The Conservatives are pulling no punches with their latest campaign poster, illustrating the potential for an SNP-Labour coalition in the event of a hung parliament.
With both of Britain’s main parties struggling to gain traction the way is clear for smaller parties to hold disproportionate sway in any potential government, with one of the most likely outcomes a previously unthinkable partnership between Miliband’s party and a rejuvenated SNP Westminster grouping.
Set to be unveiled by David Cameron, the piece depicts a close-up view of former SNP leader Alex Salmond, who is standing for the Westminster seat of Gordon, smirking at a gormless depiction of Ed Miliband peeking out of his breast pocket.
It comes as Labour again refused to rule out cutting a deal in any post-election negotiations with SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon already having offered support - in return for higher spending, enhanced powers for the Scottish Parliament and a move away from Trident.
Cameron said: “Britain needs to wake up to a chilling and real prospect. Ed Miliband as prime minister, propped up by Alex Salmond, who says he will call the tune.
“On every vote, every budget, every decision, the SNP would exact a high price for his support. Everyone in Britain will pay with higher taxes, more spending, more debt and weaker defences in dangerous times.”
It is the latest in a series of attack ads being run by the Conservatives in a no holds barred bid to eke out a majority, contrasting sharply with Labour’s stated commitment not to run and attack ads of their own.