. But it would also give the Nationalists the key to the engine room of Scotland's economy, provide a platform for the independence referendum and gain the kudos of hosting the 2014 Games.
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