Election 2015 Scotland

Election 2015: Murphy says SNP 'are a roadblock' to Labour win

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Media captionJim Murphy launches the Scottish Labour manifesto saying only his party can help Scotland and the SNP are a roadblock to a Labour government

The SNP will be a roadblock to Labour winning government on 7 May, Jim Murphy insisted at his party's Scottish manifesto launch.

The Scottish leader also said now was not the time to "gamble on the messy outcomes" of a hung parliament.

Mr Murphy went on to outline his party's plan which would include more money for health and education.

The manifesto launch came as Scotland's other main parties continued campaigning ahead of next month's poll.

Mr Murphy told a gathering of party activists: "We go into the final few weeks of this election campaign clear that the way to guarantee the end of the Tory government is to vote Labour rather than to gamble on the messy outcomes of a hung parliament.

"And we want people to vote Labour out of hope, not just out of anger at David Cameron and George Osborne.

"Cynicism is an easy way to win votes but it only makes real change harder."

He added: "Whatever it adds up, no matter which way you cut it, the SNP are not the proxy to a Labour government, they are the roadblock to a Labour government."

On health and education, which are controlled by the Scottish Parliament where the SNP are in government, the Scottish Labour manifesto pledged;

  • 500 more GPs and 1,000 more nurses
  • setting up a £200m mental health fund and a £200m cancer fund as part of an extra £1bn investment in Scotland's NHS
  • and setting up breakfast clubs in the primary schools that act as feeders to the 20 secondary schools serving the poorest children.

The document also promised;

  • guarantees of a job or training for long-term unemployed Scots, no matter their age
  • increasing the minimum wage to at least £8 an hour
  • working toward a living wage
  • and abolishing "exploitative zero hours contracts".

Analysis by Brian Taylor, BBC Scotland political editor

This is, quite simply, an engrossing contest. Across the UK, where the main parties appear close - and especially in Scotland where polls suggest a mild revolution may be under way.

At Labour's Scottish manifesto launch this morning, I took the opportunity to discuss that putative revolution with one or two who have stepped down voluntarily from the Commons - plus several whose fate rests with the voters.

One said to me that, in this second phase of the campaign, there are discernible reasons for relative contentment in the Labour team. The UK manifesto launch was judged a success. Ed Miliband has performed capably in TV debates - despite the plaudits understandably directed at Nicola Sturgeon.

And then, said my interlocutor, there's Scotland. Once the source of a guaranteed battalion for Labour. Now the cause of considerable disquiet.

Read Brian's blog


Key priorities

Labour

Main pledges

  • Responsibility "triple lock": fully funded manifesto, cut the deficit every year, balance the books as soon as possible in next Parliament
  • Extra £2.5bn for NHS, largely paid for by a mansion tax on properties valued at over £2m
  • Raise minimum wage to more than £8ph by 2019
  • No rise in VAT, NI or basic and higher rates of income tax
  • Access to childcare from 8am-6pm for parents of primary school children
  • Freeze energy bills until 2017 and give energy regulator new powers to cut bills this winter

However, SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon said Labour's approach had imploded with Mr Murphy and UK Labour leader, Ed Miliband, at odds about spending cuts.

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg was in Aberdeenshire where he insisted that Labour and the SNP together would borrow unnecessarily.

And during a campaign poster launch in Edinburgh, Scottish Conservatives deputy leader Jackson Carlaw said Mr Miliband's absence from Scottish Labour's manifesto launch demonstrated that he had "given up on the branch office".

Voters throughout the UK go to the polls on 7 May to choose their next MP.

Polling suggests the contest will be tight and current voting intentions indicate no one party will win an overall majority in the House of Commons.

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