The poster featured Ed Miliband in Alex Salmond’s pocket, and was placed on the iconic Piccadilly Circus advertising billboards.
The advert comes just days after new polling showed that the SNP are on track to take all but three of the 59 Westminster seats in Scotland.
Responding, SNP deputy leader Stewart Hosie said: “The Westminster establishment are scared stiff of the SNP”. He continued: “The General Election is a huge opportunity for Scotland to have real power at Westminster by electing a team of SNP MPs who will always work in Scotland’s interests.”
Commenting on the launch, Tory chairman Grant Shapps said: “With Scottish voters fleeing Ed Miliband faster than Chris Hoy in a velodrome, he knows that a deal with the SNP is his only route to Number Ten.” Shapps went on to say that “once he’s in Alex Salmond’s pocket, weak Ed Miliband will give in to every demand.”
Senior Labour figures have not explicitly ruled out a pact with the SNP. Yesterday, shadow chancellor Ed Balls said: “We have had for the last 48 hours a scare from the Conservatives about SNP coalitions. It is a complete nonsense argument. We want a majority and that’s what we are fighting for.”
The new Conservative poster was made by the M&C Saatchi agency. Saatchi companies have worked on advertising campaigns for the Tories on-and-off since 1978. Their shares closed up 2.64 per cent yesterday.
Nice posters from the Tories today. It would be a great shame if someone spoofed them... pic.twitter.com/C83H1ELAdt— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) March 9, 2015
Shortly after the poster was released, Ukip put out a spoof version via social media, depicting David Cameron in the pocket of EU Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker.
Ukip leader Nigel Farage tweeted the image with the comment: “Nice posters from the Tories today. It would be a great shame if someone spoofed them.”