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So it seems the Conservative strategy of "Lab/SNP in bed together" along with Shy Tory and likely UKIP voters having a change of heart at the last minute paid off.
We have a scenario now where the Tories plan for massive austerity and an EU referendum is going to clash with the SNP's pro-EU and anti-austerity message. Coupled with the Tories "Literally worse than Hitler" reputation in Scotland, are we looking at another indyref in the next few years?
SNP would rather imbibe Thatcher's ashes than work with the Tories regardless. Their already pretty pissed about that story by the Telegraph stating Sturgeon would prefer Cameron to be re-elected.
As for Labour, I think the reason why some in England are averse to working with the SNP is that at least until recently, they came off as only caring for Scotland's interest and leaving the rest of the UK in the lurch. It also wasn't helped by Salmond's antics during the referendum where he came off as a boorish nationalist saying "Fuck you got mine" to the rest of the UK, which is good for riling up the base in a regional referendum, but would reflect poorly in a national election.
With Sturgeon though, she comes off as being much more savvy than Salmond and knows how to address politics on a UK-wide level. I think part of the reason she "won" the debates is that she is willing to work together with the UK both to end austerity and get the UK's federalization kickstarted at long last rather than demand referendum after referendum as some believe is the SNP's real goal.
Which goes to show why the whole concept of image and "charisma" as a means of choosing elected leaders is beyond inane.
For comparison's sake, I consider Dwight Eisenhower to be probably one of our nation's greatest presidents, yet I doubt he'd be able to shed the "old white codger" image were he to run in the modern day.
Anyway, Cameron's only hope is that he can get more seats than Labour and that the Lib Dems don't bleed enough in order to form another coalition, otherwise every other party will immediately issue a vote of no confidence if he tries to form a minority government.
Supposedly, the reason the Scots are pushing for the SNP is that by placing them as the Kingmaker for whoever forms the next government, they can guarantee further devolution than the ones currently being offered by the Smith Commission.
Though it should be noted that much of the SNP support is more for their domestic policies than independence, someone commented that there is a lot of tactical voting in using the SNP to further the federalization process in the UK, but would still vote against any prospect of independence in the short term (And besides, another referendum is still London's call)
Labour does seem more likely to grant the Scots more than what the Tories are offering on the table in the devolution talks, so I could see the SNP willing to hold their nose and go with a coalition to make the most of it, considering another referendum isn't coming for at least a couple decades.
My question is how would the SNP's more left-leaning supporters react to such a deal. From the perspective of many in Scotland, Labour are basically "Red Tories".
It does seem UKIP is starting to lose a bit of steam just by Farage opening his mouth. The question is how much the SNP is going to be a factor, and last I checked their constituents are not exactly on good terms with Labour either which complicates any possible coalition.