If Labour leader Ed Miliband becomes the prime minister after the 7 May elections, he will be a puppet in the hands of Nicola Sturgeon, leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) that has offered him support, a new Conservative poster claims.
As campaigning intensifies, leaders and pundits are already drawing up contours of possible coalitions or supporting a minority government from the outside. The most likely scenario is Miliband forming the government with support from SNP and other smaller parties.
No political poster has so far matched the iconic 1978 poster produced by Saatch & Saatchi for the Conservative party, depicting a long queue of people before the employment office, with three words in lage print: 'Labour Isn’t Working'.
But the latest poster by the Conservatives has caught the attention of many for its depiction of a wily Sturgeon holding the strings with Miliband as the puppet, with the warning: ‘More taxes, more borrowing, more debt’.
Various accounts say SNP is on course to win between 35 and 40 seats of the 59 seats in Scotland, which puts the party and its leader in a key position in the post-poll scenario, particularly when neither Conservative or Labour are in a position to win a clear majority.
Prime Minister David Cameron called Sturgeon a ‘hostage-taker’ in an article in The Sunday Times, and wrote: "Vote for UKIP or the Liberal Democrats and you take Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon a step closer to Downing Street — and our government, economy and country a step closer to chaos."
His article is seen as an appeal for tactical voting and an admission that the Conservative party is struggling to win enough votes to hold on to Downing Street.
Cameron wrote: "If you are considering voting UKIP or Lib Dem, I urge you to think of the chaos of a weak Ed Miliband, propped up by Nicola Sturgeon…Every time Ed Miliband wants to pass a bill, he will have Nicola Sturgeon making a series of demands on him — the hostage-taker asking for more borrowing, more taxes and more welfare . . . Government would end up as a dog’s dinner of haggling and backroom deals."