SNP wins Glasgow East by-election in Scotland

Saturday, July 26, 2008

UK Parliament constituency of Glasgow East in Scotland

Scottish National Party (SNP) candidate John Mason has won a surprise victory in the Glasgow East by-election in Scotland.

Labour won a majority of 13,507 in the last election, and the constituency has been in Labour Party control in some shape or form since 1922, and the result has been called a "political earthquake".

In his maiden speech, John Mason said:

You have shown that the East End must never be taken for granted, as it has been in the past... Three weeks ago the SNP predicted a political earthquake. This SNP victory is not just a political earthquake, it is off the Richter scale. It is an epic win, and the tremors are being felt all the way to Downing Street. Labour MPs across Scotland will be quaking in their boots.

The SNP has a history of upset wins in by-elections in and around Glasgow, including Winnie Ewing in Hamilton in 1967, Margo MacDonald in Govan in 1974, and another in Govan in 1988 by Jim Sillars.

Labour candidate Margaret Curran had been favourite to win, but early on her campaign team was infiltrated by a journalist from The Sunday Times who exposed a number of problems and issues.

SNP Deputy Leader Nicola Sturgeon has said that this loss for the Labour party is a reflection of both Gordon Brown's lack of leadership, and her own party's popularity. "Yes, it was a vote against Gordon Brown, it was a catastrophe for Gordon Brown, but it was also a positive vote for the SNP and our government in Holyrood," she said. The defeat is one of several in recent months, including fifth place in the Henley and the loss to the Conservatives of Crewe and Nantwich by-elections in England, and the loss of the London Mayoralty. The Glasgow East result is however in Gordon Brown's proverbial backyard.

First Minister Alex Salmond said there are "no safe seats for the Labour Party anywhere in Scotland". He also likened the situation to a battle between the SNP run Scottish Government and the Labour run British Government.

Conservative leader David Cameron called for a UK general election. The Conservatives came a distant third in the by-election, overtaking the Liberal Democrats.

Full results

  • John Mason (SNP) 11,277 (43.08%, +26.06%)
  • Margaret Curran (Lab) 10,912 (41.69%, –18.99%)
  • Davena Rankin (C) 1,639 (6.26%, –0.64%)
  • Ian Robertson (LD) 915 (3.50%, –8.35%)
  • Frances Curran (SSP) 555 (2.12%, –1.42%)
  • Tricia McLeish (Solidarity) 512 (1.96%)
  • Eileen Duke (Scottish Green Party) 232 (0.89%)
  • Chris Creighton (Ind) 67 (0.26%)
  • Hamish Howitt (Choice) 65 (0.25%)


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