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This study shows that spatial hole burning can cause a transition between the two polarisation modes when the power is increased. This is due to a small difference in the shapes of the two polarisation modes caused by material birefringence. This work also develops a minimal set of 2N + 1 rate equations for an N mode laser, the ansatz being the invariance of the modal shapes in an index-guided device and the similarity between the modal intensity profile and the carrier hole profile. Polarisation dependent modal profiles are inserted in this model.