Glasgow East by-election special

The polls have closed and now we just have to wait a few hours for the result. By the time you read this I will be getting on with something much more important — I’ll be down the pub. But I have spent the day diligently gathering the best online commentary about Glasgow East from the past few days. So here is a round-up of the last-minute campaigning and predictions.

Mr H braced himself to delve into the murky waters to review each of the candidates. But the election was really always about the battle between Labour and the SNP.

A reader of Will Patterson’s blog wrote a comment asking if there was much of a comparison between this by-election and the Glasgow Garscadden by-election of 1978. Will Patterson looked to see if the comparison stood up.

Kezia Dugdale found herself in a spot of bother again this week. This time she was stung by a reporter for The Sunday Times. As you would expect, Kezia is not very happy about it. But Scott at Love and Garbage wonders if the piece was as bad as she made out.

Related to this, one of the running themes of the by-election has been how “desperate” the Labour campaign apparently is. Stephen Glenn reports on some desperate — and rude — telephone canvassing from Labour. Meanwhile, Indygal felt that some of Labour’s negative campaign literature was a gift to the SNP.

A lot of the commentary surrounding the by-election has focussed on the implications for Gordon Brown’s leadership. Tim J at Conservative Party Reptile thinks that defeat for Labour in Glasgow East will mean little. For him, the party has already been so stunned by previous defeats that another one won’t spur them into action — not least because there are no obvious replacements.

Life-long Labour member Alex Finnegan thinks the Glasgow East by-election is the wake-up call his party needs. And boy do they need a wake-up call. Fraser Nelson — whose reporting has been excellent throughout this by-election campaign — reported that Glasgow East’s former MP David Marshall took his voters for granted so much that he had zero data on them!

North Britain looks at the Westminster Government’s proposals to lower the number of unemployment and incapacity benefit claimants and how it would affect Glasgow East.

Beau Bo D’Or illustrates Scottish Labour’s woes in his inimitable fashion.

But Sky’s Niall Patterson reports that in private Labour believe they’ve done enough to win this election. Meanwhile, the SNP are saying that private polling shows them 4 points ahead. Labour MP Tom Harris scoffs at this.

But amid all the claims and counter-claims about levels of support, ASWAS points out why parties should not pay too much attention to canvass returns.

Stephen Glenn has criticised the leaking of postal vote results by some activists.

On to the issues, and Alasdair reports on Psycho Steve’s attempts to convince you to vote Labour.

The Telegraph’s Jonathan Isaby reckons Margaret Curran’s refusal to move to Glasgow East in future should be giving Labour some last-minute jitters.

Lib Dem activist Andrew Reeves is not very impressed with SNP candidate John Mason who “is rarely left on his own now”.

Richard Havers was not very keen on Alex Salmond’s decision during a press conference to display a photograph of Gordon Brown and Margaret Thatcher together.

On a lighter note, Richard Thomson highlights the difficulties he has had bring from Edinburgh and trying to make himself understood to Glaswegians.

And following her dog bite scare, Bellgrove Belle was back in action this week.

Julie Hepburn claims to have met a voter who was reluctant to vote for John Mason because he was too good.

Conservative Councillor Iain Lindley has not seen much of Glasgow since his childhood, but reports on his thoughts campaigning for the Tories.

Scottish Tory Boy has heard that there are fears within the Lib Dems that they may finish fourth and lose their deposit.

Meanwhile, where are the Greens? Both Two Doctors and Adopted Domain wondered why the party was largely ignored by the media.

Ah, the media. That brings us on to another running theme — how posh media types have been casting their gaze upon Glasgow and how the city’s residents have reacted. Guido notes that Guardian reporter Helene Mulholland got chucked out of a café for referring to it as a “greasy spoon” while liveblogging.

And Jennifer doesn’t mince her words about a piece written about Glasgow East by A. A. Gill.

Related to A. A. Gill’s piece, Shuggy looks at the ‘Catholic vote’ and concludes that it doesn’t exist.

Holyrood Watcher was similarly downbeat about the election a couple of weeks ago, but has been impressed by the effort all the parties have made all the same — as was Jeff. But Ideas of Civilisation wonders if this kind of campaigning actually works.

Louise Hector reviews the campaigns as a whole and provides her last-minute predictions. So does Political Dissuasion, who confesses that he probably won’t care about this election in a month’s time.

Bill Cameron thinks Labour will get a bloody nose, but will manage to hold on to the constituency. And I posted some of my own last-minute thoughts as well.

And that’s it! Phew. The roundup will be back as usual on Sunday with the aftermath of the Glasgow East by-election plus all the week’s other great blog posts. So don’t forget to get your suggestions in by emailing or by using the contact form on the right.


  1. “By the time you read this I will be getting on with something much more important — I’ll be down the pub.”

    Actually I’m a little bit concerned as to why doctorvee should still have been down the pub at 7:05 am which was the time I read this. Look life after graduating isn’t all that bad honest. 🙂