Is Labour really less certain than it was?
With the by-election in Glasgow North East due to take place a week on Thursday there’s been an easing of the Labour price and a tightening of the SNP in the battle to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Michael Martin.
Quite what’s driving this is not clear but the two leading contenders had a lot of activists out over the weekend and maybe the SNP are starting to get more confident.
But be warned! We got this same message from Salmond’s party at Glenrothes, almost exactly a year ago, and we saw the surprise Labour victory.
Clearly Labour would love a victory here in what’s likely to be the final by election before the general election and we know that in Scotland the party has been faring better than in the rest of the UK.
It’s a long time since June when Martin stepped down and a lot of work has gone on building the electoral roll by increasing voter registration. We also know that a big effort has been going on to get postal votes.
This one is hard to read because for time that Martin spent as speaker there were not normal general election encounters. On the face of it we are looking at a Labour win on a reduced turnout. But why are punters now backing the SNP?
Technically if Labour do win then it is a Labour gain – previously it was held by the Speaker.
Glasgow North East betting
PaddyPower 8/11 Labour: 1/1 SNP: 25/1 John Smeaton: 80/1 bar
Ladbrokes 8/13 Labour: 6/5 SNP: 25/1 John Smeaton: 100/1 bar