Labour secures Glasgow North East

By staff

Labour comfortably won the Glasgow North East by-election overnight with a majority of 8,111.

Willie Bain, a law lecturer, won 12,231 votes, while SNP candidate David Kerr only received 4,120.

The Tories came third, ahead of the BNP, who lost their deposit.

The Liberal Democrats came sixth with just 474 votes, after left-wing party Solidarity, who had former MSP Tommy Sheridan as their candidate.

Turnout stood at 32.97 per cent – a record low for a Scottish by-election.

“This is a resounding victory for Gordon Brown and Labour,” Mr Bain said.

“People have had their say. They have backed Gordon Brown in his efforts to secure our economic recovery, they have sent a resounding ‘No’ to Alex Salmond and his treatment of our great city and a resounding ‘No’ to David Cameron.”

Defeated candidate Mr Kerr said: “Our message through the campaign was simple.

“For all the problems this constituency and this country face, our potential is far greater still.

“But it is a potential that will only be achieved through freedom.”

Labour officials were selling the result as proof of Gordon Brown’s consistent popularity north of the border. The prime minister visited the constituency last Friday, something he did not do when Labour lost Glasgow East to the SNP.

But analysts cite Labour’s decision to fight the battle as an opposition against the incumbent SNP government, a tactic which can’t be replicated at the general election.

The victory means Labour’s 74-year stint as the dominant party in the constituency will continue uninterrupted.

Meanwhile, police have begun investigating two alleged incidents of voting fraud during yesterday’s vote.

Three ballot papers are under investigation.

A council spokesman told the BBC: “We had two incidents at polling stations where voters turned up and when they identified themselves they were told their names had already been scored off the list – somebody had been given a vote in their name.”

“We checked our processes to ensure it wasn’t a mistake, it wasn’t as far as we can see, so we called in the police.”