SCOTTISH Tory leader Ruth Davidson has “absolutely” ruled out supporting an SNP government in Edinburgh if the Nationalists fail to win a majority in next year’s Holyrood election.
The Conservative insisted: “Given how close the SNP took our country to the brink, I will not be doing a deal with them after 2016, absolutely not.”
Her predecessor Annabel Goldie worked with the Nationalists in the Scottish Parliament between 2007 and 2011 when they were in a minority administration, using negotiations to see Tory policies put in place.
But Ms Davidson told the BBC’s Sunday Politics Scotland programme: “I’m doing no deals with the SNP. I’m out there every single day fighting the SNP; I’ve been doing it for two-and-a-half years.
“I do not wish to do any deals with the SNP now or after the election in 2016. In Holyrood or in Westminster.”
She stressed no formal or informal deals would take place under her leadership, adding: “A future leader of the Scottish Conservatives, they can make their own decisions, but this is the decision I make.”
While she ruled out any form of deal with the SNP, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said he could potentially work with the Nationalists in the Scottish Parliament.
At UK level, the Lib Dems have ruled out a coalition with Labour that would rely on the SNP for support.
However Mr Rennie said while you “could not put the SNP in charge of a country they’re against” by working with them at Westminster, he did not rule out the possibility of a deal with the SNP after next year’s Holyrood election.
He said: “We’re not unreasonable about this – we’ve worked with the SNP in the Scottish Parliament on various budget measures, we’ve formed coalitions at a local level, including in the Highlands, with the SNP.
“You could find on the domestic agenda some form of common agreement; for instance we’ve worked with them to deliver more nursery education for two-year-olds.”