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Lamentable results in the European elections have triggered French president Emmanuel Macron to dissolve parliament and call a national election. The nation will go to the polls in less than three weeks, on 30 June, with a second round of voting slated for 7 July, shortly before the country hosts the Olympic games in Paris.
"I cannot act as if nothing had happened," Macron said after The National Rally won more than twice as many votes as Macron's centrist alliance. Far-right parties have made significant inroads in elections so far and are projected to hold nearly a quarter of the European parliament’s 720 seats, up from one-fifth in 2019.
This side of the English channel, brace yourself for a deluge of policy announcements this week, with key manifestos – Labour, Conservative, SNP, Green and Liberal Democrats - set to be published in the coming days.

Though we await the documents in full, a combination of leaked pledges and choreographed announcements gives us some insights into their contents.

John Swinney has previously pledged that independence will feature front-and-centre of the SNP’s manifesto. This would carry over a promise made by former first minister Humza Yousaf, but chafes slightly against Swinney’s strategy thus far.

In a pitch for the left, Labour is expected to commit to formally recognising a Palestinian state. The party’s pledges were signed off at its ritual ‘clause V’ meeting on Friday, but failed to garner the support of Unite Union, amid reservations over its ‘New Deal for Workers’.

Rishi Sunak is hoping for a (third?) campaign reboot following last week’s D-Day dereliction of duty debacle. The prime minister is trailing a proposed “moral mission”to keep people in work and apparently save £12bn annually, which he hopes will distract from Thursday’s gaffe. However, the PM’s MPs remain despondent, with some expecting Reform to overtake them in the polls this week.

In brief - Scotland's economy and business

OpinioNation - columns of interest

Shifting the dial - recent research

The latest election polling by Deltapoll has Labour 25 points ahead. Meanwhile, John Burn-Murdoch charts the Tory decline (£) in the Financial Times.

The week ahead - fill your diary with key events


  • Rishi Sunak to be interviewed on Panorama
  • Liberal Democrats manifesto launch
  • Nigel Farage to host a Reform party press conference


  • Conservative manifesto launch
  • Nigel Farage to be interviewed on Panorama
  • In the Holyrood committee rooms:
    • The Finance and Public Administration committee will consider the Aggregate Tax and Devolved Taxes Administration (Scotland) Bill at Stage 2
    • The Local Government, Housing and Planning Committee will take evidence on the Housing (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1
  • June labour market figures released
  • Nominees to be announced in the Iranian presidential election, following the death of late president Ebraham Raisi in a helicopter crash


  • John Swinney to be interviewed on Panorama
  • Sunak and Starmer to face audience questions on Sky News
  • Sunak’s interview (yes, that one) with Paul Brand due to air on ITV
  • In the Holyrood chamber:
    • MSPs will address portfolio questions to the deputy first minister, Kate Forbes, and the cabinet secretary for finance and local government, Shona Robison
    • Members business motion on resolving Scotland’s depopulation crisis
  • In the Holyrood committee rooms:
  • The Rural Affairs and Islands Committee will take evidence on and pursue lines of inquiry relating to salmon farming in Scotland
  • UK’s April GDP figures released by Office for National Statistics


  • Labour manifesto launch
  • ITV to host a seven-way leaders’ debate
  • In the Holyrood chamber:
    • First minister’s questions
    • MSPs will address portfolio questions to the cabinet secretary for net zero and energy, Màiri McAllan
    • Scottish Government debate; Scottish Government priorities - investing in public services
  • G7 leaders meet in Bari, Italy. The event will be hosted by Italian prime minister, Giorgia Meloni


  • King’s birthday honours list announced


  • G7 summit concludes
  • Summit on peace in Ukraine held at lake Lucerne, Switzerland


  • Father’s Day celebrated