Ed Miliband ‘not ruling out SNP deal’

Ed Miliband has refused to rule out a coalition with Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP. Picture: TSPL
Ed Miliband has refused to rule out a coalition with Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP. Picture: TSPL
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ED MILIBAND has sent a strong signal that he does not want a coalition deal with the Scottish National Party following the general election.

But, pressed repeatedly in a live TV interview, the Labour leader did not rule out a deal with Nicola Sturgeon’s party if the May 7 poll results in a hung Parliament.

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With opinion polls suggesting the SNP may snatch large numbers of seats from Labour north of the border, and Labour and Conservatives running neck-and-neck in national surveys, many observers believe that Mr Miliband may need support from Ms Sturgeon’s party to form a government.

Asked whether he will seek a coalition with the SNP if the election result is not conclusive, Mr Miliband told BBC1’s Andrew Marr Show: “I am not about deals and coalitions.

“I am about one objective. I am going to put foward a manifesto before the British people and say `This is a plan to put working people first, not a plan for the privileged few like this Government has. It is a plan for working people to raise people’s living standards’.

“I want a majority Labour government to put that into practice.”

He added: “I’ve got an old-fashioned view on this. A majority government is what this country needs - a majority Labour government.

“This is our election to win and the right thing to do is to spend these four months talking about these huge issues the country faces, talking about how we are going to improve people’s wages so hard work is rewarded again, give opportunity to our young people and restore the NHS.

“It’s a very clear statement of principle from me that my focus in the coming months is going to be on winning that election, winning a majority government.”

Recent polls have suggested that a resurgent SNP could double its 20% tally from the 2010 election in May, costing Labour 20 seats or more.

A new YouGov poll for the Sunday Times put Labour and the Conservatives equal on 32% in nationwide voting intentions, with Ukip up five points compared to a similar survey on Friday on 18%, Liberal Democrats on 7% and Greens on 6%.

• YouGov questioned 1,684 adults on January 8 and 9.

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