The total number of Labour and Scottish Nationalist MPs in the Commons after the election may not be enough to put Ed Miliband in 10 Downing Street, according to Labour’s Scottish leader.
Jim Murphy said Labour and the SNP could end up “working together”. But if current opinion polls proved correct, Mr Murphy said that would mean his party and SNP left on Westminster’s “opposition” benches.
Labour in Scotland has based its election strategy around warning voters that a vote for the SNP would mean a second term for David Cameron. Mr Murphy’s pessimistic comments may offer ammunition to nationalists who say only they can give Scotland a stronger voice at Westminster.
SNP leader, Nicola Sturgeon, has also forecast that Scotland could again end up with a “Tory government we didn’t vote for.”
Ed Balls, Labour’s senior Treasury spokesman, was in Glasgow alongside Mr Murphy when he promised Labour’s first budget after May 7 would “end Tory austerity.” Mr Balls said Scotland would be given an additional £800m to be spent on the NHS, education and job creation.
He attacked both Tory austerity policies and the SNP’s fiscal plans as “bad for Scotland and bad for the UK.”
Echoing comments made by the former prime minister, Gordon Brown, last weekend, Mr Balls said Labour in Scotland “always has been and always will be” the party of “social justice and fairness.”
Polls in Scotland are pointing to an unprecedented shift in control from Labour to the SNP. The Liberal Democrats are predicted to win only one seat.
Speaking in East Dunbartonshire, where coalition minister, Jo Swinson, is under threat of losing to the SNP, the LibDem leader Nick Clegg offered a qualified apology ahead of May 7. He told constituency activists that going into coalition with the Conservatives may have come at “some cost to our short-term political popularity.”
With Treasury Secretary, Danny Alexander, forecast to lose to the SNP in his Highland seat, and only Alistair Carmichael in Orkney and Shetland predicted to win, Mr Clegg’s assurance that the coalition “was the right thing for the country” may be difficult to swallow for his party in Scotland.
The SNP used day three of the election campaign to focus on funding for the police and rescue services.
Speaking in Ayrshire, the SNP leader called on Police Scotland and the Fire and Rescue Service to be given new powers to recover VAT. Currently costing the national police force £23 million a year, and the fire service £10m, Ms Sturgeon said the money should be spent on “frontline services”.
The Independent has got together with May2015.com to produce a poll of polls that produces the most up-to-date data in as close to real time as possible.
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