Ed Miliband’s admission that a Labour government is “not going to happen” if the price of power is doing a deal with the SNP will drive more people to vote for the nationalists, according to Nicola Sturgeon.
The First Minister said the Labour leader’s comments would galvanise even more voters into backing her party to “give Scotland a decisive position” at Westminster.
Ms Sturgeon was speaking as she continued her helicopter tour of key target seats with campaign stops in East Lothian, Dundee and Fife.
“Ed Miliband’s disastrous revelation that he would rather let the Tories back in than work with the SNP to keep them out will galvanise even more people to vote SNP,” she said.
“Already, more than half a million people who voted Labour at the last general election are journeying to voting SNP next Thursday.
“Ed Miliband has allowed his campaign to be dictated and pushed around by the Tories south of the border – and Labour will pay a heavy price in Scotland.”
She added: “His extraordinary remarks make it even more important that Scotland unites to elect a big group of MPs to give Scotland a decisive position at Westminster and lock the Tories out.
“SNP MPs will lead from the front when it comes to opposing cuts and protecting the NHS that means so much to people all over Scotland and across the UK – in contrast to the Westminster establishment parties that are signed up to billions of pounds of further austerity cuts.
“The SNP are the only party that can genuinely say we are winning support from across the whole of Scotland and we are working hard to win the trust of people all across Scotland on polling day. As positive as the polls are, we are taking absolutely nothing for granted.”
Mr Miliband, who will campaign in Glasgow later today, last night made his strongest-worded declaration to date that he would not countenance any deal with the SNP in the event of a hung parliament after May 7.
During a special BBC Question Time programme, he said: “If the price of a Labour government is a coalition or a deal with the SNP, it is not going to happen.”
With Labour facing a wipeout in its former Scottish stronghold amid a post-independence referendum surge of support for the SNP, he will today urge Scots to reconnect with their Labour-supporting history.
Speaking ahead of his visit, Mr Miliband said: “Remember our great leaders, from Keir Hardie to Jennie Lee, John Smith to Donald Dewar. What would they want today?
“We could be on the verge of electing a Labour government. They would want to be part of it.”
He added: “Nationalism never built a school. It never lifted people out of poverty. It never created a welfare state that healed the sick and protected our most vulnerable.
“It is Labour values, Labour ideas and the determination of people across Scotland that has built this country to what it is today.”