Tag Archives: glasgow north east

Labour Party under fire for breaking Code of Conduct on postal voting

The Electoral Commission’s report into the November 2009 Parliamentary by-election in Glasgow North East has condemned the Labour Party for breaking the Code of Conduct on postal voting, saying the party repeatedly failed to process postal vote forms promptly.

The Code allows parties to distribute to the public forms for signing up to postal votes and to have them returned to a party address. This makes sense in circumstances such as the forms being in with a mailing which also asks for donations to the campaign where giving two different return addresses could result in items going to the wrong place and council staff having to send on political donations to the right address.

However, to guard against misuse the Code – whose provisions the Labour Party has been consulted on annually and each year said it consents to – requires such forms to be passed on by a political party within two working days of receipt.

In Glasgow North East this deadline was broken by the Labour Party and the Electoral Commission says that, “When the Commission reported the concerns that the party had unduly delayed the return of applications for postal votes to the ERO, his staff undertook a spot-check of those applications and discovered that more than 100 forms had been signed and dated by the elector more than a week earlier, and in some cases, more than one month earlier.”

The Labour Party has however defended its actions, with The Guardian reporting that, “The commission’s conclusions were vigorously challenged by the Labour party, which will be asking the commission to justify its report’s conclusions, a spokesman disclosed. He said the report had ignored the significant impact on the delivery of postal vote applications by the postal strike, which had seriously affected every party’s campaign, despite this being highlighted in meetings between Labour and commission officials.”

The Commission was also critical of the long delay by Labour before calling the by-election. “The procedures for calling a by-election are complex and in this instance led to voters being without an MP for nearly five months,” said Jenny Watson, Chair of the Electoral Commission. “The Electoral Commission believes the UK Parliament should consider how long a Westminster seat should be able to remain vacant to ensure voters can elect a new MP in a timely way.”

You can read the full report here:

Glasgow North East By-Election: Electoral Commission Report

Posted in Election law and Parliamentary by-elections | Also tagged , , and | 6 Comments

Latest turnout news: bring on the curate’s egg

A rather mixed tale from the latest election turnout figures I’ve been looking at. Given how I’ve previously blogged about how figures showing turnout on the up usually get overlooked or misquoted by the media, it is only fair to present the less good evidence too.

First, Glasgow North East. Widely reported as having the lowest turnout ever in a Scottish by-election, the 33% turnout figure is certainly not good. The fall on the last general election, at 11%, puts it in the mid-range of Scottish by-elections this Parliament though, with the other changes having been -4, -6, -12 and -20. …

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Haggis, Neeps and Liberalism #11: Lessons from Glasgow North East

Labour’s crushing victory in the Glasgow North East By-election was hailed by the victor Willie Bain as a resounding endorsement of Gordon Brown and a “a resounding ‘No’ to David Cameron.” Well, maybe in Glasgow North East, but I suspect extrapolating the Labour victory in this constituency as having huge implications across the UK political scene would be foolish.

The SNP said throughout the Glasgow North East campaign that the by-election was a two horse race and, after the nationalist victory in Glasgow East last year, victory for them was possible. A case of all too predictable SNP hope over reality. Over the years, the SNP has had a bit of a habit of sensing victory where none exists. Remember the Dunfermline and West Fife by-election, so comprehensively won by Willie Rennie? If you’d have believed Alex Salmond a day or so before polling day, SNP victory was certain. In fact, they came a poor third.

Posted in Op-eds, Parliamentary by-elections and Scotland | Also tagged and | 12 Comments

Daily View 2×2: 8 November 2009

It’s Sunday. It’s 7am. It’s time to find out how peanut butter is made. But first, the news.

2 Big Stories

Gordon Brown floats idea of tax on financial transactions

Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s idea of a financial transactions tax has received a lukewarm response from G20 countries.

The proposal, which took delegates by surprise at the meeting in St Andrew’s overshadowed other items on the agenda.

The US said it would “not support” a transaction tax and Canada added it was “not an idea we would look at”.

The Conservatives said that Downing Street had previously “poured cold water on this proposal” and that the Treasury had called it “unworkable”.

Chancellor Alistair Darling said the leaders had agreed the International Monetary Fund should now consider the possibility of introducing an international transactions tax, which would be used to create a fund for bank bailouts. (BBC)

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Glasgow North-East by-election update

Nominations closed yesterday for the Glasgow North East by-election with a mammoth 13 candidates, who in alphabetical order are:

  • Charlie Baillie, British National Party
  • Willie Bain, Labour
  • Eileen Baxendale, Liberal Democrats
  • Mev Brown, Independent
  • Colin Campbell, The Individuals Labour and Tory (TILT)
  • Ruth Davidson, Conservative
  • David Doherty, Green Party
  • Mikey Hughes
  • David Kerr, SNP
  • Louise McDaid, Socialist Labour Party
  • Kevin McVey, Scottish Socialist Party – Make Greed History
  • Tommy Sheridan, Solidarity
  • John Smeaton, Jury Team

The seat became vacant over 120 days ago, when former Speaker Michael Martin MP resigned over the MPs’ expenses and his handling, or failure to handle, the scandal. Here is a brief summary of the 13 candidates.

Posted in Parliamentary by-elections | Also tagged | 7 Comments

How you can help the Lib Dems in Glasgow North East

With the writ moved on Friday, all four main parties in Scotland are getting on with the campaign and their campaign launches. On Wednesday, the Liberal Democrats and the SNP both launched their campaigns, Thursday it was the turn of the Tories, and then on Monday it will be Labour’s turn.

The good people of Glasgow North East have now been 117 days without Westminster representation, and – as our candidate Eileen Baxendale said at the launch with Scottish Leader Tavish Scott – this is simply unacceptable, and Labour should be ashamed of themselves they have left it that long.

Tavish Scott, Eileen Baxendale and Robert Brown MSP launched the Liberal Democrats campaign at the Red Road flats in Sprinburn and joined a family there to listen to how they have been badly let down by both Labour and SNP Governments.

Posted in Parliamentary by-elections and Scotland | Also tagged and | 1 Comment

Glasgow North East Lib Dems launch by-election campaign

From the BBC:

The Scottish Liberal Democrats have launched their campaign for the Glasgow North East Westminster by-election. Former social worker Eileen Baxendale, 64, will fight the seat which was left vacant by the resignation of former Commons Speaker Michael Martin.

Ms Baxendale said she could give people “something different” and it was “a disgrace” the constituency had been without an MP for 115 days. The by-election has been scheduled to take place on 12 November.

The Lib Dem campaign was launched by Scots leader Tavish Scott, who said his party was the only one with “proposals for real change”.

Posted in Parliamentary by-elections | Also tagged and | 1 Comment

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