Sutch targets woolly liberals

Screaming Lord Sutch forcibly bringing his Monster Munch Raving Loony Party manifesto to the attention of a tartan-painted sheep in Perthshire yesterday. Its reluctance to stand still for him reflects grass-roots knowledge that Sutch, like the Conservatives, has no hope in tomorrow's Perth and Kinross by-election. The Scottish National Party is set to win an overwhelming victory, according to the last opinion poll of the campaign, writes John Arlidge.

An ICM poll for Scottish Television and the Scotsman newspaper, published today, puts the nationalists on 55 per cent, with the Tories trailing in third place with just 14 per cent of the vote. Labour are second with 21 per cent.

Yesterday, in a last-ditch attempt to win back former Tory voters, the Conservative candidate John Godfrey launched a fresh attack on the SNP candidate, Roseanna Cunningham, describing her as the face of "ugly nationalism". The SNP, he said, "thrives upon breeding discontent amongst voters, peddling a simplistic, unreal image of an independent Scotland as a utopia, once freed from the Union". Miss Cunningham dismissed Mr Godfrey's comments as worthless and negative. Alex Salmond, the SNP leader, added that the remarks revealed "the delerium of a dying party".

Labour insisted it could still take the seat. Douglas Alexander, its candidate, sent letters to 10,000 wavering voters urging them to "vote for the only party that can form the next government".

Photograph: Dylan Martinez/Reuters

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