Nicola Sturgeon said both Labour and the Conservatives are “clinging to the idea that they are entitled to a majority at Westminster” even though the polls indicate a hung parliament is the most likely outcome after May 7.
With her SNP tipped to take as many as 50 seats in the election, Ms Sturgeon could end up holding the balance of power - with the Conservatives raising concerns about the impact this could have on the rest of the UK.
But Ms Sturgeon, speaking out ahead of a campaign visit to Kilmarnock, said that in this “people’s election” there is widespread public support for a different approach.
The First Minister and SNP leader said: “As we enter the final ten days of the election campaign, it is clear that the Westminster parties have hit the panic button.
“Instead of embracing the multi-party election that the public want, Labour and the Tories are clinging to the idea that they are entitled to a majority in Westminster - which every poll indicates isn’t going to happen.
“The reality is that this is the people’s election, and voters do not appear to trust either party with a majority. The SNP is being open and honest about our position, that we will work to keep the Tories out and to keep Labour honest.”
She warned Ed Miliband, who yesterday appeared to rule out any form of post-election deal with the Scottish nationalists, that “Labour would never be forgiven if they let the Tories back in preference to working with the SNP”.
Ms Sturgeon said: “The support and enthusiasm from voters in all parts of the UK for the different approach to politics and the end to austerity that the SNP is putting forward shows the growing distrust of the Tories, Lib Dems and Labour.
“And while others are campaigning on fear and division, we are setting out policies that support the NHS - across the whole of the UK, that would help those in poverty wherever they live, support women and young people, and that back business in all parts of the UK.
“The SNP is campaigning to win the support of the people of Scotland in order to make Scotland stronger at Westminster, to end the cuts, to invest in jobs, and to protect our vital public services.
“Those Westminster politicians who have chosen to engage in the politics of negativity, and who are seeking to deny Scottish MPs their democratic rights in the House of Commons, are doing the public across the UK a deep disservice.”