The Scottish National Party (SNP) has argued that it would not find it difficult to maintain a UK government without the presence of the Conservative Party – England’s largest political party.
In doing so, it has dismissed claims that the party would encounter difficulties if such a situation arose in the future.
The comments follow speculation that the party, led by Nicola Sturgeon, may try to form an alliance with Labour if a hung parliament occurs in May’s general election. If this happens, it could stop the Conservative Party coming into power even if it won the most seats in England.
"I think the bottom line is if we are in the position where, through whatever mechanism, we can stop a Tory 'austerity government' and we may be able to offer help to a minority Labour administration... we would obviously want to ensure the policies that government followed were the right ones for everyone across the whole of the UK," he said.
"Let me put that another way. We have one Tory MP in Scotland yet our economy is run by George Osborne. I don't think it is right for people to whinge on a UK-wide basis if we help form part of a government."
The SNP currently has six MPs at Westminster, but opinion polls suggest this could increase considerably following the May’s election.
Former Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond has previously indicated he believes there is a chance the party could hold the balance of power.