View Full Version : Brown Braces Himself for Defeat in Glenrothes By-Election ?

Thursday, November 6th, 2008, 11:46 AM
Brown braces himself for defeat in Glenrothes by-election

Gordon Brown is bracing himself for a by-election humiliation on his home turf as voters go to the polls today in Glenrothes.

Scottish Political Editor
Telegraph 10:32AM GMT 06 Nov 2008

Despite a last-minute campaign stop by John Prescott :D , the former Deputy Prime Minister, Labour is increasingly gloomy about its chances of holding the another former safe seat.......

Defeat to the Scottish National Party would represent a personal rejection for Mr Brown, who has broken with prime ministerial convention by twice campaigning and whose own constituency of Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath is next door.

It could also spell the end of the so-called 'Brown bounce' he has enjoyed since the onset of the financial crisis. Some Labour insiders predict the SNP's candidate, Peter Grant, winning a majority of more than a thousand.

A Number 10 insider said: "It's very hard to see us winning. Maybe if we had another week :( :| or two and we'd built a better organisation we might have done it, but as it stands, no."

One minister said: "A month ago Glenrothes looked like cliff-edge. We're still probably going to lose, but hopefully we can make it close enough to make the party look respectable."

Alex Salmond, the SNP leader and First Minister, has said that his party is pulling away from Labour and told the Daily Telegraph he is as confident of victory as before the Glasgow East by-election.

Mr Salmond said: "No Prime Minister in history has ever invested so much in one by-election. It (the result) is significant.

"The Labour campaign has run out of puff - they don't have the troops on the ground. I've never seen a more negative campaign and that makes it very difficult to mobilise the vote."

Mr Prescott refused to say whether Labour was in trouble if it cannot win a by-election in the constituency next to the Prime Minister's.

He said: "It's for people here in Glenrothes to make a decision. But I tell you what, the rest of the UK are quite glad that that's the man in charge and not (David) Cameron."

Although on paper, the SNP needs to overturn a 10,664 Labour majority, in Glasgow East the deficit was more than 13,500 and the Nationalists already hold the corresponding seat in the Scottish Parliament.

One Scottish Labour MP, who did not wish to be named, said the party was getting a lot of 'don't knows' on the doorstep.

The same phenomeonon was seen in Glasgow East among traditional Labour voters who did not want to admit they were switching sides.

Labour strategists deliberately decided to stage the campaign in the aftermath of the American presidential election in the hope of limiting the fall-out of another defeat.

Following the debacle in Glasgow East, they had all but written off holding the seat, which became vacant after the death from cancer of John MacDougall.

But the praise Mr Brown received for his 37billion plan to save banks from collapse persuaded him to throw everything, including a lot of his own political capital, into the Glenrothes campaign.

His wife, Sarah, has made at least half a dozen visits, while a series of Cabinet ministers, including Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, and Alistair Darling, the Chancellor, have also campaigned.

Jim Murphy, the Scottish Secretary, last week was "within striking distance" of victory but Labour insiders say the contest has swung back the Nationalists' way after they bombarded the constituency with 1,200 volunteers at the weekend.


I dont know. We shall soon see.....the downfall of Labour in Scotland can only mean better times ahead surely ?

Friday, November 7th, 2008, 11:37 AM

LABOUR SURVIVES as I feared it might. I suspect that it is indeed right to argue that the economic downturn ( chaos, downfall) is playing nicely into the hands of the lft - throughout the whole wide world ;) :(

There was even hint of British rebellion up there in Scotland - at least one tory gent interviewed was voting LABOUR to keep out the Nationalist (= leftwing, pro-EU !) ; the Labour party remains fundamentally Unionist and " pro-british" :D :(

Glenrothes by-election: Gordon Brown hails Labour victory as endorsement of handling of credit crisis

Labour's surprise victory in the Glenrothes by-election is an endorsement of the Government's handling of the credit crisis, Gordon Brown has said.

Telegraph 07 Nov 2008

After all but writing off the contest six weeks ago as lost to the SNP, Labour held the seat with a 6,737 majority – a far larger margin than either side expected in what was thought to be a tight contest.

The Prime Minister said: "What I have learned from this by-election is that people are prepared to support Governments that will help people through the downturn and offer real help to people.

"They are less willing to support people who have no idea about how to solve the problems we have got.''

Labour's victorious candidate, Lindsay Roy, said the result should end any doubts about the Prime Minister's leadership. He said: "With Gordon Brown, Britain is strong :D. With Gordon Brown, Labour has won here in Glenrothes and Central Fife."

Jim Murphy, the Scottish Secretary, also hailed the result as a personal triumph for Mr Brown :oanieyes , who along with his wife Sarah had broken with convention by campaigning in the Fife constituency, which neighbours his own.

He said: "The main reason would be that we had a Prime Minister who personally campaigned in the constituency, there's a great appreciation for the work that Gordon is doing and will continue to do.

"There's also a demand by the voters to see which of the parties has an answer to the big questions. The Labour Party under Gordon's leadership has answers to these big and difficult economic questions.

"The fact is it's a remarkable victory for Labour. It's the best victory we've had in Scotland since the 1970s in terms of the statistics and it's a very strong personal endorsement of Gordon Brown at a time of unprecedented economic difficulties facing the whole world.''

Nicola Sturgeon, the SNP deputy leader and Scottish Deputy First Minister, said that the party's vote had gone up, adding: "I won't pretend not to be deeply disappointed. I want to win every election we contest. But we did make progress last night.''

Mr Roy, the headteacher of Mr Brown's former school, won 19,946 votes, while Peter Grant, the SNP candidate and leader of Fife Council, got 13,209.

The total number of votes cast, including those for minor parties, was 36,220 and turnout was 52.4 per cent.

The win comes after Mr Brown was hailed by leaders around the world for his handling of the economic crisis and his plan to bail out British banks.

Recent opinion polls have shown the Prime Minister has begun clawing back the lead opened up by the Conservatives. Last week a YouGov/Telegraph poll found the Tories' advantage had fallen from 24 points to nine in the past five months......

((deep recession's bite awaited this winter ??))

The plaudits he received for his handling of the economic crisis convinced Mr Brown to throw everything at the by-election effort. In a risky tactic tying himself to the result, he and his wife Sarah made several visits to the constituency.

A defeat in the seat, which neighbours Mr Brown's own and is traditionally a Labour stronghold, would have brought an abrupt halt to the momentum gathering behind the Prime Minister, and could have re-opened the debate on his leadership.

The loss of Glasgow East on a 22.5 per cent swing to the SNP earlier this year triggered a summer of party in-fighting, during which some Labour MPs dismissed Mr Brown's chances of ever successfully leading the party into an election and called for him to quit. That defeat came after others in Crewe and Nantwich and Henley.

The Glenrothes result is also a major humiliation for Alex Salmond, the SNP leader, who 48 hours previously had confidently predicted victory for his party. Mr Salmond had even attempted to tie the party to Barack Obama, the US president-elect, by using his slogan "Yes we can". ;) :(

At the party's conference last month, Mr Salmond spoke about victory in the by-election in the past tense, saying: "The Glasgow East and Glenrothes by-elections put us well on our way to reach our target of 20 MPs at the Westminster election."

However, Labour strategists had agreed with Mr Salmond's assessment and were still privately conceding defeat as the votes were being counted. They appeared shell-shocked when it emerged they had actually won and the scale of the victory became apparent.

In his victory speech, Mr Roy said the result was a reflection of voter anger at Fife council increasing charges for home care and making cuts to education budgets.

He repeated his belief that Mr Brown had been responsible for the party's turnaround, saying: "I pledge my support to the leader of this country, someone who has worked very hard on behalf of all of us, not just in Fife, but in Scotland and the UK during these volatile economic times."

He pledged to hold the SNP administration at Holyrood to account for cuts to council services and paid lengthy tribute to Mr Brown's economic legacy, which he said included low interest rates.

Putting on a brave face, Mr Grant said: "We have seen the SNP vote in this constituency increase by almost 50 per cent on what it was a few years ago. That is a magnificent result by any standards, without taking anything away from the achievement Labour have managed."

However, the distraught reaction of SNP activists when details of the defeat emerged an hour earlier told a truer story.

The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats both lost their deposits :oanieyes . The Tories' Maurice Golden came third with 1,381, while the Liberal Democrat vote collapsed. Harry Wills, the party's candidate, got 947 votes.

Friday, November 7th, 2008, 02:11 PM
Mr Salmond had even attempted to tie the party to Barack Obama, the US president-elect, by using his slogan "Yes we can". ;) :(

Convenient lies by the leftist press. Obama is the thief, whilst Salmond is recalling a landmark of British popular culture - Bob the Builder, who was the significant historical first to sport the "Yes we can" slogan. ;)



Friday, November 7th, 2008, 04:09 PM
Convenient lies by the leftist press. Obama is the thief, whilst Salmond is recalling a landmark of British popular culture - Bob the Builder, who was the significant historical first to sport the "Yes we can" slogan. ;)


ok. well that explains what happened in America :D. But as local moderator what is your view of the above result - or is that beyond your remit?

British and Proud
Sunday, November 9th, 2008, 03:36 PM
I can only think that Brown's success here has something to do with him being a "local laddie", because I just cannot understand why anybody would vote Labour.

Sunday, November 9th, 2008, 08:23 PM
ah. B & P - but then you are not Scots I take it .... they have some curious voting bevaviours up there ;) If its not one thing ... its another!

British and Proud
Monday, November 10th, 2008, 07:24 PM
Last edited by Chlodovech : 1 Day Ago at 05:08 PM. Reason: Have a look at rule #2

Please accept my apology, it was meant as a joke. The fact is though, people who vote Labour in today's climate must be retarded. :|