Friday, 3 June 2011

SNP chose their candidate for Inverclyde; Labour’s selection meeting Saturday

Things have started to move for the Inverclyde by-election despite the fact the date has yet to be set. The Labour MP David Cairns passed away last month and rumours of late June and September are circulating. With a gap of two months between the two suggested dates we could be in for a very short or a very long campaign.

It is the Scottish Nationalists who have been first to find their candidate as they have selected Anne McLaughlin to contest the by-election. The SNP were the nearest challengers to Labour here last year. She has fought numerous constituency elections for her party over the last decade and represented Glasgow during the second half of the last Scottish Parliament following the death of a regional MSP. She lost her seat in last month's elections having been selected eighth on the SNP's regional list.

Labour are also not wasting any time as there is a selection meeting due to take place this Saturday to choose their candidate. According to LabourList the local party will pick from the following:

  • Frankie Caldwell
  • Iain McKenzie
  • Martin McCluskey
  • Melanie Ward
  • David Whitton

As with all the by-elections thus far in this Parliament Labour are favourites to win. However, following their outstanding performance in the Scottish Parliament elections last month the SNP will hope to run Labour close. The Scottish Nationalists produced a 6.9% swing to come just 511 votes short of an unlikely gain in the Greenock and Inverclyde constituency, which is the closest equivalent to the Inverclyde seat Labour are defending in this by-election. The dynamics of this campaign are going to be vastly different to the Scottish Parliament one but this is likely to be the first by-election since the General Election where Labour's majority does not substantially increase. It's also worth remembering that Labour did much better in Scotland than the rest of the UK last year and so they are starting from a better position than in their other recent defences.

Here's the 2010 result:







Lib Dems







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