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Monday, 7 May, 2001, 14:37 GMT

The first post-devolution general election

BBC's Scotland correspondent Andrew Cassell reports on the changing political landscape in Scotland and the first post-devolution general election.

Devolution

While power has been devolved to the parliament in Edinburgh, Westminster still excercises power over the economy, social security and foreign affairs.

Devolution has meant the Scottish parliament now decides policy on a whole range of issues affecting life in Scotland. These include health, education and law and order. Despite the Edinburgh parliament's teething troubles, there are signs that this new parliament has begun to make a real difference to the lives of ordinary Scottish people.

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Election Issues

Although issues like health and education are devolved matters they will still be at the top of the campaigning agenda. But will the politicans reap the benefits of the alternative education policies and the more generous welfare system that exist north of the border?

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