The result in Glasgow North-East can only be interpreted as a massive endorsement for the Government – there is quite simply no other way of looking at it. Just in case you missed it, here is the actual result:
Labour – 12,231 votes (59.39%)
SNP – 4,120 votes (20%)
Tory – 1,075 votes (5.22%)
BNP – 1,013 votes (4.92%)
Solidarity – 794 votes (3.86%)
Lib Dems – 474 votes (2.30%)
Total votes cast – 20,595
Voter turnout – 32.97%
Although I didn’t manage to get to Glasgow, I did do a couple of stints at telephoning canvassing from London. It always looked as if we would do well, as indeed we have done.
There is, however, one downside – the turnout. Despite the well documented fact that turnouts in by-elections are notoriously low, 33 per cent is poor. I gather from BBC Women’s Hour today that the number of women participating was much lower than that for men.
This is deeply troubling. Our democracy requires engagement and women will only really make inroads in terms of improving their lives if they take part in the political process. I hope the Labour Party will now undertake a serious analysis as to why the turnout among women in Glasgow North-East was so low. We need some answers so that women in future are more encouraged to go out and vote.