WATCH: Surging Sturgeon Predicts Coalition Chaos ‘Massive Opportunity for Scotland And Progressive Politics’

Reuters/Russell Cheyne

Nicola Sturgeon told party loyalists in Dumfries tonight that the prospect of a hung parliament at Westminster was a major opportunity to push “progressive politics” onto the whole UK. The First Minister pledged that SNP MPs would fight to end austerity across the whole country, not just in Scotland.

In her speech, Ms Sturgeon said: “There has been much discussion in recent days of how SNP influence in the Commons will work. And let me be clear – the influence of a big team of SNP MPs in a minority House of Commons, governed by the Fixed Term Parliaments Act, would be significant.

“We would use that influence responsibly and constructively at all times – but always with a view to winning better and more progressive policies.”

She continued: “If on Friday morning there are a number of progressive voices elected to Westminster from across the whole of the UK who – with Labour – can lock the Tories out and ensure influence and representation for all parts of the UK, that would be more balanced, surely, than a party trying to take power without UK wide support.

“The SNP will use our influence in Westminster to give Scotland a strong voice – but we will do it by working with allies from the rest of the UK, and I pledge that we will do it with the interests of people across the UK firmly in mind as well.”

The speech came as reports from marginal constituencies suggested the fear of a Labour/SNP coalition was damaging Ed Miliband’s chances. Conservative campaigners have been told to remind voters that voting Labour might put the SNP into power.

They even used the theme for an election ad: