Election 2015

Nicola Sturgeon: Miliband 'will have to change tune' on SNP

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Media captionNicola Sturgeon: "If we have an anti-Tory majority we can lock the Tories out"

Nicola Sturgeon has predicted Labour leader Ed Miliband "will have to change his tune" after the election about not doing a deal with the SNP.

Ms Sturgeon said it was fine for Labour to behave as if they could win a majority during the campaign - but they would have to face reality afterwards.

Earlier Mr Miliband told the BBC he could win in Scotland and was not interested in any deals with the SNP.

The Tories say a government involving the two parties would be "chaos".

Ms Sturgeon has previously dismissed a formal coalition with Labour, but has offered to work with Mr Miliband on an informal basis to keep the Conservatives out of power.

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Media captionEd Miliband: "I want to be clear about this: No coalitions, no tie-ins...no deals"

Opinion polls suggest a hung Parliament is likely after the 7 May general election, and the SNP has been forecast to take a number of Labour's seats in Scotland.

Asked on the BBC's Andrew Marr show whether he believed he could win the election in Scotland, Mr Miliband said: "I think we can. I think we can win the election across the country."

He said there would be "no coalitions, no tie-ins" between the two parties.

Mr Miliband was asked repeatedly about potential deals, including a "confidence and supply" arrangement whereby the SNP would back Labour on the Budget and other key votes.

"I've made it clear we're not interested in those deals, no," he replied.


Analysis, by BBC Scotland political correspondent Glenn Campbell

Ed Miliband ruled out a coalition between Labour and the SNP on 16 March when he said "there will be no SNP ministers in any government I lead". A confidence and supply agreement between the two parties was effectively ruled out on 31 March. That was the day that the SNP's Nicola Sturgeon said her opposition to the renewal of Trident was a "red line" issue and Mr Miliband made clear Labour would not ditch its commitment to order a new fleet of submarines.

That left the possibility of less formal cooperation between the two parties on an issue-by-issue basis, in the event of a hung parliament. Last Thursday, the former Labour prime minister, Gordon Brown said there was "no chance" of a deal. As in the independence referendum, he seems to have been foreshadowing a development in the official party line.

Having said "I am not doing deals with the Scottish National Party", Mr Miliband appears to be ruling out any kind of horse-trading with the nationalists. In effect, he's saying a minority Labour government would dare the SNP to bring them down. In those circumstances, both parties think the other would pay the heaviest electoral price for letting the Conservatives regain power.


A Labour government would put its Queen's Speech before Parliament and the other parties could decide how to vote, he added, saying his party had "big differences" with the SNP on defence and economic policy as well as the independence question.

BBC political editor Nick Robinson tweeted it was "significant" that Mr Miliband had ruled out an SNP deal, but added that "without one he may never get the call to go to the Palace".

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Media captionDavid Cameron: "We are the only people that can stop... Ed Miliband and the SNP teaming up and wrecking our economy"

Ms Sturgeon, SNP leader, told Sky News Mr Miliband was "entitled to say that" he wants a majority.

"But all the polls show he is not going to get a majority and on 8 May, once the votes have been cast, once the people have cast their verdict, Ed Miliband will, just like the rest of us will, have to respect the wishes of the people in a democratic process.

"If there is a minority government, if no party has a majority, then it's simply not possible to ignore the views of other parties," Ms Sturgeon added.

"I know that, I was part of a minority government in the Scottish Parliament. If the SNP has a large number of MPs, firstly we can use that clout to keep the Tories out secondly we can use it to make sure the Tories are replaced with something better, bolder and more progressive.

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Image caption Nicola Sturgeon visited a gym club on Sunday

"I suspect Ed Miliband will change his tune once the votes are cast."

London mayor Boris Johnson said Mr Miliband would have the SNP "crouching on his back like a monkey" if he was prime minister, adding that the prospect of a Labour government supported by the SNP was "deeply alarming".

Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg has said his party would not prop up a government "held hostage" by the SNP, and suggested any coalition formed by the second largest party would lack "legitimacy".

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