DAVID Cameron is “secretly pleased” by the prospect of Scots opting for the SNP at the general election because it remains his “best chance” of staying in power, according to shadow Scottish secretary Margaret Curran.
The Labour politician has predicted that the Prime Minister will “talk up” the nationalists and “talk down” her party when he addresses the Scottish Conservative conference later this week.
Recent polling suggests the SNP will almost completely wipe out Labour in Scotland in May’s vote.
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Ms Curran admitted voters have told the party it has “not been good enough” and must “fight its corner better”, but she insisted its message is “beginning to resonate on doorsteps”.
Labour has refused to be drawn on the prospect of a coalition or “confidence and supply” arrangement with the SNP in the event of a hung parliament.
The party has been keen to focus on the consequences of the loss of Labour support north of the border.
Speaking ahead of the Tories’ Scottish conference, Ms Curran said: “The choice is absolutely clear. A choice between a Tory government that will carry on looking after their friends with Swiss bank accounts, or a Labour government that is going to clamp down on tax avoidance from day one.
“We now have a Tory Party with spending plans from the Great Depression and welfare policies from the Victorian workhouse. Scotland absolutely cannot go on like this.
“That is why David Cameron is going to get a very cold reception when he comes to Scotland in the next couple of days.
“Scotland does not want five more years of the Tories.”
Ms Curran said an appearance by the Prime Minister at the conference would be “an important moment in the campaign”.
“He’ll actually try to talk down Labour and he’ll try to talk up the SNP,” she said.
“We know that David Cameron is actually secretly pleased at the prospect of Scottish people voting SNP because he knows that is his best chance of staying in power.
“We know for sure that every vote for the SNP is a boost for David Cameron and makes it more likely that he will end up in Downing Street for another five years.”
But addressing the issue of the SNP’s potential gains in May, Mr Cameron reportedly said the idea with the nationalists linked up with Labour would be “very worrying”.
He told the BBC: “In Scotland, a lot of people vote SNP, they will definitely ally with Labour, and I think it is very worrying that you could have a Labour government propped up by a party that actually want to abolish our country.”
SNP work and pensions spokeswoman Dr Eilidh Whiteford said: “Labour are in full-scale panic mode in Scotland, having been joined at the hip with the Tories in the referendum for two and a half years, and recently voted with the Tories for £30 billion more austerity cuts and wasting £100 billion on a new generation of a Trident nuclear weapons to be dumped on the Clyde.
“The reality is that the general election gives the people of Scotland the opportunity to have real power at Westminster by electing a strong team of SNP MPs to achieve change - including an alternative to austerity, as outlined by Nicola Sturgeon last week, and new powers in Scotland to promote jobs and social justice.”