SNP to blame for Tory win? Bollocks, says Nicola Sturgeon

Nicola Sturgeon speaking at the Edinburgh International Television Festival. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Nicola Sturgeon speaking at the Edinburgh International Television Festival. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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Nicola Sturgeon has described claims that the rise of the SNP contributed to David Cameron winning a general election majority as “bollocks”.

The First Minister resorted to unparliamentary language in an interview with Holyrood magazine when asked about suggestions that voters voted Conservative in order to avoid the SNP controlling a minority Labour government.

Picture: TSPL

Picture: TSPL

During the general election campaign, the Conservatives produced campaign literature which promoted the idea of Alex Salmond influencing a Labour-led administration if Ed Miliband made it to Downing Street.

Asked about the theory, Ms turgeon told Holyrood magazine: “I’m not sure this a word I should use in an interview but it’s bollocks. Even if you try to unpack that argument, what’s the logical conclusion – that we shouldn’t have stood? That Labour should have been given a free run? I’m assuming that’s not what they’re arguing.”

An investigation by Labour strategist Jon Cruddas into the party’s general election result found the surge in support for the SNP resulted in English and Welsh concern about a Labour Government being propped up by the Nationalists.

According to Mr Cruddas, 60 per cent of English and Welsh voters were “very concerned” about the prospect of an anti-austerity alliance in government.

In the interview, the First Minister argued that Ed Miliband made a mistake in ruling out working with the SNP.

She said: “If Labour had been perfectly credible then the idea of Labour and the SNP in coalition wouldn’t have been a scare tactic that Labour tried to say it was. I think Ed Miliband got it completely wrong in how to handle that. Instead of standing up when the Tories started this and saying, ‘do you know what, I’m trying to win a majority here but if people choose a hung parliament, that’s what the people have chosen and we have to work with that and if people in Scotland choose the SNP, we have to respect that, because the voters are in charge’.

“Instead, of doing that, he entered the Tory frame by ruling out working with the SNP and almost legitimising that a Labour/SNP coalition was something that people should be scared of and saying that it would be simply a reflection of how people voted, live with it. It was bad intelligence.

“There is a spectrum of opinion that Labour holds about the SNP which starts with an inability to fundamentally understand anything about the SNP and Tony Blair was at it again with his talk recently about us being cavemen but I say, carry on completely misunderstanding, be my guest, because as long as you do, Labour is dead in the water in Scotland.”