Election 2015 Scotland

General election: Campaign push with five days to go before polling

Crowds greet Nicola Sturgeon in Inverness Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Nicola Sturgeon continued her tour of the north of Scotland by helicopter

Scotland's voice at Westminster and another independence referendum have been major campaign issues just five days before the general election.

The SNP's Nicola Sturgeon is visiting Stonehaven, Inverness and Portree, with Scottish Labour's Jim Murphy campaigning with Gordon Brown.

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson is campaigning in four areas.

Liberal Democrats Willie Rennie, Charles Kennedy and Danny Alexander have been touring the Highlands.

Ms Sturgeon, who is travelling around the north of Scotland in a helicopter, has argued the SNP is the only party which can give a strong voice for the country.

Speaking in Inverness, she said: "I think people across Scotland, and I've spoken to many Labour voters in the last couple of days, who were appalled to hear Ed Miliband suggest on Thursday night that he would rather give up the chance of being prime minister and watch the Tories get back into government than work with the SNP to keep the Tories out.

"If you really want progressive politics and social justice, surely we've got to take any opportunity to get the Tories out."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Jim Murphy was campaigning with former prime minister Gordon Brown at Braehead shopping centre, near Glasgow

Ms Sturgeon added: "My message to people across the country, whether they voted Yes or No, even if they've never voted SNP before, regardless of whether they live in urban, rural or island Scotland is on Thursday we can come together as a country and make our voice heard at Westminster like it's never been heard before and I hope we take that opportunity."

Jim Murphy said he "wanted to laugh" when he heard Ms Sturgeon question Mr Miliband's commitment to "progressive politics".

Mr Murphy was campaigning with former prime minister Gordon Brown at Braehead shopping centre, near Glasgow.

He said: "Look, the Labour party has existed since its first day standing out against the Tories, standing for a sense of social justice, standing for a belief in dignity at work. The Labour party has always been a party that will stand up for working class families

"Only Labour is big enough and strong enough to stand up to the Tories. If Scotland votes Labour the whole of Britain will have a Labour government."

He added: "We have a huge amount of energy and a vast amount of determination.

"We know we're behind in the polls in Scotland but look, Labour's plan for a higher minimum wage, the abolition of zero hours contracts, that sort of social justice is what our country needs and we need to make sure these next few days are David Cameron's last in Downing Street."

Willie Rennie joined Mr Kennedy and Mr Alexander with a message of keeping liberal values at the heart of Westminster.

The three politicians toured Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey in a classic car to meet constituents.

'Ducking and weaving'

Mr Kennedy urged Ms Sturgeon to end the "anxiety" which he said exists over a second independence referendum.

He said: "We settled the issue last September and need to move on to the big issues that now face our country.

"Yet Nicola Sturgeon's refusal to rule it out is causing great anxiety. Divisions in communities, economic consequences and the government taking its eye off the ball are just some of the problems which come with a second referendum.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Ruth Davidson arrived in Hamilton in a convertible VW Beetle to speak to party activists at a street stall

"Nicola Sturgeon has the power to put all of this uncertainty to bed. All she needs to do is keep the promise she made time and again during the referendum and rule out a second independence vote. Nicola Sturgeon should stop ducking and weaving and give a clear answer."

Ms Davidson outlined Conservative policies in Paisley, Hamilton, Falkirk and Edinburgh, urging voters that they are the party to stand up to the SNP and support the United Kingdom.

She arrived in Hamilton in a convertible VW Beetle to speak to party activists at a street stall.

Ms Davidson said: "What Scotland needs now more than ever are Scottish Conservative MPs who will stand up to the SNP and back our United Kingdom come what may.

"My pledge to all of Scotland's pro-UK majority is to honour last year's referendum result, and to keep our great country together."

The general election takes place on 7 May.

To find out who is standing in your area, check out the BBC's constituency profiles.

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