SCOTLAND’S First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will make the case for a “progressive alternative” at Westminster with a series of visits south of the border ahead of the general election.
It is understood Ms Sturgeon will take part in speeches and events in London and other cities throughout the UK over the coming months.
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Polling has indicated that the SNP could hold the balance of power in the event of a hung Parliament.
Ms Sturgeon has already ruled out any deals with the Conservatives, but has indicated her party could be prepared to help Ed Miliband into Downing Street.
In an interview with the i newspaper during a visit to London earlier this week, the First Minister said: “One of the things where the SNP could really make a difference, if we are a force in the next Westminster Parliament, is to build alliances for some of the progressive changes we would like to see.”
Commenting on distrust of the SNP, she added: “Part of the reason I am spending time in London and will be spending time in other parts of England is to make the case that that’s been misplaced.”
Ms Sturgeon has already indicated that a formal coalition with Labour at Westminster is unlikely.
“I’m not ruling it out entirely. I think it’s more likely if we were to be in this scenario, that the SNP would act in an issue-by-issue, confidence-and-supply arrangement,” she told the newspaper.
In a speech in London earlier this week, she said a Labour government would have to abandon “failed” austerity policies to win the support of SNP MPs.
Scrapping the Trident nuclear programme would also be key in any potential deal with Labour after the election, Ms Sturgeon has said.