Only Lib Dems can stop Alex Salmond, says Nick Clegg

Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg believes Alex Salmond would have the ability to 'pull the plug'. Picture: John Devlin

Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg believes Alex Salmond would have the ability to 'pull the plug'. Picture: John Devlin

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NICK Clegg will appeal to Labour and Tory supporters to lend their votes to his party in an effort to stop Alex Salmond returning to Westminster.

The Liberal Democrat leader will say that only his party is capable of preventing the former first minister taking the Gordon seat and returning to the House of Commons.

So if you are someone who is considering voting for the Conservative or Labour candidate, my message to you is this: lend us your vote and we can stop the SNP winning in your constituency

Nick Clegg

Mr Clegg will urge voters across Scotland to put aside traditional party allegiances to support his colleagues in seats where the Lib Dems are facing an SNP challenge.

The Lib Dems face a major battle in Scotland, with high-profile names including Treasury Chief Secretary Danny Alexander facing the prospect of being ousted by the SNP surge.

Mr Clegg will visit Gordon, where Christine Jardine is battling Mr Salmond and hoping to hold the seat for the Lib Dems after Sir Malcolm Bruce stood down.

The Lib Dem leader will accuse the SNP of being a danger to the economy, calling it “the party of debt” as he issues a plea for tactical voting to keep as many of the Lib Dems’ 11 seats as possible.

Mr Clegg will say: “In 11 Scottish seats, you face a simple choice: do you want an SNP MP or a Liberal Democrat MP?

“In these seats the Liberal Democrat candidate is the only one that is in a position to beat the SNP.

“So if you are someone who is considering voting for the Conservative or Labour candidate, my message to you is this: lend us your vote and we can stop the SNP winning in your constituency.”

After warning of the possibility of Ukip leader Nigel Farage propping up David Cameron, he will claim that the SNP would keep a minority Labour administration “on life support” while Nicola Sturgeon’s party plots a fresh bid for independence.

“The SNP are shouting from the sidelines and are determined to keep a minority Labour government on life support, limping from vote to vote towards the break-up of the UK.

“Do you really want a government on life support, with Alex Salmond deciding whether it succeeds or dies?”

In an attack on the SNP’s policies, he will add: “The SNP are not the party of Scotland, they are the party of debt.

“They want to borrow more and more money - an eye-watering £180 billion - and their plans for full fiscal autonomy will cost the people of Scotland £7.6 billion.

“They will risk our economy and leave our children and grandchildren to pay for it for years to come.

“The Liberal Democrats are working for Scotland in a way that is responsible, fair and keeps the country on track.”

Scottish Conservative MSP Alex Johnstone said: “A wasted vote is a vote you don’t believe in.

“It is inexcusable for Nick Clegg to adopt this desperate approach.

“Tactical voting doesn’t get anyone anywhere.

“If people want to walk out the polling station with their head held high, they should vote for the party whose policies they agree with most.”

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