2015年4月25日星期六

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon says she plans to wield influence over Labour

  • Leader said she understands concerns about SNP being part of coalition
  • Miss Sturgeon also suggested PM had been 'not unhelpful' to her party
  • Polls indicate SNP is on the brink of a historic landside victory in election

Hungry for power: SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon

Hungry for power: SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon last night admitted she understands concerns of English voters about her party being involved in a coalition government.

The Scottish First Minister said: ‘I understand how people south of the border think, “Oh my goodness how will it work? It’s a mess”.’

She also suggested that David Cameron had been ‘not unhelpful’ to the SNP by gaining the party greater publicity. 

‘At every Westminster election I’ve fought until this one, the biggest challenge that we’ve had to overcome is being heard and being relevant. We don’t have this problem this time,’ she told The Times.

‘The message it’s given to people in Scotland is – if this is the attention we get just from the SNP riding high in the polls, imagine how loud our voice would be if that was translated into seats. So in that respect I absolutely think it is not unhelpful.’

Miss Sturgeon’s remarks came after she had insisted that she would put Ed Miliband into Downing Street even if Labour wins 40 fewer seats than the Tories in a hung Parliament.

Polls suggest the SNP is on the brink of a landslide on a scale unprecedented in modern British politics, winning as many as 50 of Scotland’s 59 Commons seats. 

That would be all but certain to leave it holding the balance of power at Westminster for the first time.

In an interview with BBC Newsnight, Miss Sturgeon insisted: ‘Even if the Tories are the largest party, if there is an anti-Tory majority, my offer to Labour is to work together to keep the Tories out.’ 

Asked whether Mr Cameron’s party being ahead of Labour by ‘ten, 20, 30, 40’ seats would have an impact on her decision, she said: ‘Governments in the House of Commons are about who can command a majority.

'If there is an anti-Tory majority, yes... we would work with Labour to stop the Tories getting into Downing Street.’

Miliband and Sturgeon clash over coalition proposal

Miss Sturgeon also suggested that David Cameron (pictured) had been ‘not unhelpful’ to the SNP by gaining the party greater publicity

Miss Sturgeon’s remarks came after she had insisted that she would put Ed Miliband (pictured) into Downing Street even if Labour wins 40 fewer seats than the Tories in a hung Parliament.

Pledge: Miss Sturgeon’s remarks came after she had insisted that she would put Ed Miliband (right) into Downing Street even if Labour wins 40 fewer seats than the Tories in a hung Parliament. Left, David Cameron

Labour has ruled out a coalition with the SNP but on more than 100 occasions in recent weeks senior figures have refused to rule out a less formal arrangement. 

Most likely are vote-by-vote negotiations which would see the SNP agree to support a minority Labour government in key Parliamentary votes, after seeking to extract concessions for Scotland.

The Prime Minister called Miss Sturgeon’s threat to prop up a weak Labour government ‘frightening’ and said it would lead to ‘economic ruin’.

Nick Clegg said last night he would not support any deal with Labour that relies on it being propped up by the SNP. The Liberal Democrat leader said his first talks would be with the party with most seats – which most polls indicate will be the Tories.



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