Brown faces fresh by-election as Labour MP John MacDougall dies
It's safe to say that the last thing UK prime minister Gordon Brown needs tight now is another by-election, but it looks like that's exactly what he's getting. Labour MP John MacDougall, who represented Glenrothes, Scotland, has passed away. The prospect of another defeat at the hands of the Scottish National Party in Brown's home country of Scotland may give more backing to David Milliband, who is thought to be preparing to challenge Brown for the leadership in the Fall.
Gordon Brown is facing another crucial by-election in his Scottish political backyard following the death of John McDougall, the Labour MP for Glenrothes.
Mr McDougall, an MP since 2001, died last night after a short illness aged 60. He held a majority over the SNP at the last election of 11,000.
That would be enough for Labour to hold the seat in normal circumstances. However, following the Glasgow East by-election last month, when a swing of 22 per cent to the Nationalists brought the SNP the seat, Glenrothes is vulnerable as the SNP needs only a swing of 17 per cent this time.
What gives the prospect of a by-election in the seat extra piquancy is that it is close to Gordon Brown's own seat of Kirkcaldy and also close to where he has his constituency home.