Labour’s Miliband Rules Out Deal with Scottish Nationalists

Ed Miliband insists he won’t be held to ransom by Scottish nationalists if Labour falls short of a majority.

Labour Party leader Ed Miliband visits the Open University in Buckinghamshire, May 21, 2014
Labour Party leader Ed Miliband visits the Open University in Buckinghamshire, May 21, 2014 (OU)

British Labour Party leader Ed Miliband on Thursday ruled out a coalition with the Scottish National Party if his party falls short of a parliamentary majority next month.

“If the price of having a Labour government is a deal or coalition with the SNP, it’s not going to happen,” Miliband said during a Q&A session with voters that was broadcast by the BBC.

Both Miliband and SNP leaders had earlier said they could do a deal after May’s election which neither Labour nor David Cameron’s ruling Conservative Party is expected to win.

As polls show the SNP on the verge of a landslide in Scotland, the Conservatives have warned English voters a Labour government would be held to ransom to separatist demands, such as higher welfare spending north of the border and the removal of Britain’s nuclear submarines from the region. Support for the Conservatives has crept up in recent polls.

By rejecting even an informal pact, Miliband may hope to stop Scottish voters switching to the SNP which would deny him a majority.

May2015, the New Statesman‘s election website, predicts that the nationalists will win 56 out of 59 Scottish seats in Westminster. They currently have only six.

Most of the nationalists’ gains would come at Labour’s expense.

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has already said her party would “lock David Cameron out of Downing Street.” Miliband is betting it won’t vote down a minority Labour government instead.

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