SNP Win Labour 'Safe Seat' In By-Election Victory

The Labour Party has suffered another crushing blow as the Scottish National Party has snared Glasgow East in a by-election victory.

The Scottish National Party has overturned the former Labour 'safe' seat, which had a prior Labour majority of 13,507 - by winning 11,277 in the contest - representing a swing of 22.54%, while the Conservative Party came third with 1,639 and the Liberal Democrats came fourth, with 915 votes.

Margaret Curran, the Labour candidate polled 10,912 in a turnout for the by-election of 42%.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown will face questioning from cabinet ministers and union leaders today at Warwick on how they came to lose its third safest seat in Scotland.

SNP candidate John Mason said the victory was "not just a political earthquake", it is "off the Richter scale".

"It is an epic win and the tremors will be felt all the way to Downing Street," he said.

Labour minister and Scottish MP Douglas Alexander said his party needed to "learn the lessons" from the result.

Mr Alexander said "we will continue to reflect on these results in the days and weeks ahead," and "we do want to serve not simply one part of the country but every part of the country."

Scottish Tory leader Annabel Goldie said the vote had a "powerful and positive message" and that "throughout the UK it is the Conservatives who are setting the political agenda".

Scottish First Minister and SNP leader Alex Salmond said he doesn't think the result will mean "an immediate exit for Gordon Brown from Downing Street".

He added that he thought it was more likely that Mr Brown will "change policy rather than change himself".

Mr Brown has told colleagues in the past that "by-elections are by-elections" dismissing suggestions that they can cause any real harm.


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