Experts set to work on poll question

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Unionist parties have recruited election experts to compose a single question for the independence referendum.

Labour, Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats claim the move will ensure a clear and neutral form of words for a straight Yes-No ballot in 2014.

They complain the SNP’s preferred wording – Do you agree that Scotland should be an independent country? – is biased because it invites a positive response.

The new panel will be chaired by former Edinburgh University principal Lord Sutherland of Houndwood and constitutional experts Dr Matt Qvortrup and Ron Gould.

Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont said: “The question to be put to the Scottish people in the referendum is too important to be left in the hands of politicians and I am confident that we have put together a group of experts who are able to draft a question which is balanced and fair.”