25/07/2008

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.

(DS)

Related UK National News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

13 November 2009
Labour Wins Glasgow By-Election
The Labour Party has held its parliamentary seat in Glasgow North East, hailing the by-election win a public endorsement of embattled Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Winning candidate Willie Bain retained a sizable majority over the Scottish National Party for the seat vacated by former Commons Speaker Michael Martin.
03 December 2007
More Questions Than Answers On Labour Party Donations
The Government is to have no respite from the growing chorus of questions on party funding activities. Opposition parties have continued to maintain pressure on the Labour party funding issue, demanding to be told who knew about donations to the party.
06 February 2009
Clarkson Apologises For Gordon Brown Jibe
Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson has apologised for branding Prime Minister Gordon Brown a "one-eyed Scottish idiot". The 48-year-old, said: "In the heat of the moment I made a remark about the Prime Minister's personal appearance for which, upon refection, I apologise.
06 February 2004
RMT vote puts it on collision course with New Labour
The Rail, Maritime and Transport Union (RMT) is on collision course with the Labour Party after reaffirming an earlier decision to support other political parties.
25 September 2014
Keith Brown MSP Announces Intention To Stand For Deputy Leadership Of SNP
Keith Brown, MSP for Clackmannanshire and Dunblane, has officially launched his campaign to become deputy leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP). It comes after Nicola Sturgeon, deputy first minister of Scotland and deputy leader of the SNP announced she would seek to become the country's first minister and leader of the party.