Scenario 1

The SNP to Labour’s rescue

With Ed Miliband more than 30 seats short of an overall majority, the only way he can guarantee inheriting the keys to Downing Street is through a deal with the SNP. The phalanx of Nationalist MPs abandon the party’s usual practice of abstaining on English-only laws to ensure the minority Labour administration gets its budget and legislation through the Commons.

In return Nicola Sturgeon demands fresh and substantial devolution of powers. Her vehement opposition to the renewal of the Trident nuclear fleet on the Clyde provokes particular ill-will.

Meanwhile Tory MPs under the new leader, Boris Johnson, are in revolt over Labour pushing through policies in England for which it has no mandate.

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