Speaking at a Scottish Labour conference today, party leader Ed Miliband stressed that voting for the SNP would merely help the Tories in forming another government in Westminster.
The Scottish National Party has had a surge of support following the independence referendum in 2014, and they are now expected to win a majority of Scotland’s seats on May 7th. Even former prime minister Gordon Brown’s seat is likely to picked up by the SNP, in a country that overwhelmingly supported Labour in 2010.
Polls suggest that neither Labour nor the Tories will win a majority in May, so talk of possible coalitions is widespread. Even a deal between the two biggest parties has been suggested, though this is extremely unlikely. The UKIP and SNP leaders have both expressed disinterest in a formal partnership, while still being willing to vote along with a likely minority government.
There is however staunch disapproval from Scottish Labour MP’s of any deal with the SNP. But Miliband has not made his position on the issue known, instead focusing on portraying the dangers of another five years with David Cameron. This would include cuts in funding to the Scottish government amounting to nearly £3 billion. “The way to get rid of the Tories and get a Labour government is to vote Labour,” Miliband said. “Scottish working families can’t afford to take the risk of a Tory government. Scottish young people can’t afford to take the risk. Scottish pensioners can’t afford to take the risk.”
Meanwhile, the prime minister is obviously opposed to any Labour-SNP coalition, saying “you cannot let the people who want to break up our country into the government of our country.”
At least we know what their plan for the country is.