A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Labour wins Glenrothes

Congratulations to new MP Lindsay Roy and the by-election team headed by Gordon Banks and Jim Murphy on a stunning and totally unexpected 6700 majority for Labour in Glenrothes. Labour's vote is actually up 3% on the last General Election.

This must be one of the best by-election results for an incumbent government in one of their own seats for decades, quite apart from wiping the smug smile off Salmond's face and making his "yes we can" quotes in the last two days look absurd. It fully justifies Gordon Brown's courage in deciding to break convention and campaign in the seat.

Elsewhere in Scotland Labour also beat the SNP in council by-elections in Edinburgh's Forth ward and Glasgow's Baillieston ward (part of Glasgow East). I'll post the full results tomorrow.

Two great election nights in one week!


Blogger Jess The Dog said...

It will be good to get some critical Labour commentary on this.

I reckon it was a combination of Brown Bounce and a successful attack on the SNP council based on elderly care charges. Also, getting the vote out in Cardenden and Buckhaven/Methil.

Congratulations to the candidate Lindsay Roy for winning it and I hope he proves to be a good MP with a clear voice of his own.

Will you keep the seat at the general election? Some of this will depend on the impact that the new MP makes. Otherwise, the tide is still going out on you chaps, particularly when the Obama/Brown comparison is made and Obama starts to reappraise the disastrous Iraq War. I don't really hate you guys except when you start illegal wars and remove civil liberties ;-)

Have an enjoyable beer or two anyway!

1:13 am, November 07, 2008

Blogger Dave Cole said...

Labour's share of the vote actually went up by 4% and by 551 in absolute terms. From the past few weeks, I'd say that suggests a good campaign on the ground coupled with good voter ID.


1:34 am, November 07, 2008

Anonymous Rich said...

Bounced, but for how long will Brown be hailed as a super hero of the economy. The coming months will tell as we have some critical milestones to cross.

Firstly the return of the 10 pence tax rate, who knows how the government plans to handle this one.

Secondly the economy is tanking and we are looking at the worst possible scenario. The result is falling tax receipts at a time when the government has just spent more than 100% of our GDP and thinking of spending more.

Tax increases are inevitable and peoples memories are very short. As soon as they start to realise that they are going to have to pay for Browns rescue plan then there is going to be a lot of unrest.

Working people in this country are facing a decade of poverty, as tax increases are likely to prolong the current downturn. In principle I would agree that spending now would soften the recession but only if public finances were in good shape. Labour having blown all our taxes on wars, ID card scheme, failed computer projects etc etc and a result they don't have any more to spend. Borrow now and it only has to be paid back thus cutting peoples spending power.

I said it before, I wasn't expecting an SNP victory. A victory here would mean Brown would lose his seat come the next general.....this would never happen. The PM always has a safe seat for obvious reasons.

8:40 am, November 07, 2008

Anonymous Arnold said...

I see the B.B.C. are looking for a new 'Dr.Who' to replace David Tennant. Why don't they go for David Cameron? He behaves as though he's from another galaxy and will have plenty of time on his hands in 2010.

8:59 am, November 07, 2008

Blogger Hughes Views said...

A fine mid-term result. A splendid week so far for progressive politics in the English speaking world, let's hope NZ can maintain the trend on Sunday. Mind you their PR system is so complex we may not know the result before Christmas....

9:27 am, November 07, 2008

Blogger OscottLocal said...

Yes, a fantastic result. Helped by that fact that Labour was playing it down until yesterday. Let's push on now and try and build up towards the European and local elections next year. A decent result in these elections would really put pressure on Cameron.

9:40 am, November 07, 2008

Anonymous Rich said...

Well I've just be on the phone with the tax office regarding fixed rate expenses for a couple of employees and the inland revenue are becoming very reluctant to repay. I get the feeling they getting pressure from government to meke it harder for people to claim rebates.

This government is broke....

10:41 am, November 07, 2008

Anonymous Rich said...

I'm glad to see that the government is considering heavier penalties to those who knowingly abuse their pets.

As a sponsor of my local animal shelter It sickens me on how a minority of people get pleasure from hurting animals entrusted in their care.

I'm glad that new heavier penalties are being considered.

11:06 am, November 07, 2008

Blogger E10 Rifle said...

I'm not sure you can read too much into this, welcome though the result is. We weren't really going toe to toe with the Tories here, though I've got a bit more confidence now that the economic crisis has exposed the irrelevance and bankruptcy of their politics. I hope there's a lesson to be drawn than when you energise and involve members and get them out and about campaigning you reap results. Members still count.

It's been a good week

1:20 pm, November 07, 2008

Blogger Democratic-Centre said...

Serious people for serious times.

2:48 pm, November 07, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My dearest voters of Glenrothes:

There was once an unfenced hill where a flock of sheep roamed happily.

One rainy day, Gordon Brown came to talk to them. "It's cold and wet here. How can you stand it?" he asked.

"It's not so bad," said the sheep. " We get up when we like, there's plenty to eat, and life is pretty good most of the time. It's raining now but we can just go under the trees if it gets too much. It will stop eventually. We have our freedom, and to us, that's the most important thing in the World."

"It looks awful," Gordon said. "And how do you know it will stop raining? It might go on for weeks. Your land might become swampy and all of your grass might be washed away. I'll Tell you what, there is a big building over there. It's warm and dry inside. I will open it up to let you in. It's only fair. You deserve better than this."

"Is there grass to eat?" the sheep asked.

"No, but the building will provide hay. I will ensure it provides for you, a place to sleep and food to eat, and you need do nothing to earn it. You'll be warm and dry and, more importantly you'll still be free. Really, it's best to take my offer just in case it should continue raining, don't you think? Surely you can see it's for your benefit?"

Some of the sheep were suspicious. "What do you get out of it?"

"Me? - Nothing." Gordon smiled. "And once in a while, I'll invite the most special of you, to come and live in a special flock where life will be more wonderful than you have ever known. Of course, you won't all be able to join that flock at once, but I promise, every one of you will pass through the Golden Doorway eventually."

The sheep considered. A few distrusted Gordon, and refused to go with him, but most accepted his kind offer. They laughed and scoffed at those who chose to stay in the rain while they filed obediently into New Labours dry and warm abbatoir.

7:45 pm, November 07, 2008

Anonymous ian k said...

There was once a person to whom I shall refer to as anonymous 7.45PM who posted what he/she thought was a clever comment comparing the electorate of Glenrothes to a flock of sheep.
After he or she finished posting his/her comment anonymous had felt very pleased with anonymous's self in that warm, smug and patronising way! As a reward for his/her endevours he/she thought they would indulge a nice glass of wine however when they sipped the wine it tasted of distinctly of sour grapes!!

8:38 pm, November 07, 2008

Blogger Mark Still News said...

The return of the 10 pence tax rate, this is going to be nasty especially with the inflation so high and the fact we've temporarily had it back and got used to having this money in our pockets, and now losing it again!

12:52 am, November 08, 2008

Anonymous Rich said...

Mark, I have a feeling that they are planning a tax cut...in that they are going to postpone it for another 12 months.

If you look at the situation analytically then Brown has one chance of another term....that chance is in the spring. 80% of people think Brown is the best person for the current crisis but they may well change their mind once they have to start to paying for this mess. Spring is probably the best time for a snap election and the best chance he has of a win. I think you are likely to see a number of vote winning policies between now and May.......

If Brown leaves it later than the spring then they will be wiped off the political map. The cost of the current crisis is huge and the risk of a prelonged recession very high.

2:58 pm, November 08, 2008

Blogger Mark Still News said...

This short term tinkering to win an election is absolutely appalling if he does it?

The Tories did stuff like this in the 80's and 90's, it's as if we are in a time warp! Nothing really has changed since we ditched the stinking Tories?

1:15 am, November 09, 2008

Blogger Mark Still News said...

But then after Xmas a lot of firms will announce redundancy and people trying to negotiate pay rises for the new financial year-will only find the Companies can't afford them or are looking for pay cuts. Is spring really a good time for a snap election?

1:21 am, November 09, 2008

Anonymous Rich said...

Mark, a lot of companies use a downturn, recession or slump as an excuse to sack staff. I know of at least two in my area that is shedding staff, or clearing dead as the director calls it, even though they are making more money than last year. The UK has some of the poorest employment laws in Europe making it very simple and cheap to shed jobs.

This is why working people voted Labour in, it was to reverse all the euro opt outs of the last conservative government. Labour are still reinforcing these clauses which is why I am so anti Europe.....what is the bloody point if working people don't see the benefit.

8:44 pm, November 09, 2008

Blogger Merseymike said...

Thats a reason to be more PRO Europe, not anti!

11:00 pm, November 09, 2008

Anonymous Rich said...

Merseymike, once upon a time I was very pro Europe. But the concept has been changed and there is too much influence from big business.

Many small and valuable companies have been lost as a result of large corporations lobbying for controls and restrictions. A classic example is the seed industry and we now have huge American Chemical Giants buying up patents to seeds. The cost of registering seeds is now so expensive that less well known varieties are being lost.

At the same time countries such as the UK are pushing for a more relaxed Labour market. So many of the benefits of being a member are being lost. 48 Hour week being a classic. Who on earth would want to work more than 48 hours, and how safe is it to do so? Gordon Brown wants to keep his Veto and so do the Conservatives. I say if British people are not earning enough from working under 48 hours then we have a serious problem.

It's all about keeping the British economy running at the cost of the poorest paid.

12:44 am, November 10, 2008

Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

Luke and Ted,
It looks like Luke's faith in Jim Murphy is vindicated, as I can only assume he had some hand in helping us win this seat.

4:34 pm, November 10, 2008


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