Nicola Sturgeon’s email inbox is “overflowing” with requests for the SNP to stand candidates south of the Scottish border, the Scottish First Minister has said.
Ms Sturgeon received widespread praise for her performance in Thursday’s seven-way leaders’ TV debates and her appearance seems to have driven requests for her party to expand into other parts of the UK.
“I have … been really touched by the amazing feedback I've had since [the TV debate] - not just from people in Scotland, but from right across the UK,” she wrote in her column for Glasgow’s local Evening Times newspaper.
“In fact, I've been overwhelmed by people in other parts of the UK saying that they wish they could vote SNP!”
The SNP are set to clean up in Scotland at the election and most predictions suggest Labour will be unable to form a government without the help of nationalist MPs.
The SNP positions itself to the left of Labour on a number of issues including scrapping the Trident nuclear weapons system and keeping university education free for all youngsters.
The party wants to lower corporation tax which it says will encourage businesses to relocate to Scotland but recently backed increasing the top rate of tax on very high earners to 50%, in line with Labour policy.
The SNP has also urged modest increases in public spending to help the UK’s economy recover, rather than austerity cuts advocated by the main parties at Westminster.
Ms Sturgeon ruled out standing candidates south of the Scottish border and but said she saw SNP supporters outside Scotland as “allies” in a push to reform Westminster
“Despite the encouragement from many, we will resist the temptation to stand candidates [in other parts of the UK,” she wrote in her column.
Speaking in Livingston this morning Ms Sturgeon said her email inbox was “overflowing since Thursday” with messages requesting SNP candidates in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Sturgeon: my email inbox has been overflowing since Thurs w ppl in other parts on UK saying they wished they could vote for the SNP #GE2015— Libby Brooks (@libby_brooks) April 7, 2015
Snap polls showed Ms Sturgeon within 2% of being the first-placed leader in Thursday’s TV debate – a mean feat considering most of the UK is unable to vote for her.
The SNP won an unprecedented majority in the 2011 Scottish parliament elections, winning 69 of the devolved chamber's 129 seats.
The Scottish Parliament is elected using proportional representation and no party had ever managed to secure a single-party majority in it before.
In pictures: Experts' predictions for the General Election - 04/04/15
In pictures: Experts' predictions for the General Election - 04/04/15
1/10 Andrew Hawkins (ComRes)
“My position has moved: no party can win a majority now. I have also shifted in favour of the Conservatives winning more seats than Labour. That, however, assumes that the current Tory momentum is maintained and that they don’t do anything daft or careless between now and polling day. But the underlying pattern is distinctly in their favour.” (In January he predicted Labour would be the largest party, possibly with a small majority.)
2/10 Joe Twyman (YouGov)
“Probably: a ‘well hung parliament’. Possibly: Conservatives winning most votes and seats, thanks, in part, to SNP gains at Labour’s expense. Speculation: Conservatives unable to form another coalition, not having enough seats with just the Lib Dems, but Labour better placed with SNP and Lib Dems – albeit informally.” (In January Twyman said: “Gun to my head? Labour minority government.”)
3/10 Ben Page (Ipsos MORI)
“Stuck in ‘too close to call’ mode still, made harder by the way votes translate into seats in Parliament. If the parties remain neck and neck, Labour might just end up with more seats, but not a majority. We still have weeks of campaign to go and no clear picture for the marginals, where the polling that is being done suggests a lot of local variations that have plenty of potential to surprise us in May.” (Last time Page said it was a “mug’s game” to make predictions four months before an election.)
4/10 Rick Nye (Populus)
“Since January, the Conservatives have clearly improved on the polls relative to Labour to the point where I’d expect the Conservatives to win the most seats as well as the most votes 7 May. What’s less clear is whether the Conservatives would be able to form a government. (In January Nye expected a hung parliament in which Labour would win most seats but not necessarily most votes.)
5/10 Nick Moon (GfK)
“Something would need to change dramatically for there to be any chance of a one-party majority government. My guess: the Tories will be largest party, but some way short of forming even a two-party coalition. A Labour minority government seems most likely, but I won’t be putting money on it.” (Prediction unchanged since January.)
6/10 Damian Lyons Lowe (Survation)
“On Survation’s public polling, Ed Miliband remains the person most likely to form the next government. However, he’s far from the workable majority figure required . Friday 8 May will remain a day of deals and discussions with other parties to form the next government.” (In January he expected Labour to be the largest party in a hung parliament, by 40-50 seats over the Conservatives.)
7/10 Michelle Harrison (TNS)
“It’s less a case of who wins but who can scrape over the line. Labour polls better on the NHS; the Tories poll better on the economy. Can any claim additional territory from the other over the remaining weeks? Probably not. But our polls show that the public thinks the Tories will be the largest party. In the absence of a firm lead, I’ll go with the wisdom of crowds.”
8/10 James Endersby (Opinium Research)
“Despite the recent weekly statistical ties, we’ve witnessed the faint whispers of movement in the air and a slow, unsteady and shaky sway towards the Tories. How this shift plays out over the coming weeks obviously depends on a huge number of factors. My call, if this holds fast and momentum gathers: Conservatives 288, Labour 267, SNP 45, Lib Dems 24, Plaid Cymru 3, Ukip 3, Greens 2.” (In January he put Labour on 320 seats.)
9/10 Martin Boon (ICM)
“I’m tempted to say: how should I know? I’m just a pollster. But I feel that Miliband may just have raised himself from the grave, so I’ll add a couple to where I had them before. Everyone else largely becalmed although, I see the Greens disappearing from view and Ukip sliding a touch. Tories 34 per cent, Lab 32 per cent, Lib Dems 14 per cent, Ukip 12 per cent. I don’t trust any academic model that translates vote shares into seats, so a seat projection from this is a pure and simple guess, which is Labour to be touching 300 seats with the Tories just behind.” (In January Boon predicted Labour on 290 seats.)
10/10 Lord Ashcroft (Lord Ashcroft Polls)
He refuses to make predictions. “My polls are snapshots, not predictions.”
Despite the SNP's success at devolved level Scotland's electorate has voted staunchly Labour for the last few UK-wide general elections.
However, since last year's independence referendum polls have consistently shown Labour facing the new possibility of a near-wipeout north of the border under Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy.Reuse content