Thursday, November 6, 2008

Could the SNP outshine Obamarama in the news charts?

With the orgasm that is Obamarama well and truly spent this side of the water, matters domestic arouse the casual political observer today.

I refer of course to the by-election in Glenrothes, Fife.

View Larger Map

It has come about due to the untimely death of the Labour incumbent John McDougall MP, who died in August this year of mesothelioma, a condition caused by over-exposure to asbestos.

There are eight candidates and voting continues as I speak, with the polls closing at 10pm this evening.

The interesting thing about this one, which has been all but lost whilst we joined the USA in a spot of navel gazing, is the effect of the Scottish National Party on what is a vote for a place in Westminster.

The SNP, who have been happily plying their trade as the main party in the Scottish Parliament of late, have allowed this to become a debate about their reign and the merits of an independent Scotland.

Labour of course have been laughing off suggestions of any kind of defeat in the constituency which borders Prime Minister Gordon Brown's own seat of Kircaldy and Cowdenbeath. After all they couldn't possibly lose a 10,000+ majority could they?

Yet the good old Grauniad has the SNP ahead as they approach the hustings and that would be a bloody nose indeed for the Labour party and a huge fillip for the Nationalists.

It does though appear to be a two horse race between Brownite Lyndsay Roy, Labour, who is the rector at Glenrothes school (Mr Brown's former place of learning) and the SNP's Peter Grant, the current Fife council leader.

To give you an indication of the import of this, both SNP leader Alex Salmond and PM Gordon Brown have been in Glenrothes pressing flesh and holding babies in recent days.

Of course I don't expect a quarter of a million Scots to line the main square in Glenrothes to hail an historic victory if it comes to pass. Yet this may well, in the grand scheme of things, turn out to be acutely significant in terms of Scotland's claims for independence.

If the SNP do win, what sweet irony, just a day after the commemoration of another set of insurgents who tried to cause revolutionary change.

Ok, a win for the nationalistas might not be the explosion planned by the Gunpowder Plot but it would be a major salvo across the Westminster Government's bows.

We watch and wait with interest.

No comments: