Jeremy Corbyn rules out deal with SNP in hung parliament

Although she said the Labour leader is unfit to lead the country, Sturgeon suggested she would prop him up in government in order to get as much as her manifesto implemented as possible.

In 2014 a Scottish independence referendum was defeated by 55.3% to 44.7%. Sturgeon, who runs the semi-autonomous government in Edinburgh, said her lawmakers in the U.K. Parliament will oppose all further welfare cuts, support a rise in the top rate of income tax and no decrease in corporation tax.

It said that would offer the SNP a "triple lock", since the SNP had won the 2016 Holyrood election and a Scottish parliament vote in March backing Sturgeon's spring 2019 timetable.

However, Sturgeon added: "If the SNP wins a majority of Scottish seats in this election, that will further reinforce our mandate".

The manifesto says overall health spending in Scotland is already about 7% higher per head than in England (and that it would cost more than £11bn over the next five years for England to catch up).

The SNP proposals focus relentlessly on anti-austerity measures, in defiance of determined attempts by unionist opponents to corner them over plans for a second independence referendum.

Ms Davidson said she did not accept Nicola Sturgeon's party had a mandate for a fresh ballot to be held as the First Minister wants.

Nicola Sturgeon insisted Scotland must not have its "future imposed on us" as she argued for a second independence referendum at the end of the Brexit process.

The Conservatives will be quietly confident of making significant gains in Scotland as a result of the poll showing the party to be on 29 per cent of the vote, up from 14.9 per cent in 2015 and the 22 per cent they secured when MSPs were elected a year ago.

"I would hope the Tories will give a very clear commitment that they will devolve the budget as it stands right now and not after they have taken a whopping great cut off it".

Labour would make a modest gain of one seat, taking Edinburgh North and Leith from the SNP, to go with Ian Murray's seat of Edinburgh South which it now holds.

The recent Tory manifesto also said there could be no vote without demonstrable "public consent" after the Brexit process had "played out" for an undefined period.

The ORB poll for the Sunday Telegraph had Tories down two points in the past week on 44%, six points ahead of Corbyn's Labour on 38% (up four points), with Lib Dems on 7% (unchanged) and Ukip on 5% (down two).

Under the headline Sturgeon's Triple Lock Threat on Independence, the Scottish Daily Mail says that every vote for the SNP would be used to break up Britain. "Nobody is fooled any more".

Earlier this year, Mr Corbyn said he would be "absolutely fine" with a referendum being held if the Scottish Parliament voted for one.

Corbyn has also spoken out against such a referendum, saying it would lead to "turbo-charged austerity", while the Labour manifesto describes it as "unwanted and unnecessary".

  • Leroy Wright