I see that William Hill has changed their prices to bring them in line with the other bookmakers:-
SNP — 8/11
Labour — evens
Conservatives — 25/1
Liberal Democrats — 33/1
So now the only bookie that was backing Labour to win, now thinks the SNP will win.
The Liberal Democrats have named their candidate as Ian Robertson. He previously stood in the Westminster election of 2005 in the Rutherglen and Hamilton West seat, increasing their share of the vote by 6.7% – mainly from Labour voters – and squeezing past the SNP to go into second place. Given the state of the Liberal Democrats in Scotland now I think he’ll be lucky to keep their vote share but nonetheless he has a decent pedigree.
The SNP have also named their candidate as the Baillieston councillor John Mason. He has served on Glasgow City Council since 1998 and is the Glasgow SNP’s longest serving councillor. He also happens to be the most popular councillor in Glasgow – having the highest personal vote of any councillor in Glasgow, and the 4th highest vote in Scotland!
When he was first elected in 1998 he achieved a swing of 17.45% from Labour to the SNP. Can he manage to pull off a 22% swing?
Since Baillieston is a large part of the Glasgow East constituency this should be a shrewd move, capitalising on his local support. John lives in the East End and has done for the last 18 years.
The Scottish Socialist Party have named their candidate as Frances Curran; the joint leader of the party alongside Colin Fox. This clearly shows an intent by the SSP to try and take the socialist vote from the Solidarity Party, the other socialist party headed by Tommy Sheridan.
Both Labour and Solidarity are expected to name their candidates later today. I would guess that George Ryan (Labour) and Tommy Sheridan (Solidarity) would be the favourites.
If Tommy Sheridan does run, his high personal profile will probably take votes from both Labour and the SNP, making any result ridiculously hard to call.
And that will make Gordon Brown very nervous indeed.