No appetite for Labour/ SNP coalition - Ed Balls

The Shadow Chancellor was speaking on the Andrew Marr Show. Picture: John Devlin
The Shadow Chancellor was speaking on the Andrew Marr Show. Picture: John Devlin
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SHADOW Chancellor Ed Balls suggested that a Labour government in coalition with the SNP or Liberal Democrats would be “unpopular” and that there was no “enthusiasm” among the electorate for such a deal.

He made the remarks during a visit to Edinburgh today, when he repeatedly failed to rule out the prospect of a pact between Labour and the SNP to keep the Conservatives out of power in the event of a hung parliament on 7 May.

However, Mr Balls admitted that any arrangement that saw Labour forced to rely on SNP support in Commons votes was not what the party wanted and not “part of our plan”.

The Shadow Chancellor said the idea of formal pacts between parties had been discredited by the experience of the Conservative-Lib Dem government of the last five years.

He said: “Back in 2010 the idea of a coalition was quite popular and Nick Clegg and Vince Cable were quite popular.

“David Cameron did a popular thing, but the idea of a coalition now at Westminster is pretty unpopular.

“There’s no enthusiasm for this kind of discussion with the SNP or Liberal Democrats.”