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Thursday, 7 June, 2001, 23:03 GMT 00:03 UK
Labour confident of victory
The panel on the Kirsty Wark show
The four main parties are on the BBC Scotland panel
Scottish Labour has expressed hopes of a comfortable election win across the UK as the first results are awaited.

Polls have suggested that there are only a few marginal seats north of the Border.

A BBC poll suggested a Commons majority of at least 160 for Labour and an ITN poll predicted a majority of 175.

Labour has been defending 56 of Scotland's 72 Westminster seats.


We are confident we will be returning a Conservative to Westminster from Scotland

Struan Stevenson
A Scottish Labour spokesman said: "The polls are encouraging. We will have to wait and see what the results are."

But Scottish Enterprise Minister Wendy Alexander, a key figure in the General Election campaign north of the border, was more confident.

She told BBC Scotland: "I think the country has made its choice and it's a case of us not just winning the election but winning the argument for public services and economic competence."

But the Conservatives insisted exit polls can be wrong and said they would reverse the wipeout which saw the party lose all its seats in Scotland at the last election.

Euro MP Struan Stevenson said: "The country has not made its choice yet, it's the choice of the exit pollsters and they got it wrong in 1992 and 1997."

Wendy Alexander
Wendy Alexander said the argument had been won
"Anything can happen. We are confident we will be returning a Conservative to Westminster from Scotland."

Mr Stevenson added that he had noticed some confusion among voters in Scotland about the election.

That was echoed by Liberal Democrat MSP Ross Finnie, who said: "There has been quite a serious issue about people understanding this general election.

"There is no doubt that people have not had the same enthusiasm about the election and there has been this slight doubt about what they were voting for."

The Scottish National Party's Roseanna Cunningham said there was very little doubt that there would be a Labour Prime Minister.

She also voiced fears about a low voter turn-out.

Meanwhile, Tory former Cabinet minister Sir Malcolm Rifkind said there had been a "substantial swing" to his party in Edinburgh Pentlands.

He is contesting the seat, which is seen as one of the key constituencies in Scotland.

"I am very comfortable with what I have been seeing so far," he said."

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