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Campaigning splash on 46-year-old report is voted best front page of 2020

A campaigning splash highlighting a 46-year-old report on the future of the Scottish economy has been voted the best front page of 2020 by HTFP readers.

Pro-independence daily The National doubled its average sale to more than 21,000 copies on 27 February after running a special edition on the 1974 McCrone report, which gave a favourable economic projection for an independent Scotland.

However it was never published at the time and only came to light in 2005 as a result of a freedom of information request.

The National’s front page, headlined ‘Scotland’s future was stolen by Westminster,’ won the support of nearly half of those who took part in our poll.

National McCrone

More than 2,300 readers voted in the annual contest which ran for a fortnight over the Christmas and New Year period, with 1,142 choosing the Nation

In second place with 569 votes was the Daily Post’s front page headlined ‘Barred’ on Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford being banned from more than 100 pubs on its patch after announcing a 6pm curfew and a ban on alcohol sales in hospitality venues.

And third place went to the Eastern Daily Press for its tribute to NHS workers at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, headlined ‘We’re So Proud of You.’

Readers were allowed to vote for up to three contenders from our 12-strong shortlist published in December.

The Newsquest-owned National initially published the McCrone report in full on 27 February 2019, recording a 41pc increase in print sales.

It decided to reprint the report on the same day in 2020, with 8,000 copies pre-ordered before it even hit the news-stands and a total sale of 21,915 copies.

National editor Callum Baird said: “Every year we publish the secret McCrone Report in full to remind Scots of what they could have had – an oil fund like Norway which has made them one of the richest countries in the world. Instead, the extent of the wealth in the North Sea was downplayed by Westminster to quash support for independence.

“So it’s no surprise that people continue to respond to this front page, and we thank everybody who voted for us, and everybody who bought a copy.

“Last year on what we call “McCrone Day” we more than tripled our circulation, selling thousands of bulk advance copies which were delivered all over Scotland.

“This year, we might need to put it on hold because of the pandemic, but when things clear up again, this special edition will definitely be back.”