Victorious Bain claims ‘jobs’ won Glasgow North East

By Alex Stevenson

Glasgow North East by-election victor Willie Bain has said unemployment was the key issue which helped him retain the seat for Labour.

Mr Bain, who saw off a Scottish National party (SNP) challenge with a majority of 8,111, said his constituents had made a choice between Labour investment against the Conservatives.

His constituency is one of the most deprived in the country and suffers from crippling unemployment rates.

“It’s a Labour MP working with the Labour government who can bring jobs back to this doorstep,” he told journalists the morning after his victory.

Mr Bain said the Scottish National party (SNP) had also suffered as a result of the poll.

He said first minister Alex Salmond, who had visited the constituency several times, had been “soundly rebuffed”, adding: “The SNP have not treated Glasgow well on a range of issues.”

Scottish secretary Jim Murphy hailed Mr Bain’s victory as “historic” as he balanced credit for the win between “a brilliant candidate” and “Gordon Brown’s leadership”.

“A year ago we lost a by-election in the neighbouring constituency. It was a low point for the Labour party. But we regrouped, we learned those lessons. This was a dramatic victory,” he said.

Labour’s campaign focused on opposition to the SNP government in Scotland, a tactic which appeared to work effectively.

“The people of the SNP are too big for their boots… and they’ve been brought back down to Earth with a bump,” Mr Murphy added.

“It’s a two-horse race and the SNP are non-runners in that contest… we confounded all the pundits.”

Glasgow North East has voted Labour MPs to parliament for the last 74 years.