Glenrothes: Labour defies predictions to shrug off SNP byelection challenge
The votes have been cast, and Labour has pulled off a stunning victory in yesterday's by-election. Observers will likely see this as a sign of continued recovery for prime minister Gordon Brown, who has been gaining in the polls after his performance during the economic crisis.
Labour pulled off a stunning byelection victory in the early hours of this morning, defying predictions to retain the once safe Labour seat of Glenrothes in the first indication that Gordon Brown's heightened international standing and handling of the financial crisis has translated into improved electoral fortunes.
Labour's candidate, Lindsay Roy, coasted to an unexpected victory with a majority of 6,737 over the Scottish National party with an increase of 3% of the vote, although there was a swing to SNP from Labour by 4.96%. While the margin was down a third on the 2005 general election, the win will be seen as a huge personal boost for Brown.
Roy, who was given a hero's welcome when he stepped on to the platform early this morning, mentioned the prime minister several times in his acceptance speech. "With Gordon Brown, Britain is strong. With Gordon Brown, Labour has won here in Glenrothes and central Fife," he said. "I pledge my support to the leader of this country," he said. "Someone who has worked very hard on behalf of all of us, not just in Fife, but in Scotland and the UK during these volatile economic times."