Election update: Labour dispute poll | Punters back SNP | Gray answers readers' questions
Our round-up of all the stories from the Holyrood election campaign trail, plus the picture of the day and political cartoon.
PHOTO OF THE DAY: Spot the politician... Scottish Lib Dem leader Tavish Scott in an unusual photocall at Ainslie Park in Edinburgh yesterday, home of Spartans FC. Photo: Jane Barlow
ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL
• The party of jailed politician Tommy Sheridan will launch its manifesto today for the Scottish election. Solidarity, led jointly by Rosemary Byrne and Sheridan, will promise to vote against all public spending cuts if elected to Holyrood on May 5.
• Green co-leader Patrick Harvie is in St Andrews to announce a pledge to increase funding for the Scottish Government's Climate Challenge Fund.
• The Tories will visit the Tunnock's factory in Uddingston to discuss plans for the economy.
• Liberal Democrat MP Menzies Campbell will join local candidate Euan Robson at a Selkirk timber frame manufacturer to promote their party's proposals to help small businesses.
• SNP leader Alex Salmond and Clackmannanshire and Dunblane candidate Keith Brown are meeting war veterans in Bishopton; Mr Salmond will also be at Glasgow Central Mosque later in the day.
Iain Gray was in the Scotsman offices in Holyrood today to take part in a live webchat. The Scottish Labour leader spent an hour answering questions submitted by readers, and you can read the full transcript online now.
The next election webchat is with Scottish Tory leader Annabel Goldie next Wednesday at 12.30pm.
Is the new opinion poll which puts the SNP ahead a reliable indicator?
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IN TODAY'S PAPERS
Labour MPs feel frozen out
Scottish Labour's backbench MPs claim they have been frozen out of the national Holyrood campaign in a fresh blow to the party's faltering bid to win power in the Scottish Parliament. MPs say they have been sidelined by the party's national HQ in Glasgow in a move described by one as "a total nonsense". (The Times)
Cameron targets second votes
DAVID Cameron has made a pitch to Scottish voters to make the Tories their second option in May's Holyrood election, "whatever they do" in the constituency section of the poll. Voters giving his party their list vote on 5 May was the only way to "get more Conservatives" in the parliament, he said. (The Scotsman)
Brown shrugs off poll gloom
GORDON Brown claimed yesterday he was "not interested" in polls showing Labour heading for defeat to the SNP, as campaign chiefs insisted they would not change course, despite the sudden slump in their fortunes. (The Scotsman)
SNP races into the lead
The Nationalists have surged ahead of Labour in the race to form the next Scottish Government, according to a shock new opinion poll. In the Ipsos-MORI poll, the SNP had a massive 45 per cent share of the constituency vote - 11 points ahead of its main rivals. (Daily Mail)
Labour denies 'crisis'
LABOUR yesterday denied its Holyrood election campaign was in crisis after a poll indicated it could suffer a heavy defeat at the hands of the SNP in a fortnight's time. John Park, Labour campaign co-ordinator, described the Ipsos-MORI research as a "rogue" poll. (The Herald)
Cameron: It's okay to vote SNP
David Cameron gave Alex Salmond a huge helping hand yesterday when he cleared the way for Tory voters to back the SNP. The Prime Minister's call for voters to back the Tories in the list vote was seen as a signal to back SNP candidates in the constituency vote. (Daily Record)
SNP targets shock gains
SNP campaign chiefs pledged to "step up a gear" in the Scottish election race as polls showed them forging ahead of Labour with less than two weeks to go until polling. The party acknowledged they were still in a "close two-horse race" going into the crucial last days before Scotland votes on 5 May. (The Scotsman)
Gray turns to Brown
Floundering Iain Gray resorted to 'desperate' measures yesterday in a bid to boost his flagging campaign - by recruiting Gordon Brown. The struggling Scots Labour leader turned to the former Prime Minister for help in Dunfermline. (The Sun)
Salmond's 22m sweetener for Edinburgh voters
ALEX Salmond today handed Edinburgh a 22 million election sweetener, promising a funding boost for the city council if he is returned to power. (Evening News)
Bookies back Salmond
Two bookmakers yesterday put Alex Salmond on course for victory on May 5. William Hill said punters' support for Labour had "virtually dried up" and Ladbrokes believe Labour are "completely friendless". Hill's odds on an election win are: 4/9 SNP, 13/8 Labour, 125/1 Conservatives, 125/1 Lib Dems. Ladbrokes: 4/9 SNP, 13/8 Labour, 100/1 Conservatives, 100/1 Lib Dems. (Daily Express)
• Alex Salmond has won the support of a famous Scottish trade union leader, on the same day a former high-profile Labour councillor defected to the SNP. Tommy Brennan said he supported the SNP leader's "vision" for Scotland. The endorsement came as Bashir Maan, a former Labour councillor, endorsed the SNP.
• The head of the Liberal Democrat election campaign has pledged the party will boost investment in housing. George Lyon said: "We've identified 250 million for insulation of homes and buildings."
• Health secretary Nicola Sturgeon yesterday repeated the SNP's pledge to invest 1 billion in the NHS during the next four years if the party is re-elected.
• Labour leader Iain Gray claims the Tory and SNP campaigns are "out of touch" with the lives of ordinary Scots. He said voters would be "very suspicious" of SNP and Conservative links.
By Iain Green
Scotsman leader: Election may be heading for history books
SCOTTISH voters may be about to cause a rare political phenomenon. Only twice in the last 40 years has a political party begun an election campaign with a substantial lead only to become the loser on polling day. But this highly unusual turnaround appears to be about to happen again in this Scottish Parliament campaign.
Tim Cornwell: Politics too colourless to lighten arts debate
The arts sector clamours to be taken seriously in politics, constantly fearful of being shouldered out by the big guns like health or education. But pulling any insights, let alone wit or repartee, out of the "cultural hustings" debate in Glasgow this week was like trawling wet tea leaves. "Woolly" muttered one neighbour, as we filed out after 90 mostly stultifying minutes.
David Maddox: Straightforward concepts win more adherents to the SNP than Labour's convoluted message
A HUSTINGS with the ladies of the Kinning Park over-60s community group may not be the sort of test which sounds like it decides elections, but politicians who ignore this "under the media radar" campaigning do so at their peril.
• Live webchat: Scottish Conservative leader Annabel Goldie will be online on Wednesday at 12:30pm. You can submit your questions beforehand or during the event. Click here to set a reminder.
• All the latest news, comment and analysis
• Who is standing in your area? Find out on our Scottish Election Map
• Visit The Steamie, our Scottish politics blog
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Saturday 25 May 2013
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Temperature: 9 C to 16 C
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