Glasgow East by-election, 2008


Glasgow East by-election, 2008

The 2008 Glasgow East by-election was a by-election for the UK Parliamentary constituency of Glasgow East which was held on 24 July 2008. The election was triggered when, on 30 June 2008, the sitting MP David Marshall stood down due to ill health.

The election was significant as it was the second safe Labour seat to be contested, and to be lost, since a downturn in political fortunes for the Labour Party and current UK Labour government under the Premiership of Gordon Brown, and was also held in the wake of the resignation ofthe leader of the Labour group in the Scottish Parliament, Wendy Alexander.The seat was the 3rd safest Labour seat in Scotland, and their 26th safest seat in the UK.

The election was won by John Mason, candidate of the Scottish National Party.

Results

Election box candidate with party link
party = Scottish National Party
candidate = John Mason
votes = 11,277
percentage = 43.1
change = +26.1
Election box candidate with party link
party = Scottish Labour Party
candidate = Margaret Curran
votes = 10,912
percentage = 41.7
change = -19.0
Election box candidate with party link
party = Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party
candidate = Davena Rankin
votes = 1,639
percentage = 6.3
change = -0.6
Election box candidate with party link
party = Scottish Liberal Democrats
candidate = Ian Robertson
votes = 915
percentage = 3.5
change = -8.3
Election box candidate with party link
party = Scottish Socialist Party
candidate = Frances Curran
votes = 555
percentage = 2.1
change = -1.4
Election box candidate with party link
party = Solidarity (Scotland)
candidate = Tricia McLeish
votes = 512
percentage = 2.0
change ="N/A"
Election box candidate with party link
party = Scottish Green Party
candidate = Eileen Duke
votes = 232
percentage = 0.9
change = "N/A"
Election box candidate with party link
party = Independent (politician)
candidate = Chris Creighton
votes = 67
percentage = 0.3
change = "N/A"
Election box candidate
party = Freedom-4-Choice
candidate = Hamish Howitt
votes = 65
percentage = 0.2
change = "N/A"
Election box majority
votes = 365
percentage = 1.4
change ="N/A"
Election box turnout
votes = 26,219
percentage = 42.25
change = -5.95
Election box gain with party link
winner = Scottish National Party
loser = Scottish Labour Party
swing = 22.5

History

The Glasgow East constituency was created for the 2005 general election. Its area came from the majority of the Glasgow Baillieston constituency, with the remainder formed from the Glasgow Shettleston constituency.

In the 2005 general election the new Glasgow East seat was Labour's 26th safest seat in terms of percentage majority, and within Scotland, the seat at which it received its second highest share of the vote. [cite web|url=http://www.parliament.uk/commons/lib/research/rp2005/rp05-033.pdf|title=Research Paper 05/53: General Election 2005|last=Mellows-Facer|first=Adam|date=2006-03-10|work=House of Commons Library|publisher=Parliament of the United Kingdom|format=PDF|accessdate=2008-07-10] In the 2005 election, Labour defeated the Scottish National Party (SNP) by a majority of 13,507 votes, who beat the Liberal Democrats to third place by 1,603 votes.

Prior to his 2005 win of Glasgow East, Marshall had continually held the predecessor seat of Glasgow Shettleston since 1979. Shettleston had been held continuously by previous Labour Party members since an Independent Labour Party member defected to Labour in 1947. The Glasgow Baillieston constituency, and its predecessor seat Glasgow Provan, had always returned Labour MPs since its creation in 1955.

In the 2007 Scottish parliamentary elections Labour lost power to the SNP, who formed a minority government. In this election, the SNP deputy first minister Nicola Sturgeon won the neighbouring Glasgow Govan Scottish Parliament constituency with a swing from Labour of 10.7%, while all other Glasgow constituencies remained in Labour control.

On 28 June 2008, Marshall informed local party leaders that he would be stepping down on medical advice, after 10 weeks of sick leave from the House of Commons. On 30 June 2008 Marshall accepted the post of Steward and Bailiff of the Manor of Northstead, [cite web|url=http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/newsroom_and_speeches/press/2008/press_67_08.cfm|title=Treasury Press Release|date=2008-06-30|accessdate=2008-07-01] a device allowing him in effect to resign as an MP, triggering the by-election [cite news|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/scotland_politics/7481746.stm|title=By-election looms after MP quits|work=BBC News|publisher=British Broadcasting Corporation|date=2008-06-30|accessdate=2008-06-30]

Political situation

The election gained attention throughout the UK due to worsening results for Labour during 2008. The "Daily Record" had asserted that if Labour lost the by-election, further pressure would be heaped on Gordon Brown.cite web|url=http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/2008/06/28/gordon-brown-faces-by-election-test-as-veteran-scots-mp-david-marshal-quits-over-illness-86908-20624177/|title=Gordon Brown faces by-election test as veteran Scots MP David Marshal quits over illness|work=The Daily Record|date=2008-06-28|accessdate=2008-06-28]

The by-election followed a run of poor results since May, in the Crewe and Nantwich and Henley by-elections in England, English and Welsh local elections and losing the London mayoralty. By the end of May, Labour had registered its worst ever independent opinion poll result since records began in 1943, of 23%. [cite news |first=Jeremy |last=Lovell |authorlink= |author= |coauthors= |title=Brown hit by worst party rating |url=http://uk.reuters.com/article/wtMostRead/idUKL2944559620080530 |publisher=Reuters |location=London |date=2008-05-30 |accessdate=2008-06-28] This was also the first by-election since Labour declined to field a candidate in the Haltemprice and Howden by-election in England 14 days previously, fought over a recent controversial government anti-terrorism bill. The by-election also came within days of the controversial resignation of the Scottish Labour leader Wendy Alexander, with voting for a replacement not taking place before polling. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/7481274.stm BBC News] Q&A: Labour leadership election, 30 June 2008] [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/7482811.stm BBC News] Gordon eyes Labour leadership bid, 1 July 2008]

Turnout is usually lower in by-elections; at the previous general election turnout was 48 percent but was down just under six percent at 42.25 percent. Voter share was likely to have been distributed differently, with nine candidates standing for this election, compared to five in 2005. Turnout was higher than expected, despite the election being held during the school holidays, and during a traditional Glasgow holiday period.

In a Scotland-wide opinion poll of Westminster voting intentions, released on 11 July, the SNP was on 33%, with Labour on 29%, Conservatives on 20% Lib Dem on 14%.cite web| url = http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2008/jul/11/glasgoweast.byelections1 | title = Blow for Labour in Glasgow East as poll gives SNP 4% lead in Scotland | accessdate = 2008-07-12 | date = 2008-07-11| publisher = "The Guardian"]

However in an opinion poll conducted solely within the Glasgow East constituency, released on 12 July, Labour led on 47%, SNP on 33%, Liberal Democrats on 9% and the Conservatives on 7%.cite web| url = http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/labour/2298611/Labour-on-course-for-victory-in-Glasgow-East.html | title = Labour on course for victory in Glasgow East | accessdate = 2008-07-12 | date = 2008-07-12| publisher = "The Daily Telegraph"]

Candidates

When nominations closed, there were nine candidates.

The SNP chose John Mason [cite web|url=http://www.glasgow.gov.uk/en/YourCouncil/Council_Committees/Councillors/CouncillorsBiography/bio48.htm|title="Councillor John Mason, Leader of the Opposition"] , a longtime resident of the constituency, and leader of the opposition on
Glasgow City Council.

The Labour Party had some difficulty finding a candidate. The most likely choice, local councillor George Ryan, failed to attend a selection meeting. [cite news|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/scotland_politics/7491181.stm|title=Labour man quits by-election race|date=2008-07-05|work=BBC News|publisher=British Broadcasting Corporation|accessdate=2008-07-05] The position was then offered to Stephen Purcell, the Labour leader of Glasgow council, and Frank McAveety, the MSP for Glasgow Shettleston, both of whom turned it down [cite web|url=http://news.scotsman.com/latestnews/Is-the-writing-on-the.4261110.jp|title="Is the writing on the wall for Labour in Glasgow?"|work="The Scotsman"|date=2008-07-07] . The position was eventually accepted by fourth-choice candidate Margaret Curran, MSP for Glasgow Baillieston, on 7 July. [cite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/7493978.stm|title=Curran takes on by-election fight|work=BBC News|date=2008-07-07|accessdate=2008-07-07]

The Green Party selected Dr. Eileen Duke, a retired GP and Co-Convenor of the party's local branch, on 5 July. [cite news|url=http://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/Article.aspx/726266|title=Brown’s job on the line in Glasgow East by-election|work=Press and Journal|publisher=Aberdeen Journals|date=2008-07-07|accessdate=2008-07-07]

Howitt stood under the label "Freedom-4-Choice", a minor party of his own creation, having stood under the same title in the Haltemprice and Howden by-election. [cite web|url=http://registers.electoralcommission.org.uk/regulatory-issues/regpoliticalparties.cfm?frmGB=1&frmPartyID=696&frmType=partydetail|title=Freedom-4-Choice party registration|date=2006-09-06|work=Register of political parties|publisher=Electoral Commission|accessdate=2008-07-09]

2005 election result

The seat was created at the 2005 election.

Election box candidate with party link
party = Scottish Labour Party
candidate = David Marshall
votes = 18,775
percentage = 60.7
change = "N/A"
Election box candidate with party link
party = Scottish National Party
candidate = Lachlan McNeill
votes = 5,268
percentage = 17.0
change = "N/A"
Election box candidate with party link
party = Scottish Liberal Democrats
candidate = David Jackson
votes = 3,665
percentage = 11.8
change = "N/A"
Election box candidate with party link
party = Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party
candidate = Carl Thomson
votes = 2,135
percentage = 6.9
change = "N/A"
Election box candidate with party link
party = Scottish Socialist Party
candidate = George Savage
votes = 1,096
percentage = 3.5
change = "N/A"
Election box majority
votes = 13,507
percentage = 43.7
change = "N/A"
Election box turnout
votes = 30,939
percentage = 48.2
change = "N/A"
Election box hold with party link
winner = Labour Party (UK)
swing = "N/A"

References

External links

* [http://gswing.sourceforge.net/scotland/ Scottish Elections Between 1997 and present]


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