Friday, 5 June 2009

Silver Lining Time

As Labour takes a beating in the English local elections, the good news is from Scotland, with two decisive council by-election gains from the SNP in Glasgow and North Lanarkshire and a third victory for Labour.

Two of the vacancies were created by Nationalist councillors standing down after becoming MSPs proved none too safe for the Nats. Iain Gray rightly claimed that these were "stunning" results for Labour in Scotland.

Ian Gray said: "It is a personal humiliation for Alex Salmond that two of the seats won were vacated by his SNP MSPs standing down from their dual council roles. Unlike their boss they gave up their dual mandate and voters replaced them with Labour."

In Drumchapel-Anniesland ward in Glasgow, Labour beat the SNP by 2,584 to 1,509 in first-preference votes.

In Coatbridge North and Glenboig (North Lanarkshire), Labour beat the SNP by 1,529 to 1,254 in first preferences.

And in East Dunbartonshire, Alan Moir won the Bishopbriggs South by-election following the sad death of local councillor and Provost, Alex Hannah. Alan Moir won 38 per cent of the first-preference votes, and an overall majority of 561 over the SNP.

These labour victories are a kick in the teeth for the Nationalist Party and, just possibly, an indicator that any upcoming General Election is not the foregone conclusion that opposition parties and the media foresee.

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