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Last Updated: Monday, 9 April 2007, 08:35 GMT 09:35 UK
Voters get behind public services
Ballot box with Saltire in the background
Participants in the poll liked charges on motorists least
Building and running state schools and hospitals through public bodies is the top priority for Scottish voters, a BBC Scotland poll has suggested.

There was also firm support for putting police officers on the streets and council tax cuts for pensioners.

Pollsters ICM asked a balanced sample of 1,001 people in Scotland for their opinions on a list of 25 policy issues.

Charges on motorists - namely city congestion charges and motorway tolls - were widely disliked.

Participants were asked to score policies from one to 10 - with one meaning they should not be pursued and 10 giving them "top billing" status.

On the face of it, that is a challenge to Labour with its programme of rebuilding schools and hospitals through the Public Private Partnership
Brian Taylor
Political editor, BBC Scotland

Average scores were then calculated to give the final results.

The most popular, to "ensure that all state schools and hospitals are built and run by public bodies rather then private companies" received a score of 8.10.

That narrowly beat the second most popular policy of more bobbies on the beat - something supported by all the political parties - which attracted a rating of 8.06.

In contrast, giving more responsibility in local communities to wardens rather than the police was further down the list, at 5.57.

READ THE POLL

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Other justice policies, including curfews for young offenders and allowing some criminals to serve their sentences by helping communities as an alternative to prison were more popular, standing at 7.18 and 6.85 respectively.

Appetite for a referendum on Scottish independence scored 6.15.

BBC Scotland's political editor Brian Taylor said of the poll's top priority: "On the face of it, that is a challenge to Labour with its programme of rebuilding schools and hospitals through the Public Private Partnership.

"However, Labour has already countered on this issue of service provision, challenging rival parties to describe how they would match the current drive to refurbish schools and hospitals through PPP."

ICM Research interviewed a random sample of 1001 Scottish adults aged 18+ by telephone on 29-31st March 2007. Interviews were conducted across Scotland and the results have been weighted to the profile of all adults. ICM is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.

BBC poll findings
Summary of results from BBC Scotland's Election 2007 poll
Issues Mean Male Female Tory Labour LibDem SNP
Schools/health 8.1 7.82 8.35 7.14 8.15 7.83 8.47
Police on streets 8.06 7.73 8.36 8.05 8.35 7.56 8.21
Council tax for 65s+ 7.96 7.85 8.06 8.91 7.86 7.08 8.35
Local hospitals 7.93 7.57 8.26 8.51 8.06 7.49 7.89
Farming/fishing 7.19 6.96 7.41 7.63 6.85 6.94 7.49
Young offenders curfew 7.18 6.91 7.43 7.44 7.43 5.81 7.64
Free school meals 7.18 7.33 7.04 6.33 7.05 6.83 7.42
Buses/trains (not roads) 6.92 6.78 7.05 6.71 7.02 7.39 7.08
Scrap tuition fees 6.88 6.58 7.15 6.82 6.89 7.07 6.73
Community sentences 6.85 6.85 6.85 6.78 6.78 7.11 6.84
Schools/training 6.57 6.21 6.9 5.48 6.79 6.01 6.98
Local income tax 6.54 6.33 6.75 5.73 6.39 6.73 7.12
Nuclear power 6.39 5.88 6.67 5.44 6.43 6.63 6.83
Tackling drugs 6.38 6.19 6.57 6.22 6.51 7.04 6.51
University numbers 6.3 6.14 6.46 5.54 6.66 5.62 6.59
Population 6.16 5.94 6.36 5.69 6.63 6.13 6.23
Independence referendum 6.15 5.9 6.39 4.52 5.58 4.88 8.02
Science schools 6.14 6.23 6.06 6.25 6.29 5.79 6.04
Wind/wave power 6.13 5.99 6.26 5.62 6.06 7.51 6.51
Prescriptions 6.1 6.04 6.16 5.75 6.08 5.75 6.47
Tax powers 6.04 6.14 5.94 4.16 5.77 5.69 7.45
Business tax 5.76 5.62 5.9 6.17 5.85 5.29 5.88
Wardens/police 5.57 5.3 5.83 4.53 5.91 5.07 5.73
City car charging 4.54 4.27 4.79 3.8 4.85 5.01 4.61
Motorway tolls 3.39 3.33 3.44 2.72 3.32 4.13 3.73
Source: BBC/ICM




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The BBC's Brian Taylor picks over the results





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