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SNP majority falls by more than 5,000 votes

The Scottish National Party has won the Aberdeen Donside by-election, but with a greatly reduced majority.

Mark McDonald won the seat after polling 9,814 votes, just over 2,000 more than the Labour candidate who was his nearest rival in the contest.

However the SNP's majority fell by more than 5,000 votes from the result in the 2011 Scottish Parliament election.

  • Mark McDonald (SNP) 9,814
  • Willie Young (Labour) 7,789
  • Christine Jardine (Liberal Democrat) 1,940
  • Ross Thomson (Conservative) 1,791
  • Otto Inglis (UKIP) 1,128

MSPs congratulate by-election winner

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Congratulations to my friend @markmcdsnp who is going to be a first class representative for #Donside.

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SNP set to praise Scottish tax revenue

First Minister Alex Salmond and Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon
First Minister Alex Salmond and Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Scotland has generated more tax revenue per head than the UK as a whole every year for the last three decades, SNP deputy leader Nicola Sturgeon will tell her party today.

Speaking at the SNP conference in Inverness, Sturgeon will say that tax receipts from Scotland were £1,676 higher per head in comparison to the UK as a whole in 2011/12.

"Scotland can afford to be independent and don't let anyone tell you different.

"For every one of the last 30 years we have generated more tax revenue per head than the UK as a whole. Every single one of the last 30 years.

"If there is one fact I want you to remember over the next 18 months and tell everyone you know, it is this one.

"During those 30 years, oil prices will have gone up and they will have come down.

"The economy will have grown and it will have been in recession.

"But one fact has remained constant. In every single one of those 30 years tax receipts per head of population in Scotland have been greater than tax receipts per head of population in the UK.

"How dare any unionist politician say that Scotland doesn't pay her way."

Salmond to make case for independence at SNP meeting

First Minister Alex Salmond will set out his case for why Scotland would be better off if it was independent from Britain in his speech at the SNP spring conference today.

The event comes just two days after he said that voters in Scotland will decide the country's future in an independence referendum to be held on September 18 2014.

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond
Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond Credit: REUTERS/David Moir

Mr Salmond promised the conference would "set out the 'why of independence' to the people - what won't happen in an independent Scotland will be getting dragged into illegal wars, having Trident nuclear weapons dumped on the Clyde for another 50 years, or the imposition of bedroom taxes.

"And what will happen will be the mobilisation of the human and natural resources of Scotland to build a prosperous economy and just society."

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Scottish Independence 'would deliver faster growth'

Independence would "provide Scotland with the opportunity to capture and deliver faster sustainable economic growth, with greater opportunities to tackle key challenges in sustainability and inequality over the long-term", according to a report by The Fiscal Commission Working Group.

It described Scotland as a "wealthy country" which is "on a par with many other successful independent countries".

The panel of experts highlighted a number of key strengths in the Scottish economy, including the energy sector, life sciences, food and drink and tourism.

But it said the country faced a number of challenges "not least tackling the long-term growth gap between Scotland and other comparable countries".

It is clear that over the long-term, Scotland has not completely fulfilled its economic potential.

– The Fiscal Commission Working Group report

SNP: Govt report shows 'breathtaking arrogance'

The government is making its case against Scottish Independence today.

David Cameron is releasing the first in a series of reports, highlighting how the UK and Scotland benefit from the union.

Speaking in an ITV Daybreak interview Stuart Maxwell from the Scottish National Party said the UK Government's report today showed a "breathtaking arrogance" over their "supposed" recognition of Scotland as an equal partner.

Scotland would have to 're-negotiate' world relations

Advice on what will happen to Scotland if it became independent from the UK will be published today.

A summary of the report, issued from Downing Street ahead of the publication, revealed that it was an "unusual step" for the Government to publish full legal opinion from experts.

If Scotland became independent, only the remainder of the UK would automatically continue to exercise the same rights, obligations and powers under international law as the UK currently does, and would not have to re-negotiate existing treaties or re-apply for membership of international organisations.

– Government issued summary of the report on Scottish independence

Read: David Cameron launches defence of the United Kingdom

Scotland warned against independence from UK

The UK Government will today reveal the advice it has been given on what would happen if Scotland became independent from the rest of the UK.

According to Professors James Crawford and Alan Boyle, who set out their opinions in the paper, Scotland would be treated as a new country, having to renegotiate its relationship with world bodies.

Two men wave a Union and Saltire flags in Edinburgh, Scotland Credit: David Cheskin/PA Archive

The Scottish Government issued a paper last week, which assuming a Yes vote occurred in autumn 2014, could see negotiations between Scottish ministers and the UK Government, EU and international organisations concluded by March 2016.

Today's publication does not include specific advice from the European Commission on the implications of Scottish independence in the EU.

Read: Cameron and Salmond sign Scottish referendum deal

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