Under the Scottish electoral system if the Scottish Parliament has not elected a First Minister within 28 days of an election, it's back to the drawing board and a second election has to be held. At the moment it looks improbable that Alex Salmond and the SNP will be able to put together any form of meaningful coalition now that the LibDems have snubbed them.
There are two ways of looking at this from the SNP's viewpoint. You could take the view that in any rerun they would get more votes and more seats, making their bargaining position that much stronger, or you could take the view that if the rerun election takes place as Gordon Brown takes over at Number Ten the Labour Party would do better.
I take the first view. If the SNP won a second election they would be in a far stronger position. I would expect the LibDems and the Conservatives to show a drop in support and seats. It was quite clear that many Conservatives lent their votes to the SNP last Thursday. In several of the constituency seats the rise in the level of support for the SNP was exactly matched by a fall in the Tory vote. That trend could well be extended in any second election. As an aside, this electoral trend shows that there is still a core Tory vote in Scotland, which is somewhat higher than that shown by the results.
So if I were Alex Salmond, I would be distinctly unconcerned by the lack of progress in forming a government. I'd bide my time, make the other parties look unreasonable, and then 28 days later, ask the Scottish people what they think.