The leader of the Scottish National Party said her party will support a minority Labour government in a hung parliament if certain conditions are met.
Speaking at the SNP’s general election campaign launch in Edinburgh on Friday, Nicola Sturgeon said alongside the right to hold a second independence referendum, further powers for Holyrood and increased investment must also be on the table if any deal is to be reached.
The first minister ruled out a formal coalition with Labour, but indicated the SNP would be willing to support a Jeremy Corbyn government on a vote-by-vote basis.
New YouGov polls shows 42% of Scottish voters intend to vote for the SNP, up 5% from 2017.
Speaking to the PA news agency, Sturgeon said: “I’ve set out the priorities that SNP MPs will put forward, and I think it is important for people in Scotland to consider how much more influence Scotland could have if the SNP are in there holding the balance of power in Westminster in a hung parliament.
“We would argue for and seek to uphold that principle of the people of Scotland deciding our own future, but we’d also be pushing for a real end to austerity, more investment in our public services – until such time Scotland is independent – devolution of powers over migration, employment law so we can protect workers’ rights and raise the living wage, devolution of drugs laws so we can better tackle the drugs emergency we face, more action on climate change to see Westminster match the ambitions of the Scottish Parliament.
“These are big issues that are priorities in Scotland and that I think the majority of people in Scotland would want to unite behind and make sure that we can progress.”
Sturgeon added she is confident a Scottish independence referendum can be held next year – even if Boris Johnson wins a majority on December 12.
“Do we allow Boris Johnson to take us out of the EU, put our NHS at the mercy of Donald Trump – or do we take our future into our own hands so that we can build the kind of country we know Scotland can be, and I hope that people will vote to take our future into our own hands,” she said.
The First Minister also appealed to all Remain voters, insisting the SNP is Scotland’s “Remain party” in the election.