The Scottish National Party (SNP) and its leader Nicola Sturgeon have become the story of the general election.
The party was supposed to have been finished off after losing the independence referendum last year.
But the sustained attacks from the right wing press and politicians in the past week show that the opposite is true.
The SNP’s “end austerity” message is popular, and not just in Scotland where it is on course for a historic win.
As the Tories desperately seek reelection, David Cameron has been arguing a Labour government supported by the SNP would be “a match made in hell”.
The Tories’ friends in the press now dub Sturgeon the “most dangerous woman in the world” and claim the SNP will “hold Britain to ransom”.
It’s all very reminiscent of the referendum last year.
“It’s the politics of fear,” Glasgow civil service worker Kate Henry told Socialist Worker. “The Tories, Labour and the Lib Dems are just using dirty tricks.”
Kate and her husband Stevie reflect a wider trend going on in the city and across Scotland.
“I’ve always been a Labour voter but I see little difference with them and the Tories now,” Stevie told Socialist Worker.
Kate and Stevie are voters in Glasgow North where the SNP and Labour are battling to win the election. They’re unconvinced by the former and unimpressed by the latter.
Stevie thinks there will be “a landslide” for the SNP. He said, “People are fed up and are looking for change.”
Kate is angry at Labour. She said, “Ed Miliband apologising for Labour’s immigration policy essentially just says Farage is right—it’s disgusting.”
This week the SNP launched its manifesto. It says it is against austerity but admits that its proposed public spending increases are “modest”.
Even the Wall Street investment bank Morgan Stanley argues the proposals are “not extreme”.
The SNP’s record is a warning of what the future holds.
Kate and Stevie are voting for an alternative—the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidate Angela McCormick. “Angela’s strong and she is in nobody’s pocket,” said Kate.
“The SNP are much more to the left than Labour and I think Nicola Sturgeon seems quite genuine. But TUSC represents a real challenge to the mainstream.”
Arguing to “lend” the SNP your vote on 7 May—as socialist politician Tommy Sheridan does—is a big mistake and will weaken the fight against austerity.
Angela told Socialist Worker, “There are no tough choices or hard decisions for TUSC. We are 100 percent against austerity—there is no need for any cuts.We don’t need to reduce the deficit.
“We should tax the rich to fund our public services.”