Glasgow East tactical voting

The latest (You Gov) poll news is encouraging for the SNP:-

On Westminster voting intentions:

SNP 33%
Labour 29%
Conservative 20%
Liberal Democrats 14%

On who people want to see win the Glasgow East byelection:

SNP 49%
Labour 33%
Conservative 9%
Liberal Democrats 6%
Others 3%

This poll is a Scotland wide one, not just based in Glasgow East.

However it may just show that both the Liberal Democrat vote and the Conservative vote is open to a lot of tactical voting in the Glasgow East constituency. The Liberal Democrats fall from 14% to 6%; the Conservatives fall from 20% to 9%. In other words both votes fall by over 50% if there is a chance of kicking out Gordon Brown.

This was the 2005 result:-

Labour 18775 60.68%
SNP 5268 17.03%
Liberal Democrat 3665 11.85%
Conservative 2135 6.90%
SSP 1096 3.54%

If the SNP got half the Liberal Democrat vote and half the Conservative vote (2900 votes) that would amount to a 9.37% swing. That would give a bit of margin for error in the attempt to woe the Labour vote.

It is widely reported that the SNP need a massive 22% swing from Labour to win this seat.

But if the SNP get tactical votes (maybe the 9.37% swing calculated from the poll) from the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives this will be easier to achieve.

Put it this way, can the SNP convince 1 out of 3 Labour voters to vote for them? All the anecdotal evidence in newspapers seem to suggest a lot of switching votes is happening.

That’s over a 20% swing right there. The history of byelections show that such a swing is not impossible.

But that’s the hard bit. The canvassing, campaigning etc. I’ve already mentioned how few local Labour activists there are in the constituency. The SNP expect an increase of 500 activists this weekend to add to their already considerable numbers.

An SNP win here would be remarkable. Labour (with Independent Labour) has held this area since 1922, when Red Clydesider John Wheatley won Glasgow Shettleston. The SNP were formed in 1934.

If Labour lost Glasgow East could Gordon Brown survive?

It has become the most politically important byelection of our times.


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