THE SNP’s deputy leader has insisted Scotland has not become a one-party state. Instead, Stewart Hosie says his party’s ascendancy is due to the unelectability of its political opponents in Scotland.

The MP for Dundee East has also defended his party’s decision to scrap its previous rule on voting on England-only matters like foxhunting, saying the SNP would support policies that were “self-evidently progressive”.

With the SNP on track for another landslide victory in May’s Holyrood elections, Hosie was asked in an interview on BBC Radio’s World at One if such dominance was unhealthy for democracy.

“The issue here is we are not in a one-party state the way some of our opponents want to talk about; we are in a multi-party democratic system,” said Hosie.

He added: “The fact that the other parties are effectively unelectable isn’t really our responsibility or fault.”

With the SNP having displaced the Liberal Democrats as the UK’s third party at Westminster, Hosie was asked if the Nationalists’ stronger presence in the Commons had changed the culture of Westminster.

“We’re certainly a unified party, a united party. We turn up in the chamber and do our work.

“There’s an old joke going around that we’ve ‘weaponised turnout’. Our MPs have turned up to do their job and many were surprised about how few of our political opponents can be bothered to turn up for things they don’t deem to be that important.”

For years when the SNP had just six and not 50-plus MPs they made a point of not voting on so-called England-only matters, but by participating to stop foxhunting south of the Border the position changed.

Hosie defended the change, saying his party was “clear we wanted to try to bring progressive politics to the UK”.