Amber Valley, DERBYSHIRE – Conservatives are hoping to snatch a win in Thursday’s general election by warning thousands of voters in key marginal about the risk of Labour doing a deal with the SNP.
Their final push comes as yet more Labour figures admitted Ed Miliband would be willing to link up with Nicola Sturgeon to secure the keys to Number 10.
Despite a lacklustre start to the campaign David Cameron’s party is widely seen to have stepped up a gear in the last few weeks as a result of the traction gained from fears of the SNP. In the dying days of the campaign the Tories have launched four ‘Battle Buses’ with activists hoping to persuade Labour voters to dump Miliband over the issue.
The plan was boosted this morning when the former Labour Scottish First Minister, Henry McLeish, described a deal with the SNP as “the politics of reality”. McLeish told the BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I can’t bind Ed to anything but, look, you know well enough that the pragmatic political side will say, ‘I’m going for a majority, all this talk of speaking to anyone is out of the question’.
“On the other hand, the politics of reality say I would rather see Ed Miliband in No 10, no matter the conditions. But certainly that’s the big alternative to David Cameron. At the end of the day, Ed is not going to exclude himself from being prime minister by not talking to anyone.”
McLeish joins Andy Burnham and David Blunket, both of whom have already admitted Miliband would need to consider an SNP deal.
One seat the Conservatives have sent a Battle Bus to today is Amber Valley in Derbyshire where the former Tory MP Nigel Mills is standing for re-election. He is defending a majority of just 536, and was joined on the bus by the government minister Nick Boles.
Mr Boles told activists over lunch at the Poet and Castle pub in Codnor that there are three types of elections: “the ones that everyone knows the result beforehand, the ones where no-one cares who wins and this one.” Which he described as “the most defining election of our lifetime”.
He told campaigners: “It’s a grim old day, it’s cold, it’s wet and not everyone is friendly. But let’s get out there and sell that message and remind them on the doorstep of the single issue in this election ‘do you really want Nicola Sturgeon to run your country?’ I can assure you it works.”
His crowd seemed convinced the message was working, Billy Greening a student from Warwick University, told Breitbart London: “The voters I have spoken to are absolutely petrified by the prospect of the SNP getting into government. The village we went to was a staunch Labour area, but their faces screw up when we talk about Sturgeon. A fair number of them are switching to us.”