Sturgeon admitted she was willing to put Jeremy Corbyn into No. 10
Speaking during a TV interview on BBC1 with veteran journalist Andrew Neil, the normally unflappable First Minister struggled at times as she was grilled on her party’s record on the economy, health and education.
But, in an earlier interview, Ms Sturgeon said she did not think Labour’s leader was “credible as an alternative prime minister”. However, she told Neil that, “if there was to be a hung parliament, of course we would look to be part of a progressive alliance that pursued progressive policies”.
Ms Sturgeon added: “Let’s get back to the reality of this election. The reality, even with the narrowing of the polls, is that we’re going to face a Tory government perhaps with a bigger majority, so my priority in this election is to say to the people of Scotland if you want Scotland’s interests to be protected and our voice heard you’ve got to vote SNP.”
The SNP won 56 of the 59 seats in the 2015 general election, and in the run-up to that ballot Tories across the UK sought to raise fears about the impact a possible coalition between Labour and the SNP could have.
This is a basic admission that only the Scottish Conservatives will stand up to the SNP
Scottish Tory MSP Murdo Fraser
Recent opinion polls across the UK have shown Theresa May’s lead over Labour shrinking.
Tories seized on her remarks to fuel their claims that a vote for anyone but them would put Mr Corbyn into Downing Street propped up by the SNP and Lib Dems in a “coalition of chaos”.
Scottish Tory MSP Murdo Fraser said: “This is a basic admission that only the Scottish Conservatives will stand up to the SNP.
“She may have been reluctant to say it out loud, but eventually Nicola Sturgeon conceded she wants to see Jeremy Corbyn in Downing Street ahead of Theresa May.
Nicola Sturgeon spoke to veteran journalist Andrew Neil
“That paves the way for an allegiance in Westminster between Labour and the SNP that would all but guarantee another divisive referendum on independence.”
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The Tories are hopeful on June 8 of significantly increasing their total number of Scottish MPs from one.
Ms Sturgeon will tomorrow unveil her party’s manifesto, delayed from last week after the Manchester attack.
Earlier yesterday, Ms Sturgeon hit out at the “cruelty” and “financial incompetence” of the Tories as she urged Scots to say “enough is enough” in the election next week.
Snap election 2017: The pictures politicians may not want you to see Sat, May 27, 2017
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Jeremy Corbyn during a visit to Hackney Marshes Football Pitches, to highlight Labour's manifesto commitment to ensure 5% of the Premier League's television rights income is diverted to the grassroots game, during a General Election campaign
She claimed the Tory U-turn on social care showed Mrs May’s party is “more weak and wobbly than strong and stable”.
Writing in a Sunday newspaper, Ms Sturgeon said: “Tomorrow there will be 10 days to polling day.
“Ten days in which it is vital that a light is shone firmly on the impact Tory policies will have on the country, on households and on jobs.
“Ten days in which we can really put a check on the Tories and put the values we seek to protect at the front of the campaign.
Ms Sturgeon had previously said Mr Corbyn was not "credible as an alternative prime minister"
“Ten days in which people across Scotland can say enough is enough, and vote SNP to stop the Tories and give Scotland a strong voice at Westminster.”
Ms Sturgeon went on the attack, insisting there is an “alternative to Tory austerity”. She said £118billion could be freed up over the course of the next parliament to “safeguard our public services, protect household incomes and put the UK’s finances back on a stable footing”, adding the SNP manifesto will “put forward a responsible and credible fiscal plan”.
And the First Minister said: “Make no mistake, austerity is a choice, not a necessity. There is another way.”
She later told the Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme on Sky News: “I don’t want to see Tory governments or Tory prime ministers, they do real damage to Scotland.”
But she also hit out at Mr Corbyn, saying: “One of the things Labour has got to answer for… is they have put forward a leader that lacks credibility in terms of people’s perception of his ability to be prime minister.”