Tuesday, 5 July 2011

McKenzie brings some sunshine to Labour

The train was delayed, his luggage was stuck, and Iain McKenzie said his journey to Westminster yesterday seemed longer than the five weeks of campaigning in the Inverclyde and Greenock by-election.

At least he brought some sunshine, and a smile to the face of Labour colleagues when party leader Ed Miliband greeted him outside St Stephen's entrance to Westminster Palace.

Labour were nervous (and behind, according to their own polling) when the campaign began after the hammering they took from the SNP in May.

McKenzie held the Westminster seat with 15,118 votes over the SNP's Anne McLaughlin on 9,280. Labour's majority fell from 14,416 bequeathed by the late David Cairns to 5,838.

The Conservatives took third place with 2,784, the Liberal Democrats polled 627 votes and UKIP was fifth with 288. A result like that makes Scotland look like a two-party state, with the Lib Dems heading in the direction the Tories took a decade ago.

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