Former First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond could play king maker after the forthcoming general election.

A new analysis of opinion polls found that the Scottish National Party (SNP) are set to win 53 seats in May.

The research from Sky News also revealed that Labour would be short of a majority with 282 seats, 44 short of a majority.

The data also found that the Conservatives will win 270 seats, the Liberal Democrats 20 and Ukip two.

It is no surprise, then, that commentators have speculated that the SNP and Ed Miliband's party – two social democratic outfits – will come together and form a coalition government.

But how likely is that prediction and what kind of relationship does Salmond have with Miliband and the shadow chancellor Ed Balls?

IBTimes UK, in this first instalment of three, spoke to the former SNP leader about Labour, Nicola Sturgeon and the new First Minister of Scotland's leadership.