General Election 2015: Nick Clegg rules out Lib Dem coalition with any party also doing a deal with SNP or Ukip

The Lib Dem leader has ruled out any post-election deal that would rely on 'life support' from the SNP

Doug Bolton
Saturday 25 April 2015 14:37

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has said that his party would not be part of any coalition that relied on "life support" from the Scottish National Party.

Speaking to the Financial Times, the Liberal Democrat leader dealt a blow to the possibility of a Labour/Lib Dem coalition after the election, which would probably have to rely on the support of the SNP to have enough support in parliament to govern.

He said: "I totally rule out any arrangements with the SNP in the same way I rule out any arrangements with Ukip - because there is no meeting point for me with one party that basically wants to pull our country to bits and another party that wants us to pull of of the EU."

Mr Clegg also condemned the "frothing bile" directed at his party from Labour over the course of the last parliament, in a sign that he hopes to renew the coalition with the Conservatives in the likely event of another hung parliament.

On his way to campaign in his Sheffield Hallam constituency, which he is in danger of losing according to polls by Lord Ashcroft, Mr Clegg said he was confident that the party would hold on to more seats than currently predicted by polls.

The Liberal Democrats are predicted to win 26 seats in the general election on 7 May, losing around half of the 56 seats they currently occupy.

In an average of polls by May 2015, the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats will only win 296 seats between them, not enough to get a majority of 326 seats.

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A coalition of the Labour and SNP could win a majority, with 328 seats according to polls - appearing on Newsnight yesterday, SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon said she would work with the Labour to keep the Conservatives out of Downing Street.

But after Labour leader Ed Miliband explicity said his party would not go into a coalition with the SNP at a question time event in March, a formal deal looks unlikely.

A Labour/Lib Dem coalition with the informal voting support of the SNP would be able to get its policies through parliament - but with Nick Clegg ruling such a deal out, the uncertainty over what the next government will look like continues.

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