An increasingly confident Nicola Sturgeon is ready to ‘punish’ Westminster for the perceived failure of Scotland to break away from the Union at last year’s independence vote. She said English politicians who begged Scotland to stay should not complain if the SNP calls the shots after May 7.
According to the Daily Mail, polling last night showed the nationalists extending their lead – threatening to all but destroy Labour north of the border, possibly delivering the SNP in excess of 50 seats in the next Parliament.
Yesterday the SNP leader said: “During the referendum campaign last year, we were told repeatedly by politicians who were trying to persuade Scotland to vote no – and they succeeded – that Scotland was an integral part of the UK, that our view mattered.
“It’s completely unacceptable now for those politicians to say, when Scotland is perhaps going to make its view heard by voting SNP, to say your voice can’t be heard in the UK.”
Sturgeon said her MPs would vote to roll back reform of the NHS in England even though Scottish nationalists have traditionally not voted on health and matters that do not affect their constituents, since they are controlled in Scotland by the Holyrood parliament.
“Ed Miliband knows as well as I know that if there is an anti-Tory majority after the election, then the only way David Cameron gets back into Downing Street is if Ed Miliband is prepared to stand back and let him back in Downing Street,” she told Sky News.
“If Ed does that, then Labour voters in Scotland will never ever forgive him and I suspect Labour voters across the UK will never forgive him. Is he really saying that he’d rather watch David Cameron back into Number 10 than work with the SNP to keep him out of Number 10? That’s for him to answer.
“I’m fighting for more progressive politics across the UK and I’m fighting to get rid of the Tories but crucially to see the Tories replaced with something better, something bolder something that’s going to deliver progressive policies for ordinary people not just in Scotland but all of the UK.
“Our MPs will vote for a bill to restore England’s NHS to its founding principles, ensuring it remains the accountable public service it was always meant to be – and protecting Scotland’s health budget in the process.”
Miss Sturgeon’s predecessor as Scottish first minister, Alex Salmond, who is bidding to return to the Commons, is also ready for a fight. He suggested that an SNP deal with a minority Labour government was ‘probable’.
He told ITV News a vote-by-vote arrangement with Mr Miliband would be much more likely than any other agreement.
“What I’ve said and what Nicola has said, more importantly, confidence and supply is possible, but vote by vote is probable. The fact that on a case-by-case basis we’d be able to vote for progressive ideas, progressive politics, I think is a very powerful position.”