Saturday, July 05, 2008
By-Elections on Horizon Could be Transforming
The second byelection is in Glasgow East on 24th July, following the retirement of David Marshall. Martin Kettle points out that this is the seat once held by the famous passionate socialist John Wheatley, on whose era Gordon has written, by all accounts, a rather good history. Labour enjoys a massive majority but as Kettle observes:
To lose such a seat for the first time since 1922 would not just be a spectacular Labour disaster but also an unmissable sign of wider Labour disintegration in Scotland. Not even the very real possibility that the Tories could finish fifth would be any sort of compensation for the loss of such a fortress. Many Glasgow watchers believe for that reason that it won't - quite - happen. They argue that Labour's vote in Scotland is simply more solid than in England. Or they claim that Catholic working-class parts of Glasgow are less volatile than more mixed or Protestant seats like Govan. Or they judge that the 22% swing that the SNP needs - compare the 17.5% swing to the Tories in Crewe and Nantwich - is just too much of an ask.
But given the febrile state of political opinion right now, even the attempt to 'hide' the byelection at the beginning of the school holiday season might not save Labour from yet another disaster. Voters are in a vindictive mood right now with a lot of anger boiling about the economy, fuel prices, inflation, house prices to name only the most obvious, they might choose to express it in an another arse-kicking snub to Gordon Brown. It could be Glasgow will provide the second fascinating by-election upset during the month of July.
You do disppoint me. The man from whom you have purloined your name was known as the nicest and most polite politician in Westminster. You are clearly not qualified to empty his rubbish.
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