What could the SNP bring to a coalition arrangement with Labour?

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There can be little surprise that Ed Miliband has refused to formally rule out a coalition agreement with the SNP. The real question is what could the SNP bring to such an arrangement?

If they had left open the possibility of working with the Conservatives, then they could perhaps have had a stronger bargaining position. Their current position means they’d have to back Labour or be criticised by the Scottish left for letting the Conservatives back into Downing Street. Ed Milliband would have them over a barrel.

Nonetheless, if the SNP say they hope to influence Labour’s policy agenda, they need to outline what they oppose, what their alternative is and how Scotland would benefit. Simply pretending that the SNP’s mere presence in government would “end austerity economics” is fanciful.

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