Friday, July 25, 2008

Labour Takes It In The Shorts

The socialist Labour Party was trounced in mid-term elections two months ago, and now, in a by election, have lost possibly the safest seat they had, Glasgow East. The Tories are publicly urging PM Gordon Brown to call another general election and even one Labour MP has now called for Brown to step down.

This from the Telegraph:

Challenged by David Cameron, the Conservative leader, to call a general election after the loss of Glasgow East to the Scottish National Party, Mr Brown said he was "getting on with the job".

Preparing to meet trade union leaders in Warwick, the Prime Minister said: "We've got to listen and hear people's concerns and that's exactly what we are doing. People are worried every time they go to the petrol station for fuel and worry about the costs. These are concerns that are happening in every other country.

"My full focus is on taking people through these difficult times."

But Graham Stringer, a former minister and the MP for Manchester Blackley, added to the pressure on his leader by becoming the first Labour MP to publicly urging for Mr Brown to consider his position.

Mr Stringer said the Cabinet must have a "closed and honest discussion,” adding: “We need a new start and that can only come from a debate around the leadership.”

In one of the biggest electoral upsets of recent times, the Scottish National Party candidate John Mason last night overturned a huge 13,507 majority in Glasgow East and clinched the former Labour stronghold from the Labour candidate, Margaret Curran, by 365 votes.

Speaking earlier outside his home in west London, Mr Cameron said the result showed that voters were telling the Prime Minister: "We think you're failing and we want change."

Mr Cameron said: "I wonder whether we can put up with this for another 18 months.

. . . This morning Des Browne, the Scottish Secretary, admitted that it had been a "bad night" for Labour. But he said that the party had recovered from previous by-election disasters and could do so again. He maintained that Mr Brown was the best leader for the country in difficult times.

. . . The defeat sends a chilling message about Labour's electoral prospects to already dissatisfied party backbenchers, the majority of whom enjoy much smaller majorities. Labour's collapse in a working class area also suggests that the party's traditional support is joining the middle classes in turning their backs on the party.

This morning Nicola Sturgeon, the SNP deputy leader, said that if the result were replicated at the next general election, Labour would be left with only one MP in Scotland. She described the victory in Glasgow East as a "sensational, spectacular, epic result".

She said: "The cost of living, fuel prices and food prices were an enormous factor in this by-election. But also for the first time in history this was a by-election between two governments - the Labour Government in London and the SNP Government in Holyrood. Clearly the Labour Government is deeply unpopular."

Mr Brown has already seen a safe Labour seat lost in May when a 7,000 majority in Crewe and Nantwich was reversed by the Tories. Last month Labour came fifth in the Henley by-election. But for half a century, Labour has enjoyed political supremacy in the east end of Glasgow – the party's 25th safest seat in the country and its third most secure in Mr Brown's Scottish heartland.

In the poll, Mr Mason received 11,277 votes (43 per cent), beating Mrs Curran, who took 10,912 (42 per cent). The SNP's vote increased 26 percentage points on the 2005 General Election, while Labour's fell 19 points. . .

Read the entire article


MK said...

Good news this, but Gordon must stay, i implore Gordon to stay, fight on old chap. That way, there is no chance in hell that labour will be able to win the next election.

MK said...
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