Fighting for Fife: The Glenrothes By-Election Special

Hi folks! Hot on the heels of Tuesday’s look across the Atlantic, we now home in on a corner of the Kingdom of Fife, where polls have closed in an election which might not have been quite so successful in capturing the world’s imagination but has captured a lot of attention in the blogosphere.

And just as the challenging party in America had enough momentum for some commentators to paint Barack Obama as a quasi-incumbent, so the media have viewed the SNP (who came second in 2005) in the same way. And just like Obama supporters on Tuesday, SNP tails are up. IndyGal, Anseo and Julie all hail the number of SNP activists in the constituency.

From a more neutral perspective, David Farrer dives right in to citizen journalism and gets a surprising level of access at the SNP’s campaign HQ in Markinch.

James, however, isn’t too impressed by the SNP’s attempts to compare itself with the Obama phenomenon, while Stephen Glenn accuses the party of trying to massage bookies’ odds. I just hope that anyone who did put a tenner on the SNP when their odds were slightly longer knew enough about betting to take the price they were being offered and get it written on the slip, as the odds have since come in. Stephen also comments on suggestions that Peter Grant doesn’t want to stay at Westminster for too long, while Jeff points out that he doesn’t want any Scottish MP to stay there beyond 2010.

For Labour, reports are not supportive. Mainly as they’re written by supporters of their main challengers: Calum Cashley accuses Labour of panic. BellgroveBelle questions the wisdom of deploying Sarah Brown in Glenrothes, while Anseo understands that Labour may have been using automated phone calls, which would be rather naughty. Ian Hamilton condemns the Labour staffer who warned journalists that they’d get shot if they got any closer to Mrs. Brown, while Jess the Dog reveals that Gordon Brown’s part in the campaign took place within a 500-yard radius of Labour’s HQ. And North Britain suggests an alternative reason for Labour not to stray too far from home too often, and to carry guns when they do.

Tom Harris, meanwhile, takes time out to mention an unfortunate canvasser who found herself on the wrong end of a very cheeky prank.

For the LibDems, reports are mixed. Caron compares the parties’ literature and concludes that the LibDems’ material comes out on top. Calum Cashley reports that the LibDem priority is to save the party’s deposit. Caron, however, prefers to talk about saving local post offices.

Stephen brings up various moments of inter-party bonhomie.

West World saw the candidates on STV, and was less than impressed with what he saw.

Jeff notes that neither Labour nor the SNP tried to keep expectations in check.

Now it’s prediction time:

Anseo tips the SNP.

Holyrood Patter calls it for the SNP, while remarking on how little of the Labour campaign can actually be dealt with by the winner of the Westminster By-Election.

Jess the Dog compares the two main campaigns and favours the SNP as the winner.

Steve Green predicts that the SNP will win, but that the damage to Gordon Brown will be limited. On a similar note, The Nameless Libertarian predicts that Labour will only consider the result to be important if it’s a Labour win.

Angus Nicolson predicts a close result, but hears that the SNP are ahead. He also points out that the victory won’t be all that sweet for whoever wins, while whoever comes second will face an unforgiving press.

Ewan Aitken predicts a close result, but puts Labour in with a chance. Luke Akehurst, however, has resigned himself to a Labour defeat.

Push Jelly, however, forecasts a shock swing to a certain Mr. B. Obama!

So that’s your lot: the regular schedule resumes on Sunday (I hope!), and I have a darkened room to lie down in. Bye-de-bye!

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