Miliband rejects Salmond's claim SNP could hold the balance of power after election Watch

Everglow
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(Original post by BBC)
Ed Miliband has accused Alex Salmond of "a combination of bluster and bluff" after the former SNP leader claimed his party could hold the balance of power after the election.

Speaking in Clydebank, Mr Miliband said the only people writing a future Labour Budget would be himself and shadow chancellor Ed Balls.

He added: "It's not going to be Alex Salmond - not in a million years."

Mr Miliband also said he was working hard for a Labour majority.

Mr Salmond, who is standing for Westminster in the Gordon constituency, told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show on Sunday that it would be "very good for Scotland" if there are a much larger number of SNP MPs after the election.

"If you hold the balance, then you hold the power," he said.

Asked if that meant a Labour chancellor would have to negotiate their Budget with the SNP, he replied: "Yes, any minority government has to negotiate in order to win a majority for its proposal. That is patently obvious. To deny that is to deny reality."
'Simple choice'

But speaking to Labour activists on Monday, Mr Miliband said: "Frankly, Alex Salmond is at it again. And it is a combination of bluster and bluff."

Mr Salmond also said on Sunday that he believed a "vote-by-vote arrangement" between a minority Labour government and the SNP is the most likely outcome of the election.

But Mr Miliband said he wanted a majority Labour government.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-32015394

I'm glad to see Ed showing he has a backbone rather than bending over for Salmond, Sturgeon and the SNP. I pray the SNP never make it into UK Government, but sadly I don't think it can be ruled out.
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Ghughes92
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SNP are the third largest UK party by a very long margin so he may have no choice depending on how the vote goes. I accept that voters in England will be sceptical of them (their primary policy is of course UK separation) however they are a darn sight better at keeping promises than any other party in my experience. Tuition fees being a prime example.


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democracyforum
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I don't believe anything they are saying

I think they could still go into a full coalition with an SNP member as deputy PM,
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tengentoppa
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(Original post by Ghughes92)
SNP are the third largest UK party by a very long margin so he may have no choice depending on how the vote goes. I accept that voters in England will be sceptical of them (their primary policy is of course UK separation) however they are a darn sight better at keeping promises than any other party in my experience. Tuition fees being a prime example.


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I wouldn't go that far, the Lib Dems currently have 50 more MPs. Obviously their positions are likely to switch after the general election, but we shouldn't make assumptions too soon.

It's patently clear that the SNP only care about Scotland which makes sense since their ultimate aim is to leave. But I don't think that unashamed self-interest would go down well with the rest of the union. Particularly with the advantages the Scots are perceived to have with the barnett formula, free tuition fees and the West Lothian question.
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Ghughes92
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(Original post by tengentoppa)
I wouldn't go that far, the Lib Dems currently have 50 more MPs. Obviously their positions are likely to switch after the general election, but we shouldn't make assumptions too soon.

It's patently clear that the SNP only care about Scotland which makes sense since their ultimate aim is to leave. But I don't think that unashamed self-interest would go down well with the rest of the union. Particularly with the advantages the Scots are perceived to have with the barnett formula, free tuition fees and the West Lothian question.
I would go that far because it's a fact. You're not wrong with the MP placement (for now) not a political party size is measured by its membership. Of which the SNP at last count was only a few thousand away from 100,000. The Lib Dems trail behind with between 40-50,000.

Tuition fees are not an advantage handed to us on a silver platter by our Westminster overlords. Tuition is only free for us because the SNP keep it that way. Holyrood budget for tuition, not Westminster.


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Quady
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(Original post by democracyforum)
I think they could still go into a full coalition with an SNP member as deputy PM,
I don't think the SNP are that stupid.

They've been pretty clear and consistent that theyd do confidence and supply but not coalition.
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babybuntin
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Well Well Well.... Just when you thought it had all gone away.. Going up to campaign with Alex Salmond in Gordon next week.. see you there unionists... looking forward to it...
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Quady
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(Original post by babybuntin)
Well Well Well.... Just when you thought it had all gone away.. Going up to campaign with Alex Salmond in Gordon next week.. see you there unionists... looking forward to it...
Surely you'll only meet Yes people? Last year you said you only met a couple of nutters who were voting No.
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MagicNMedicine
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These kind of speculative comments are pointless till we know the result. The SNP might well hold the balance of power if no party gets an overall majority and they are searching for a coalition. Nigel Farage has been talking about UKIP's terms for coalition - immediate referendum with the question being set by them...and UKIP are likely to have far fewer MPs than the SNP do.

I think the Conservatives need to take a mature attitude to the SNP. They are trying to points score against Labour by making out that the SNP are some kind of enemy organisation who we can't share power with but the reality is they are quite popular in Scotland and if they get a lot of seats then they have a democratic mandate to sit in a British Parliament. This is what being in the Union is about. If you win a lot of seats in Scotland then you get a voice in the British government same as if you win a lot of seats in the north of England or Wales or whatever, it's part of the UK.

Bringing in the SNP in to government is not a threat to the UK. We had a referendum on Scottish independence last year so that question is closed. It might reopen again but it will be 20-30 years before another referendum is back on the table, so lets forget this idea that the SNP are going to have the power to break the UK up.

I suspect the reason the Conservatives are making such a big deal about the SNP is that they suspect they are going to lose seats at this election and find it harder to form a government than last time especially as their only credible biggish allies the Lib Dems are going to lose seats as well. So they are aware that a Labour - SNP arrangement may well give a workable majority and they are preparing the ground for opposition where their attacks will switch to: Labour have got in bed with the enemies of the UK, they aren't offering a referendum on Europe and we would have offered one, etc.

In practice SNP and Labour won't go in to a formal Coalition like Conservatives did with Lib Dems offering them ministerial positions and whatever, it will be a Labour government that relies on the SNP to vote alongside them. That will probably give more levers to the left wing of the Labour party than anyone else as the SNP are considerably to the left of Labour and that will influence Labour policy in the way that say a Conservative government relying on UKIP support in the Commons (if UKIP had a sizeable number of MPs) would strengthen the hand of the right wing of the Conservative party.

However the SNP don't have as much power as they might think in this situation because if they really want to be disruptive and destroy a Labour government it could knock Labour out of power for 2 or 3 terms like in the 80s and 90s which means Scotland will be under a long term Conservative government again.
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Quady
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(Original post by MagicNMedicine)
I think the Conservatives need to take a mature attitude to the SNP. They are trying to points score against Labour by making out that the SNP are some kind of enemy organisation who we can't share power with but the reality is they are quite popular in Scotland and if they get a lot of seats then they have a democratic mandate to sit in a British Parliament. This is what being in the Union is about.
Although that is true, its in the Torys best interests to demonise them a bit. They lose up to a single seat in Scotland but it'll win them a few more useful votes some south of the border.It might encourage people to vote SNP and knock out some Labour seats too.

That said, I doubt the country really understands any of it anyway so it won't have much impact.
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Gordon1985
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(Original post by MagicNMedicine)

However the SNP don't have as much power as they might think in this situation because if they really want to be disruptive and destroy a Labour government it could knock Labour out of power for 2 or 3 terms like in the 80s and 90s which means Scotland will be under a long term Conservative government again.
Playing devil's advocate, is that really a bad thing for the SNP, longer term?

I agree that if the SNP are in the 'kingmaker' position, they'll have to be clever about it. We've seen the damage it can do, with the Lib Dems. I don't think damaging Labour necessarily damages the SNP though.
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(Original post by Ghughes92)
SNP are the third largest UK party by a very long margin so he may have no choice depending on how the vote goes. I accept that voters in England will be sceptical of them (their primary policy is of course UK separation) however they are a darn sight better at keeping promises than any other party in my experience. Tuition fees being a prime example.


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Largest in membership, but that doesn't count for votes.
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(Original post by BitWindy)
Largest in membership, but that doesn't count for votes.
Obviously. But it makes sense to suggest that a party member is more likely to vote for their own party. And with ~100,000 vs ~40,000. SNP has the advantage over Lib Dems for the GE.
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babybuntin
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looking forward to meeting up with Alex on Saturday and then meeting the SNP + Alex in Inverurie next week campaigning..

Doesn't matter who the rUK vote for we will be campaigning to send as many SNP members to Westminster..
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(Original post by Ghughes92)
Obviously. But it makes sense to suggest that a party member is more likely to vote for their own party. And with ~100,000 vs ~40,000. SNP has the advantage over Lib Dems for the GE.
100,000 + that's not including the many who haven't registered and l know many.
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(Original post by babybuntin)
100,000 + that's not including the many who haven't registered and l know many.
Whereas Lib Dem voters are all party members?
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Anyone wanting any SNP badges or wristbands pm me
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MagicNMedicine
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(Original post by Gordon1985)
Playing devil's advocate, is that really a bad thing for the SNP, longer term?

I agree that if the SNP are in the 'kingmaker' position, they'll have to be clever about it. We've seen the damage it can do, with the Lib Dems. I don't think damaging Labour necessarily damages the SNP though.
The problem for the SNP is if their voters start to think that voting SNP in in large numbers just ends up harming Labour's chances of a majority and getting a Tory government in.

Scottish Labour just need to sort themselves out. Most Scots are not nationalists that want independence, but the SNP pick up votes from left-leaning unionist Scots that don't think Labour are going to stand up for social issues as well as SNP will.

I think there will be a lot of left-leaning voters in other parts of the union that are secretly hoping SNP do well and can influence a Westminster parliament because they will think that aside from the issue of independence the SNP are a voice on progressive issues and a more effective challenge to austerity than Labour who are a bit mixed atm.
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Jammy Duel
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This is news? A monkey could have told you this, of course Ed will deny Salmond's claims, he has enough problems without such talk.

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Everglow
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(Original post by MagicNMedicine)
Bringing in the SNP in to government is not a threat to the UK. We had a referendum on Scottish independence last year so that question is closed. It might reopen again but it will be 20-30 years before another referendum is back on the table, so lets forget this idea that the SNP are going to have the power to break the UK up.
The issue of independence is not what makes the SNP a threat to the UK. Indeed it makes them untrustworthy, but it's not what makes them a threat. The threat they pose is their nationalistic goal to do whatever it takes to benefit Scotland whilst forgetting about, and even deliberately disadvantaging, other countries in the UK. This would be the same problem if Plaid Cymru or Sinn Fein came into government; nationalist parties are dangerous to the overall welfare of the union.

Nicola Sturgeon even said she and the SNP were going to vote on any issue that might have any kind of knock-on effect for Scotland. Essentially, she could say any issue would have a knock-on effect for Scotland, so she's giving the SNP a free pass to vote in a way that exclusively benefits one member state of the UK whilst disadvantaging the others. There's free tuition fees in Scotland, which I remember Sturgeon saying she felt very strongly about. If she came into Government, would she care about spreading free tuition fees across the UK? Of course she wouldn't. In fact, hypothetically, she would probably get the SNP to veto any proposal to abolish tuition fees in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. This is just one issue that demonstrates the danger of the SNP coming into UK Government.

Salmond managed to get a ridiculously unfair appeasement deal right before the independence referendum took place by scaring Westminster. Imagine what Sturgeon and the SNP would do if they were in a coalition. I can imagine them threatening to dissolve the coalition every time they didn't like something because it wasn't to Scotland's advantage.

Believe me, the SNP in Government is a real danger.
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