UK

Douglas Alexander: Labour election majority 'difficult but doable'

Douglas Alexander
Image caption Douglas Alexander said the party had ruled out a formal coalition with the SNP

A Labour majority in the general election would be "difficult but doable", the party's election co-ordinator Douglas Alexander has said.

Speaking on the Andrew Marr Show, Mr Alexander said polls indicated May's election was "winnable" for Labour and he was confident numbers would grow.

His comments follow a YouGov poll suggesting Labour have a four-point UK lead, but trail the SNP in Scotland.

The Conservatives said a vote for Labour was a "vote for higher taxes".

Mr Alexander said: "It is difficult, but it is certainly doable that we could get a majority, and we are confident that as we set out the core argument of this campaign - that Britain succeeds when working families succeed - that we will grow our numbers in the coming weeks."

Conservative business minister Matt Hancock said Labour's economic policy was in "total chaos".

"The last Labour government clobbered ordinary families with higher taxes last time and it's clear Ed Miliband has learned nothing from their past mistakes - a vote for Labour is a vote for higher taxes."

The YouGov poll of 1,799 adults, conducted on behalf of the Sunday Times, was carried out on 27-28 March put Labour on 36% and the Tories on 32% nationally.

Scottish polls

A Scottish snapshot from the same poll put the SNP on 46% and Labour on 33% among the 159 voters in Scotland questioned.

A separate survey of 1,300 Scottish voters by the British Election Study (BES) from 6-13 March, also published on Sunday, put Labour 17 points behind the SNP.

Report authors Jane Green and Chris Prosser said it indicated Scottish Labour was "very unlikely" to win back voters it lost to the SNP during the independence referendum in time for the general election.

Mr Alexander said the SNP was trying "drive down the Labour vote in Scotland", but also to "drive up the Tory vote in England" to deliver an unpopular Conservative government that would boost support for Scottish independence.

"We have ruled out a coalition with the SNP and they have effectively done the same with Labour," he said.

The SNP's campaign co-ordinator, Angus Robertson, said his party offered a "stark contrast" to Labour.

"SNP MPs at Westminster will be a positive force for change, with an economic policy which invests in growth and jobs instead of imposing more cuts," he said.

"This general election is a tremendous opportunity for Scotland to make its voice heard at Westminster like never before - with real influence and power that only a strong team of SNP MPs can bring."

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