The Scottish Labour leader warned the country is “divided enough” insisting public services are suffering after almost a decade of Nationalist government.
But she also claimed people who vote Conservative as a “protest vote” against separation will be putting council services at risk.
The issue of a second referendum is a dominant one in the run-up to May’s local elections because of the First Minister’s demand for a plebiscite.
Kezia Dugdale said the SNP is using the threat of another referendum to 'distract' voters
Ms Dugdale insisted public services are suffering under almost a decade of Nationalist government
Tory leader Ruth Davidson has already described the contest as a chance “to tell Nicola Sturgeon to get back to the job in hand” as she looks to repeat last year’s Holyrood elections and push Ms Dugdale’s party’s into third place.
The SNP doesn’t want to talk about education, social care and other valued services
Ms Dudgale is expected to tell Labour campaign launch in Edinburgh: “Rather than soothing people’s worries, of focusing on getting a good deal for Scotland, and of governing in the interests of everyone, here we are again, facing another independence referendum being inflicted on us by a party which knows its record in government is poor and wants to distract us from that basic fact.
She claimed people who vote Conservative as a 'protest vote' will put council services at risk
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“The SNP doesn’t want to talk about education, social care and other valued services because it knows it’s failing.”
Hitting out at Tory rivals she will add they are “itching to cut even more money from our valued public services”.
But Scottish Conservative deputy leader Jackson Carlaw branded her remarks “desperate stuff” and added: “She and her party are heading for an electoral disaster on May 4.
LIVE: Scotland reacts as Sturgeon gets her referendum Tue, March 28, 2017
A total of 69 MSPs voted to hold another referendum and 59 voted against
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Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon (R) reacts as she leaves the chamber following a vote on the second day of the 'Scotland's Choice' debate on a motion to seek the authority to hold an indpendence referendum at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh
"Judging from these comments, they are already in panic mode.”
An SNP spokesman said: “Labour have zero self-awareness.
“The SNP does want to talk about the important issues of education, social care and valued local services in this council election campaign – it’s our opponents who continue to obsess about the constitution.”