ICM’s poll in Glasgow East has voting intentions of CON 7%, LAB 47%, LDEM 9%, SNP 33%. The caveats I mentioned in the post below about the Crewe and Nantwich polls and the trickiness of polling in Glasgow East all apply – but the 14 point Labour lead seems pretty solid. These figures actually represent a huge swing from Labour to the SNP of 14.8%, but a seat as safely Labour as this would need far more than that to fall.

23 Responses to “Labour ahead in Glasgow East”

  1. On these figures I would predict Labour to sneak through with a majority of less than 1000 (similar to Monklands East 1994).

    Gordon Brown will claim victory, Scottish Labour will claim that the SNP bubble has burst, and Salmond and Cameron will laugh all the way the way to the referendum / Westminster election (delete as appropriate).


  2. I should probably add that I had some dealings with Margaret Curran in her role as MSP, and remember her as very committed to social justice and very competent. Just the person Labour should have adopted as first choice candidate, and not as desperate fourth choice behind a corrupt local councillor, a council leader who loves to bond with developers, and a neighborouring (male) MSP with a very uninspiring record.

    That the first three were Gordon Brown’s choices says much about his understanding of Labour in Scotland. And the funny/tragic thing about Wendy Alexander is that she understood the problems very well, but failed because of London Labour resistance to her ideas and because she got in a mess over things when she copied the Westminster way.

  3. This is too substantial and too heavy a structure for the SNP to demolish I think.

    Glasgow is not a city I know atall (apart from travelling into), so am willing to be corrected.
    I just wonder whether the SNP quite understands the priorities of people who live in an area such as this, and will be somewhat taken back that it doesn’t crumble – although they won’t admit it.

  4. Both the vote prediction and Christian’s are very credible.

    Labour are undoubtedly in a bad situation, but is it possible that it can be so bad that they lose here?

    I’m still trying to get my mind around the concept. Could the Conservatives lose Kensington and Chelsea?

    One hand clapping, anyone?

    ..but just suppose they did? What then?

  5. I think that this is just the result from an early poll that the SNP wanted. It shows momentum to the SNP but not enough panic Labour supporters. The SNP group will continue to strive to close the gap in the last two weeks and will keep working strongly.

    Labour must make sure that their supporters don’t see this as an inevitable win in a stronghold and ease up or go on their vacation.

    A 15% swing is not to be ignored and anything can happen in the next two weeks.

    Turnout will have a big part to play and if the SNP vote is energized and the Labour vote is apathetic or complacent, anything can happen.

    This looks like a recipe for a major last minute upset.

  6. Could it be that Cameron’s diatribe about the fat, poor and unemployed given in Glasgow East was intended to stiffen the spine of local Labour supporters in a seat where the Tories can’t win? Surely the Tories don’t want to keep Gordon do they? Not that much?

  7. The article describes the poll as ‘a major boost for Gordon Brown’.

    I think things are pretty desperate if a 15 swing away from you in Glasgow East is described as a ‘major boost’

  8. If the SNP scraped this – which I doubt – then the SNP MP would be facing the dole in a year or two.
    It’s not really much to write home about.

  9. AuldCurmudgeon, its difficult to know what the best result for the Tories here is. Personally, I would have thought the last thing they want is for GB to be forced out and have a new PM who could do better, get a honeymoon period etc. If it was intended to stiffen Labour support then it may have worked. He gets a serious message across to England which went down well with the media and at the same time helping the Glasgow East Labour effort!

  10. “Could it be that Cameron’s diatribe about the fat, poor and unemployed given in Glasgow East was intended to stiffen the spine of local Labour supporters in a seat where the Tories can’t win? Surely the Tories don’t want to keep Gordon do they? Not that much?”

    Are people still cluthing to claptrap and whishy washy bull like that?

    In today’s Sunday Times polls show the conservatives are on 47% nationally and that 72% of the public agree “most overweight and obese people have themselves to blame because they eat too much and take too little exercise”.

  11. I think the Tories want GB out asap. Cameron can deal with Salmond – Salmond likes money as his fascination with Trump shows.The only party GB is good for is the BNP.

  12. Adrian,

    Difficult indeed to know what the best outcome is from a Tory perspective.

    Whether the SNP win or Labour hold on is outside Tory control. On balance, I think it is more important for the Tories to hold their share of the vote, and if possible, edge past LDs into 3rd place.

    It is better to get a good Tory result (anything over 10% represents a significant gain, in the teens would be ideal) to demonstrate that the Conservative party has restored its credibility north of the border.

    If John Mason does win, it would strengthen the SNP. So, from a Unionist angle, a Labour hold would be preferable. On the other hand, as JJB notes above, a win will surely only be temporary, with the seat reverting to Labour at the next election, so it does not of itself hasten independance.

    But, losing such a safe seat will do significant damage to Labour, not just in Scotland, but also in Westminster, where no MP would feel safe, and so put Brown under continued pressure over the summer.

    However, a Labour loss, while it would reinforce the likelihood of a Labour rout and a large Tory majority at the next election, is unlikely to bring the general election a day (or week or month) nearer, because only those Labour MPs who are planning to retire have any incentive to bring the government down, so the country will still have to wait until 6 May 2010.

    A Labour hold on the other hand could embolden GB to think that things were back under contriol and so cut and run at some stage sooner.

    It is possible that a loss may lead to a change of PM, who may in turn choose to seek his/her own mandate. It may also be the “best” outcome for the country it it restored a little credibility to our government. But, on current indicators, any new leader would only be a “stop-gap” or caretaker, with defeat looming only months later – the Euro and County Council elections on 4 June 2009 are unlikely to bode well for Labour. On that basis who would want to take up such a poisoned chalice for the sake of being PM for a brief while ?

    Win or lose, I doubt that the result will lead to a change in either the PM or the date of the general election. I am resigned to waiting until 2010 for Gordon to leave Downing Street.

  13. To lose Glasgow East may hasten GBs demise, but I don’t think that this would happen in the immediate short-term, so my feeling is that Cameron fears continued growth of the SNP with regard to potential tory target seats in Scotland at the general election more than he fears the minimal impact their by-election success would have on unionist policy.

    Additionally I think it is a matter of judgement whether a Cameron administration would desire to take over at the current point in the economic cycle, despite the possibility that his current poll lead might yet be wiped out before he gets a chance to fight a general election.

    Therefore from a polling point of view looking ahead to the prospects at a general election the most interesting battle will be to see whether the Conservatives can squeeze into third place, or indeed if they are actually trying to.

  14. Well I am just back from my trip to Glasgow and I’ve rarely met so many people who were so up beat and ready to go.

    I’ll post the rest of my views on the Glasgow east page, but from my time in the constituency I’d say that the seat is winnable but for a number of reasons almost impossible to predict.


  15. This by-election is just a blip on the political map – it neither matters one way or the other / it’s a strong Labour heartland seat that no Tory or Liberal could ever win – the only contenders could only be the sister party to Labour – the SNP ! One’s as bad as the other – both on the extreme left of politics .

    There will obviously be a lot of tactical voting going on in this by-election , I absolutely do not think either the Tories or Liberals will get anything near 10% – their voters will vote SNP to hurt Labour.

    Scotland does not figure at the moment in the sea change happening in British politics – certainly not in this by-election anyway – it’s the general election that Scotland will make it’s mark – however small & slightly insignificant .

  16. We all know that polling is an inexact science, and polling companies try to weigh samples to be as accurate as possible. However, when the weighting is off, the conclusion may be off.

    Let us look at the unweighted samples from the ICM survey. They appear to make this race far closer than the published results.

    Raw unweighted voting preference (Table 1, line 1, unweighted base) (vote/516)

    Labour 131 (25.4)
    SNP 124 (24.0)
    Cons 28 ( 5.4)
    LibDem 10 ( 1.9)
    Others 10 ( 1.9)
    Refused/DK 213 (41.3)

    Number of persons indicating they will vote and giving a response: 303 (58.7% of those contacted.
    Number of persons NOT indicating how they will vote or undecided: 213 (41.3% of those contacted)

    Voting preference by percentage using unweighted preference. (vote/303)

    Labour 131 (43.2)
    SNP 124 (40.9)
    Cons 28 (9.2)
    LibDem 10 (3.3)
    Others 10 (3.3)


    The ICM decisions on weighting have inflated Labour vote and reduced the vote of the other parties. Based on unweighted responses the margin between the two parties is less than the margin of error of this small sample size.

  17. Brian,

    A second factor is that although people were asked about how they voted previously namely 2005, some may well have given their preference from 2007 when the SNP vote was higher.

    This would have the effect once weighted of further depressing the SNP share. having been down I’d say that the true figure as of last weekend was 43% to 41% than 46% to 33%. Either way there is a fairly large margin of error in a sample of only 300.

    Still given the nature of the constituency and the probable turnout we really can’t say how it will turn out.


  18. Unbelievable, does ICM really weigh according to stated vote in the 2005 parliamentary election? If they do that, then I think Peter is right to say he’s got a chance. (Especially that since to most Scots the ‘Parliament’ sits in Edinburgh while the 2005 election were for the ‘Westminster Parliament’).

    Still, you don’t turn round that type of seat in just three weeks. The important questions that most of us cannot answer are (a) did the SNP had a decent campaign on the ground in the last few years and (b) will Labour get a good campaign together.

    On (a) it should be noted that one the hand hand neither Bailleston nor Shettleston wer SNP target seats in 2007, on the other hand Bailleston is their best ward. Peter would obviously know the answer to this, but can we trust his answer ;-)

    On (b) I believe if Labour run only a semi-decent campaign, they’d hold. But are they able to do so? They have actually managed it in a number of parts in Glasgow in recent times (Cathcart 2005 by-election, Kelvin 2007 anyone), but Glasgow East seems very much like a rotten borough. (And David Marshall a very lazy MP, if not worse.)

  19. To answer Christian, let me offer this.

    When the Labour party started the campaign, they tried to find any records from past campaign. There were non. Its seems the Glasgow East was so safe in the last two decades that Marshall spent most of his time campaigning for other candidates. Labour would postal drop a few leaflets and regularly received over 60% of the vote.

    Further when Margaret Curran was chosen as candidate, the vote was 46-2. After a frantic weekend trying to find a candidate, Labour could only turn up 48 local Labour supporters from the riding.

    Lastly, the SNP has been averaging over 100 workers per day with numbers over 300 on weekends. According to the media, they have already completed one sweep of the entire riding and are working on their second.

    Labour may win, but it will not be as a result of their campaign but in spite of it.

  20. this is a walk in the park for the SNP. labour is finished here in england and will lose scotland to Salmond.

  21. Interesting, Brian.

    Some friends who live in the East End also say the Nats are everywhere and Labour nowhere.

    Still, there are lots of traditional Labour supporters who need worked on hard otherwise they will continue to vote Labour no matter what.

    And the SNP cannot afford a single mistake, while Labour only needs one good move.

    On the other hand, what could sink Labour could be good ‘exposure’ of Marshall’s expenses. Thanks to FoI it would get out eventually, but how much will get out before next Thursday?

  22. Having spent some time in Glasgow East during the last ten days I have been very impressed with the sNP campaign. It is highly visible with a great many activists involved. Labour’s campaign by comparison seems moribund.

    If it is close and I think it is then it will come down to organisation and who is capale of identifying their vote and getting them to the polls.

    My bet is the SNP know where their support is better than Labour so we could be looking at a major SNP win.

  23. The SNP candidate bullied SNP MSP Dorothy grace eleder out of the party. So hopefully that will impact on him as a candidate. One other thing is I fully expect the tories to not even save their deposit. What will the reaction be if they finish behind the smaller parties too. Could they be worse than 5th. There is a strong showing from some of the smaller socialist parties, that also contesting the election. :