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The Scottish National Party has launched a court battle to stop the broadcasting of a televised election debate without the participation of its leader, Alex Salmond. At the Court of Session in Edinburgh last week, the SNP's lawyers challenged representatives from the two television channels, STV and Grampian, and also the Independent Television Commission, to stop the channels going ahead with the debate involving John Major, Tony Blair and Paddy Ashdown. Colin Sutherland QC, for the SNP, told Judge Lord Eassie that the nationalists commanded between 20 and 26 per cent of support in Scotland.