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Sunday, May 2, 1999 Published at 13:36 GMT 14:36 UK


Mixed signals from Scotland



Three opinion polls tell different stories in the final days of the campaign before Thursday's Scottish Parliament elections.

An ICM poll for Scotland on Sunday newspaper shows the Scottish National Party catching up with Labour.


BBC Scotland political correspondent Kenny Macintyre reports
But in a Mori opinion poll of 1,000 people for the Sunday Herald, Labour is shown to be pulling away from the SNP. It is a partly similar picture in an NOP poll for The Sunday Times.

Voters in Thursday's elections to the Scottish Parliament will have two votes. In the first, the first-past-the-post system will be used to elect 73 members.

In the second a form of proportional representation will be used to elect the remaining 56 MSPs.

Scotland on Sunday

The Scotland on Sunday poll, which also questioned 1,000 people, puts Labour on 44% of the first vote, the SNP 31%, the Tories 13% and the Liberal Democrats 10%.

In the second vote, 40% of those questioned said they would vote Labour, 31% SNP, 14% Liberal Democrat and 11% Tory.

That would translate into 57 seats for Labour, 41 for the SNP, 17 for the Tories and 13 for the Liberal Democrats.

Based on these results, Labour would be eight short of an overall majority.

Sunday Herald

The Sunday Herald research suggests Labour will get 48% of the first vote, the SNP 33%, the Liberal Democrats 9% and the Tories 8%.

In the second vote Labour is on 44%, the SNP on 33%, the Liberal Democrats on 10% and the Tories on 9%.

If repeated at the polls on Thursday, this would translate into 62 seats for Labour, 45 for the SNP, 12 for the Liberal Democrats, nine for the Tories and one for others.

Sunday Times

The Sunday Times poll has Labour winning 45% of the first vote, the SNP 30%, Conservatives 13% and the Lib-Dems 9%.

Labour has 38% of the second vote, the SNP 32%, Tories 12% and the Lib-Dems 11%.





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