Friday, November 07, 2008

Shock victory puts the bounce back into Brown.

No matter how many times David Cameron pronounces Gordon Brown's political career to be dead in the water, Brown simply refuses to lie still and accept that it's over.

When Labour lost Glasgow East it set off tremors within the party and a silly discussion over whether or not David Miliband should take over from Brown.

So Cameron must have been looking forward to the Glenrothes by-election with glee in the hope that he - through his proxy Alex Salmond of the SNP - could finally drive a stake through Gordon's heart. The only problem for Cameron was... it didn't happen.

Labour pulled off a stunning byelection victory in the early hours of this morning, defying predictions to retain the once safe Labour seat of Glenrothes in the first indication that Gordon Brown's heightened international standing and handling of the financial crisis has translated into improved electoral fortunes.

Labour's candidate Lindsay Roy coasted to an unexpected victory with a majority of 6,737 over the Scottish National party with an increase of 3% of the vote, although there was a swing to SNP from Labour by 4.96%. While the margin was down a third on the 2005 general election, the win will be seen as a huge personal boost for Brown.

Roy, who was given a hero's welcome when he stepped on to the platform early this morning, mentioned the prime minister several times in his acceptance speech. "With Gordon Brown, Britain is strong. With Gordon Brown, Labour has won here in Glenrothes and central Fife," he said. "I pledge my support to the leader of this country," he said. "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."

Now it may well be that the fact that Brown's constituency is in nearby Kirkaldy makes him almost the local boy in all this but one must also consider that the way that Brown has handled the economic crisis may have raised his standing amongst voters in a way which should worry Cameron. Just as the Democrats in the United States benefited from the economic downturn it would appear that Brown is considered more serious when it comes to such matters than Cameron is.

After all, Cameron like McCain has yet to find the language to explain why the economic policies that his party has been expounding for thirty years - deregulate and allow the market free reign - has resulted in such economic catastrophe.

Because if there was ever a time for the SNP to take a seat like Glenrothes it was surely during a by-election when voters traditionally register protest votes.

One thing is clear here, news of Brown's death appears to have been greatly exaggerated.

Click title for full article.

No comments: