Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP are a major topic of discussion among all parties in the weeks before the election, with it becoming increasingly likely that they will hold the balance of power in Westminster.
While Labour is still trying to distance itself from the SNP, Sturgeon has continuously stressed her intentions to work with Ed Miliband should he become prime minister. “If the SNP emerges from this election in a position of influence we will exercise that influence responsibly and constructively,” she said during the launch of her party’s manifesto. “And we will always seek to exercise it in the interests of people not just in Scotland but across the whole of the UK,” she continued, referring to her surprising number supporters in England and Wales who see her as the ‘winner’ of both televised debates in addition to the most progressive candidate by far.
But the Conservatives are obviously not convinced, instead trying their best at fear mongering over a possible Labour-SNP partnership. Prime Minister David Cameron recently suggested that “an alliance between a party that wants to spend, borrow and tax more with a party that wants to spend, borrow and tax even more,” adding that “it might be a match made in heaven for them, but it is a match made in hell for the British economy.” Former Prime Minister John Major continued this rhetoric, saying that a minority Labour government would be “open to a daily dose of political blackmail” if propped up by the Scottish Nationalists.
Meanwhile Miliband is arguing that the Tories are in effect supporting the SNP by revealing how much they’re afraid of them, while attacking any assumptions that he intends to work with Sturgeon.
But behind closed doors, it is likely a very different story, with their partnership all but inevitable.