Page last updated at 15:49 GMT, Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Parties battle for votes in Fife

Saltire
Voters go to the polls in Glenrothes on Thursday

The main political parties have been campaigning in Fife in the final two days before the Glenrothes by-election.

The Liberal Democrats highlighted uncertainty over the future of Post Offices, while the Tories flexed their green credentials.

Labour raised concern over care home charges, while the SNP accused the rival party of "scaremongering" in order to win votes.

The Westminster by-election follows the death of Labour MP John MacDougall.

Liberal Democrat deputy leader Vince Cable arrived in town to support the renewal of the Post Office card account.

He cited claims that Labour may award the new contract to PayPoint, which he said would spell an uncertain future for two thirds of Scotland's Post Office network.

Former Lib Dem leader Sir Ming Campbell, who also hit the campaign trail, added: "There is no logical explanation for delaying the decision for the renewal of the Post Office card account contract. It only adds to the anxiety of the millions of people across the county who rely on this service, including the most vulnerable in our society."

Deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman accused Fife Council, run by an SNP-led coalition with the Lib Dems, of "unjustly" increasing care home charges.

GLENROTHES CANDIDATES

Morag Balfour, Scottish Socialists

Maurice Golden, Conservative

Peter Grant, SNP

Lindsay Roy Labour

Kris Seunarine, UKIP

Harry Wills, Liberal Democrats

Louise McLeary, Solidarity

Jim Parker, Scottish Senior Citizens Unity Party


"I met several pensioners who told me how angry they were at the decision of the local SNP council to impose these increased charges for home care and community alarms," she said.

"These are vital services for people and it exposes the real truth about the SNP: they promise the earth in election campaigns but deliver cuts when they are in power."

But Scottish Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Labour had peaked and had "run out of steam".

Ms Sturgeon said: "They are desperately trying to shore up their vote by scaremongering."

She added: "We can cut fuel bills by lifting VAT this winter. We can save post offices. And we can win in Glenrothes."

Conservative shadow energy secretary Greg Clark said his party was fighting to make Glenrothes the green capital of Europe, while learning about plans for a bioenergy facility at the Diageo distillery in Cameronbridge.

"The exciting project shows the huge potential of the Kingdom," he said.

"Voting Conservative on Thursday will help bring positive change to Glenrothes and end the failed policies of current administrations."

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