Tory 'own goal' on poll figures

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The Independent Online
THE TORY chairman, Sir Norman Fowler, was yesterday accused of scoring 'the most striking own goal' of the local and European elections campaign when he released the results of a privately commissioned opinion poll which indicated the party was heading for a heavy defeat, writes Wendy Berliner.

Jack Straw, Labour's environment spokesman, said: 'The Tories' campaign has been such a shambles that I am close to believing that Sir Norman - who backed Michael Heseltine in 1990 - has, with his colleagues, been engaged in deliberately undermining John Major's support in the country.'

The row follows the release of a Gallup poll which shows a Labour lead of 21 points. The poll was intended to show strong support from parents for the Government's policy of introducing regular school tests and league tables.