NICOLA Sturgeon will today urge Scots to unite around the SNP to make their voice heard at Westminster - but Ed Miliband will warn that nationalism has never lifted people out of poverty after he ruled out a deal between the parties.
Mr Miliband will encourage Scots to reconnect with their Labour-supporting history during a visit to Glasgow, evoking the names of Labour’s Scottish founder Keir Hardie and the architects of devolution, John Smith and Donald Dewar.
It comes after he last night said a Labour government is ‘not going to happen’ if the price of power is doing a deal with the SNP.
During a special BBC Question Time programme, the Labour leader ruled out doing a ‘confidence and supply’ deal with the SNP, a looser deal than a formal coalition.
Mr Miliband said: ‘’If it meant that we weren’t going to be in government not doing a coalition, not doing a deal, then so be it.
“I’m not going to sacrifice the future of our country, the unity of our country, I’m not going to give in to SNP demands around Trident, around the deficit or anything like that.”
“I heard Ed Miliband and... he sounded as if he was saying that he would rather see David Cameron and the Conservatives back in government than actually work with the SNP”Nicola Sturgeon
Ms Sturgeon faced questions from a studio audience on BBC Scotland following Mr Miliband’s rebuff and said: “I heard Ed Miliband and he sounded awfully like he was saying, and I hope that I am wrong about this because I think people across Scotland and much of the UK will be appalled if I am right, he sounded as if he was saying that he would rather see David Cameron and the Conservatives back in government than actually work with the SNP.
“Now, if he means that then I don’t think people in Scotland will ever forgive Labour for allowing the Conservatives back into office.”
Ms Sturgeon will make campaign stops in East Lothian, Dundee and Fife today as she takes the SNP’s message to communities around the country.
Speaking ahead of his visit to Scotland, Mr Miliband said: “Remember our great leaders, from Keir Hardie to Jennie Lee, John Smith to Donald Dewar. What would they want today?
“We could be on the verge of electing a Labour government. They would want to be part of it.”
He added: “Nationalism never built a school. It never lifted people out of poverty. It never created a welfare state that healed the sick and protected our most vulnerable.
“It is Labour values, Labour ideas and the determination of people across Scotland that has built this country to what it is today.”
Ms Sturgeon said: “If the opinion polls in recent days have made anything clear, it is that Scotland has an unrivalled opportunity to make our voice heard at Westminster like never before.
“By uniting as a country - north, south, east and west - to elect a big group of SNP MPs, Scotland gains the decisive position at Westminster needed to ensure that the interests of people across Scotland are not ignored in the way they too often have been in the past.
“Everyone can be part of it, and all of Scotland stands to benefit.”
Elsewhere, Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson will join Borders candidate John Lamont at a rally followed by a street stall event in Galashiels.
A Conservative spokesman said: “Ed Miliband is heading to Scotland cap in hand for votes invoking the past not focusing on the future.
“It goes to show that, next Friday, Ed Miliband cannot be Prime Minister without being propped up by the SNP. If you want to stop that happening, vote Conservative on May 7.”
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie will visit an animal charity in Edinburgh, while Nick Clegg’s wife Miriam Gonzalez Durantez will join Gordon candidate Christine Jardine at an event for business women and entrepreneurs.
Green co-convener Patrick Harvie will highlight his party’s manifesto commitment to scrap the “punishing” benefit sanctions regime at a food bank in Maryhill.