Ed Milliband
Ed Milliband urges referendum voters to say no to independence

Prime Minister David Cameron made a bizarre pitch to Scottish voters in the final push of the independence referendum campaign, when he told voters neither he or a Tory government would be around for ever.

He was, in effect, delivering exactly the same message that Ed Miliband has been repeating - Westminster will eventually have a Labour government, so please don't vote "yes" just as a way of ending Tory rule.

Miliband, needless to say, argued the current government was on its last legs and he would be in Downing Street in around eight months' time to deliver the centre-left policies Scottish voters are demanding.

He urged voters to: "Help deliver economic change... with a Labour government in May 2015, a government that is within our reach and just months away."‎

Needless to say, Cameron doesn't believe he will be out of office next year, although a "yes" vote would certainly achieve that. But an appeal based on the notion that it is OK to vote for his side because he will one day lose an election was certainly unusual, perhaps brave and possibly just desperate.

However, he had a point. Voters in Scotland are hugely fed up with routinely voting anti-Tory but getting Conservative rule, something that would be unlikely in an independent state.

So, backed by Cameron's prediction, Miliband seems to have a powerful argument in favour of the Union, particularly when it is aimed at those anti-Tory voters who have been attracted to precisely that part of Alex Salmond's campaign that has focused on welfare, social justice and equality.

But what has spooked the Labour party, once the dominant force in Scottish politics, is the fact that so many of their former supporters no longer view them as the party to deliver those things.

They don't care Miliband might be in Downing Street next year because they don't believe that will be significantly different from having Cameron in power again.

Tony Blair
Blair's New Labour lost Scottish supportReuters

Ever since Tony Blair's New Labour, the traditional left-of-centre vote in Scotland has drifted away from the party and towards the more socialist-sounding SNP.

Labour has known this but the referendum campaign, with its heavy emphasis on social justice, has driven the message home with real force.

That is why Gordon Brown, still Labour's best hope in Scotland, made so much of the NHS and the SNP's "lies" over the service in a passionate speech aimed at reviving all those old tribal sympathies.

And it is why Miliband told voters: "The will of the people of Scotland for economic and political change has been heard and we will deliver.

"Change is coming with more powers on tax and welfare for the Scottish parliament."

The result on Friday 19 September will say a great deal about whether Labour can ever regain its place as the dominant party in Scotland.