Just how costly for England could a Labour capitulation in Scotland be? Alex Salmond, the former leader of the Scottish National Party, has suggested that a pact between Labour and the SNP could end up costing Westminster a second referendum, its Trident nuclear programme, and more cash.
Some polls suggest Labour could lose all its seats in Scotland and the party is not expected to make up the difference south of the border. Although Labour and the SNP are unlikely to form a coalition government, they could enter into an agreement to vote together in the commons.
With a weakened Liberal Democrat presence and the lack of an overall majority, Ed Miliband may well be left with no choice but to go to Nicola Sturgeon’s party for help.
Speaking to the Andrew Marr show today, Salmond said that such an occurrence would be good for Scotland, as it would allow the SNP great influence over Westminster policy making. Other proposals Salmond mentioned included a high speed rail line to Edinburgh, while he also said the SNP would negotiations about budget packages.
Anna Soubry, the Conservative minister of state for defence personnel, welfare and veterans, described the idea as “terrifying”.