Voting for a New Britain: Campaigns Briefing 6 Days to Go

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AN OPINION poll for The Herald newspaper showed Labour's lead over the Scottish National Party has fallen. The poll predicts 55 seats for Labour, 48 for the SNP, Lib Dems 15 and Tories 11. Alex Salmond, the SNP leader, said the party was on course for victory.

THE SURGE in support for the SNP was greeted with attacks from the other parties. Gordon Brown, the Chancellor, said the SNP's "anti-enterprise" policies would be paid for with jobs, tax rises and business risks. The Liberal Democrats spotted a pounds 87m "black hole" in Mr Salmond's spending plans that could only be filled by tax rises or spending cuts. And Scottish Tories claimed an independent Scotland would face a pounds 10bn deficit.

NATIONAL PARTY leaders join the campaigns today. Tony Blair is in Glasgow to visit a school and attend a charity lunch before flying to Wales. William Hague will be in Edinburgh.

RIVALRY BETWEEN the two most senior figures in the Welsh Labour Party resurfaced yesterday over performance-related pay for teachers. Alun Michael, the party leader, said he strongly supported incentives, a policy opposed by Rhodri Morgan, who lost the battle for the top job. Mr Morgan's views were reinforced by the Wales TUC, which voted unanimously to oppose the pay scheme. It is one of the few policy areas where the Assembly may be able to underline its independence from Westminster, by sticking with the present system.