Saturday, 5 July 2008

Will the Real Labour Candidate Please Make Themselves Known

It's like watching the reveal on Never Mind the Buzzcocks.

Yesterday Labour were all set to select their candidate, favourite being George Ryan, for the Glasgow East By Election. On paper it's one of the safest seats Labour have in the entire UK and you'd expect them to be beating down the door to have a change to stand there. Mr Ryan failed to show up stating family reasons. On the way over to the constituency myself this morning I heard that Stephen Purcell was now the favoured person to be the Labour candidate.

So you can imagine my shock that later on the radio in the Lib Dem Headquarters I heard he had stepped out of the race too and that the MSP for Ballieston Margaret Curren (cited last week as a potential Scottish Labour leader) was now the candidate de jure. The slection meeting is now set back to Monday evening, we can only hope everyone turns up this time. It beggars the question that should she still manage to be the candidate come close of nomination (we won't hold our breathes on that one) and then should labour manage to hold this seat(again not worth risking a trip to the bookies), will she then resign one of her seats to concentrate on the other. After all this is just what Labour have been telling Alex Salmond off since last may for not doing. Therefore could the Ballieston constituency be facing a second by election later in the year should they elect a Labour MP.

The press seem none the wiser either. When then came to the office to interview Ian Robertson they seemed as perplexed as the rest of us as to just what Labour were up to, or possibly just why nobody in Glasgow, of all places, seemed prepared to stand for what labour stand for. Maybe Labour candidates are like the rest of us and no longer quite sure what that is. Interesting if wet times in Glasgow East.

Also the Labour local party are probably now ruing the fact that this election was called by their Westminster masters for July 24th. They will only have 16 full days of having a candidate in place before the first votes are cast on polling day.

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