Are there any chances of an upset?
At last we have it – the date for the Glasgow NE by election to fill the vacancy created when former speaker, Michael Martin, stepped down as an MP in June.
It’ll take place on November 12th which is just over a year after Labour’s stunning victory in Glenrothes when extraordinarily the total of votes cast for the party exceeded that at the general election.
Clearly all the parties, particularly Labour, have used the long gap to plan for November 12th and, as we saw in the massive PH marginals poll, the party is doing much better north of the border than elsewhere.
One interesting element could be the performance of “The Jury Team” candidate, John Smeaton, the former baggage handler at Glasgow Airport who became a national hero two years ago for what he did to thwart the 2007 terrorist attack.
A lot here could depend on the campaign and it’s hard to see how “The Jury Team” can mobilise enough supporters to run against Labour and the SNP. In by elections the critical thing is to identify you supporters and have an operation that gets them to the polling station. I’d guess that Smeaton followers could be thin on the ground.
This new party which back provides a framework for independents has been looking for an opportunity to compete where it might stand a chance and is resting a lot on Smeaton.
Ladbrokes now make their prices – 8/13 Labour; 6/4 SNP; 7/1 John Smeaton (Jury Team).