Voting For A New Britain: Campaigns Change Little

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IF SNAP elections had been called in Scotland and Wales before Easter, the result would have been pretty much the same as expected today, with Labour dominant and the nationalist parties coming second and forming the official opposition.

A poll of polls before Easter showed Labour in Scotland on about 45 per cent of the constituency vote and 40 per cent on the regional "top- up" list. Not much has changed. The SNP is still at about 32 per cent on both votes, with the Tories and Liberal Democrats both around 11 per cent.

Maintaining these positions is believed to have cost Labour most of the pounds 1.5m agreed as an upper limit, the SNP pounds 1.2m, Conservatives pounds 800,000, and Liberal Democrats pounds 500,000.

In Wales, polls conducted for HTV in early February and last weekend showed Labour winning 34 out of 60 seats. Plaid Cymru edged up from 11 to 13 seats, Tory seats declined from nine to seven while Liberal Democrats held steady on six seats.

Plaid Cymru has spent about pounds 350,000 nationally and through the five regions but had yet to calculate how much was spent at constituency level. Labour would have spent much more. Tories spent over pounds 200,000 and Liberal Democrats pounds 250,000.