Well, it's deid then. Voting will take place later in the day at Holyrood, and it looks like Parliament will clearly demonstrate to the Scottish Government that the referendum on independence is dead in the water.
Still not entirely sure whether this is a smart move or not. Salmond will be delighted - he knows he has no chance of getting the referendum off the ground, but this vote allows him to continue the charade and avoid antagonising the lunatic fringe of his own party. In addition he can sell himself as a man of the people come election time, in contrast to the evil Unionist parties who refused to allow the people of Scotland a say (although ironically they had a say by voting in more Unionists in the first place!).
The benefit for the Unionist parties is that they can portray this (or at least try to) as a sensible economic decision - if the SNP choose to ignore it then they leave themselves open to allegations of sacrificing Scotland's economic prospects on the basis of their own ideological obsessions. This does carry the potential to be quite damaging to the SNP Government - at the end of the day the public can view this issue as a fringe topic in comparison to the daily challenges of living and working, and therefore may be annoyed at an SNP Government who ignore the will of Parliament.
I expect both sides to stick to their guns and try to turn the tide in their favour. I don't think it will be the killing blow that either side hope it might be, but it could shift the balance of power in Scottish politics in the run-up (yep, we're in that stage already) to the next Holyrood elections.
Petition of the day
1 hour ago