Ed Miliband
Miliband fears Labour voters are switching to SNP Reuters

Ed Miliband has travelled to Scotland to deliver what is becoming a central message in the final days of the independence campaign, and one the Tory party can never deploy.

It amounts to telling the deeply anti-Tory Scottish voters, particularly Labour ones, that a vote against independence is not a vote for the Conservatives.

The opposite message is one that Alex Salmond has used time and again, either explicitly or implicitly, pointing out the Scots are committed supporters of social justice, fair taxes, a free NHS, welfare spending and so on.

All these are things the Tories either oppose or threaten to dismantle, he says, and as long as they get elected in Westminster those better policies will be denied Scotland.

scotland debate
Salmond accused Darling of being Tory Getty

His accusation that "Better Together" leader, Alistair Darling, is "in bed with the Tories" was just part of his campaign to suggest Labour is no different.

The only way to get social justice, protect the NHS from creeping privatisation, reverse the cuts and all the other policies he says the Scots want is by supporting independence.

That would also mean continuing to support the SNP after independence, but that would obviously suit him just fine.

In fact trying to prize apart the pro-SNP and pro-independence threads from the "Yes" campaign has been one of the impossible tasks for the past few months. They are not necessarily the same thing. But that is another argument.

For now the narrowing polls have spooked the anti-independence campaign as Salmond's message appears to be hitting home.

Many of those now suggesting they will vote for independence are inevitably former Labour voters and Miliband will be worried that, if they are won over by Salmond's rhetoric now, they may well stick with him after the referendum.

So he has hit back, insisting the Tories are on the way out in Westminster and that the Labour party bowed to no one in its support for and policies on social justice.

"I want a fairer, more equal country. I know so many people in Scotland feel the country is not working for them and they will be wondering should they be voting 'No' in the referendum or should they be voting 'Yes'.

"My strong message is to vote 'No' in the referendum because a Labour government is on the way, a Labour government with genuine proposals for social justice," he said.

He claimed it was the SNP that would continue Tory policies because it would have to cut corporation tax and public spending after independence, adding: "It is an SNP con. They are going to continue Tory policies if they have independence, that is their real prospectus."