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Scottish referendum: Alex Salmond has resigned at the right time

The former first minister will act as an ideal lightening rod for criticism of the SNP—But how it copes without him in charge is another question

By Tom Gordon  

Alex Salmond gave an emotional press conference today in which he resigned as leader of the SNP. © Scott Heppell/AP/Press Association Images

Alex Salmond didn’t have to resign, but it was surely the right thing to do.

By securing 1.6m votes and 45 per cent support in favour of independence in the referendum, he could credibly have claimed a victory of sorts, if not the one he so dearly desired.

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