Scottish independence savaged by Ed Miliband in plea for progressive Britain

 
Guy Bentley
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Ed Miliband has pleaded with Scottish voters to reject independence and work for a progressive change throughout the UK in a bid to shore up Labour support before the 2015 general election.

Speaking to an audience in Edinburgh, the embattled Labour leader said: "Scotland has always thought big. And the way to think big in the 21st Century is to think big about changing the United Kingdom".

"Changing our economy to make it more equal. Changing our society to make it more fair. And changing our politics to reform the British state so it works for people in every part of our country", he added.

Miliband made a strong appeal to left of centre voters with a promise to raise the minimum wage, ban "exploitative" zero hours contracts and hike taxes for the wealthy.

However, the SNP warned that Miliband's poor personnel ratings made the chances of a Tory dominated government in 2015 increasingly likely.

"A re-elected Tory government is a clear and present danger for Scotland - and the only way to ensure that the Tories never again get to govern Scotland when their support here is rock-bottom is to vote Yes for independence", said nationalist MSP Sandra White.

Miliband has come under increasing fire over poor performances at PMQs and failure to capitalise on the unpopularity of the coalition government. Furthermore, the Tories have widened their already substantial lead over which party is best qualified to handle the UK economy.

Voters now prefer the Tories over Labour on the economy by a net margin of 15 points, the largest lead since David Cameron moved into 10 Downing Street, according to the polling company Yougov.

Just 20 per cent of voters believe the Labour Party would best handle the economy, their lowest rating over the same period.

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