By-election postal vote potential has doubled

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THE number of voters registered to cast their ballot by post in the battle for Glasgow North East has more than doubled since the last general election, as campaigners scramble to boost what they fear will be a low turnout.

Glasgow City Council confirmed that 6,065 people have now registered to vote in Thursday's by-election, up from 2,419 in 2005.

But the council insisted the two-and-half-fold increase was partly due to its own campaign to get more people registered to vote.

Suspicions had been raised privately by opposition parties that Labour tended to benefit from a surge in postal votes.

As The Scotsman revealed in September, it is now part of Labour's strategy to have every possible supporter signed up to a postal vote before the next general election.

The campaign has become dominated by a leaflet row in the past few days.

A pamphlet issued by the SNP's candidate David Kerr said he was "born in Duke Street" – a street in the constituency. The incident echoed an earlier row when Mr Kerr made the claim he was born and bred in Dennistoun, in the constituency.

He was, in fact, born just outside on Glasgow's south side.

The SNP insisted that the leaflet had been printed two weeks ago, before activists had been aware of the error, and the party had not intended to repeat the mistake.

But Labour MP Ian Davidson said the SNP should not be shown mercy. "Repeating the same lie several times over doesn't make it true," he said. "This is now the lie that keeps on lying. This is the third time David Kerr has denied he was born in Govan which is an insult to everyone born in that area."

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