POLITICS
09/03/2015 10:56 GMT | Updated 09/03/2015 15:59 GMT

New Conservative Election Campaign Poster Features Ed Miliband In Alex Salmond's Pocket

The Conservative Party has released a new billboard for its 2015 general election campaign.

The poster features Ed Miliband nestled safely in the pocket of former SNP leader Alex Salmond.

The attack ad implies that a Labour government under Miliband would be at the whim of the Scots, which is apparently supposed to scare you into voting Tory.

Miliband and other senior figures within Labour have come under increasing pressure to end speculation a pact may be on the cards.

The Prime Minister has said the Labour leader should explicitly rule out a deal with the SNP "if he cares about this country".

David Cameron's remarks followed a suggestion by former Tory chairman Lord Baker that a grand coalition between the Conservatives and Labour may be necessary to avoid the SNP holding the balance of power at Westminster.

Naturally, a few people decided to tweak the ad:

To attack Cameron:

Or re-working to make it a pro-SNP ad:

Or to actually make a political statement:

And some people questioned their choice of photograph.

We thought we'd help out.

Asked to rule out a SNP-Labour coalition deal, shadow chancellor Ed Balls today said that was "the last thing" Labour wanted. "It's not part of our plans, we don't want one, we don't need one, we aren't after one," he told a press conference.

And Balls said David Cameron was telling "scare" stories about the SNP to avoid negative coverage about his refusal to take part in the three planned election debates. "What we want is a majority Labour government".

"The Tories, who by the way did the deal with the SNP in Scotland just a few years ago, don't want to debate why David Cameron is ducking the leaders debates," he said.

Yesterday, shadow energy secretary Caroline Flint said Labour would take no lectures from the SNP about how it could "somehow be more progressive then Labour", but again refused to rule out a SNP coalition after the election.

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She told The Andrew Marr Show: "We are focused on winning a Labour majority government. Let me say this. We do not want, we do not need and we do not plan to have any coalition with the SNP.

Nicola Sturgeon's party has benefited from a poll surge in recent months which could see them make massive gains in Scotland, potentially casting her as kingmaker following May 7.

The SNP leader has ruled out supporting a Tory government and said it was "unlikely" the SNP would enter a formal coalition with Labour in the event of a hung parliament, but indicated her MPs could work with Miliband's party on an "issue-by-issue basis".

Deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman added that her party did not want to go into coalition with anybody, but she too failed to rule out a deal with the SNP: "It's not a sensible question ... The question is put forward by two sides.

"It is put forward by the Tories who want to talk up the SNP because they don't think they can talk up their own record.

"It is put forward by the SNP because they know people in Scotland hate the Tories quite justifiably. The only way to protect people in Scotland from another Tory Government is not to vote SNP but to vote Labour.

"We are planning and working towards a majority."

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