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POLL PUTS LABOUR AND SNP NECK-AND-NECK

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The Scottish National party has shown large advances in popularity in the past month and is now neck-and-neck with ...
The Scottish National party has shown large advances in popularity in the past month and is now neck-and-neck with Labour, according to the latest polls.

The Guardian (p10) reports that the survey by ICM shows the two parties will have equal support for next year's elections to an Edinburgh parliament, but there is growing support for independence, with 56% of Scots wanting to break with Britain.

The article suggests that the growing support for the SNP is directly related to some of the recent problems that the Scottish Labour party has had to deal with, including the£4.6m deficit in the accounts of North Lanarkshire Coucil's direct service organisation.

North Lanarkshire's leader Harry McGuigan has now claimed he is the victim of character assassination and has hit back at the party hierarchy, and blamed 'gross incompetence' and worse, elsewhere in the council for the deficit.

'I accept responsibility but not culpability,' he said. 'Elected members knew completely nothing about this.'
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