Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg has ruled out joining a coalition that will rely on “life support” from the Scottish National Party (SNP).
Mr Clegg has also said that any government led by a party which had the second largest number of seats after the general election would lack legitimacy.
He told the Financial Times: “I totally rule out any arrangements with the SNP – in the same way I rule out any arrangements with Ukip – because there is no meeting point for me with one party that basically wants to pull our country to bits and another party that wants us to pull out of the EU.
“I would never recommend to the Liberal Democrats that we help establish a government which is basically on a life support system, where Alex Salmond could pull the plug any time he wants. No, no, no.”
Labour has as well ruled out any form of coalition with the SNP in the event of a hung Parliament.
But SNP First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said that her party will have an “enormous influence” over Labour if Ed Miliband forms a minority government.
Mr Clegg is taking a break from campaigning today and other election activity is being halted by commemorations of the centenary of the military landings at Gallipoli in WWI.
In other election news…
- Mr Cameron is preparing his “2020 vision” pitch for support from black, Asian and ethnic minorities. He is promising 20% more jobs, university places and apprenticeships by the end of the decade.
- Labour is addressing concerns about the creeping privatisation of the NHS.
- Liberal Democrats are pledging an extra £10 million for mental health services for military personnel and veterans over the next five years.
- Ukip leader Nigel Farage said he was not on top form in the early stages of the election trial because of back-pain, but is now fit to see out the rest of the campaign.
A YouGov poll for The Sun found Labour maintaining a two-point lead on 35% to the Conservatives’ 33%, with Ukip on 13%, Liberal Democrats on 8% and Greens on 6%.