Labour faces test of by-election appeal in Scotland after ex-SNP MP ousted


Share post:

Receive free UK politics & policy updates

The main UK opposition Labour party will face a test of its electoral appeal in its former stronghold of Scotland this autumn after a by-election was triggered in a seat previously held by the now dominant Scottish National party.

The contest in the Rutherglen and Hamilton West constituency was sparked after a petition to recall incumbent MP Margaret Ferrier surpassed the required threshold for signatories — 10 per cent of constituents.

The bid to oust Ferrier was launched after she was suspended from the House of Commons for 30 days in early June for breaching Covid travel rules during the peak of the pandemic.

She has sat as an independent since being suspended by the SNP in October 2020 after she admitted travelling hundreds of miles to and from parliament while infected with Covid-19 and was later convicted over the incident.

The date of the by-election is yet to be set but is expected this autumn. The contest will be a big test of Labour’s prospects in Scotland ahead of the general election expected next year with the party hoping to win as many as 25 seats.

Labour had the most Westminster MPs in Scotland until the 2015 general election but its popularity has slumped and it won only one seat in 2019. Sir Keir Starmer’s party held the constituency between its creation in 2005 and Ferrier taking it in 2015. Labour regained the seat in 2017, but Ferrier was then re-elected for the SNP two years later, with a slim majority of 5,230.

A significant Labour resurgence in Scotland is widely viewed as crucial to Starmer securing a majority at Westminster in the general election next year.

The by-election also marks the first major electoral challenge for Humza Yousaf since he succeeded Nicola Sturgeon as SNP leader and first minister in March. The party’s support in the polls has dropped since then.

Yousaf has struggled to impose his authority over the party following a rancorous leadership contest that exposed deep divisions. The SNP has also faced turmoil over an ongoing police investigation into its finances.

The by-election will have still greater piquancy in Scottish politics because of Hamilton’s role in the modern history of the SNP.

Winnie Ewing, who died in June aged 93, took the then constituency of Hamilton for the party in a famous 1967 by-election, only the second time the party had ever won a Westminster seat. The victory was widely seen as marking the party’s arrival as an important force in Scottish politics.

Source link

Lisa Holden
Lisa Holden
Lisa Holden is a news writer for LinkDaddy News. She writes health, sport, tech, and more. Some of her favorite topics include the latest trends in fitness and wellness, the best ways to use technology to improve your life, and the latest developments in medical research.

Recent posts

Related articles

UK regulators approve plans for new Rosebank North Sea oilfield

Receive free UK energy updatesWe’ll send you a myFT Daily Digest email rounding up the latest UK...

London mayoral hopeful Susan Hall: ‘I am marmite’

Susan Hall is the low profile Conservative London Assembly member battling for one of the most prominent...

Amazon & the FTC

This article is an on-site version of our Unhedged newsletter. Sign up here to get the newsletter...

Scotland recycling failure doubles National Investment Bank losses

Receive free Scotland updatesWe’ll send you a myFT Daily Digest email rounding up the latest Scotland news...

PwC Australia’s culture attacked in tax leak scandal report

Receive free PwC updatesWe’ll send you a myFT Daily Digest email rounding up the latest PwC news...

US Senate reaches deal to avoid government shutdown

What to watch in Asia todayGeorge Russell in Hong KongCapital markets: Dubai Financial Market, a United Arab...

US autoworkers strike: when will dealerships run out of cars to sell?

There are plenty of new Jeeps and Ford Broncos for sale at Jay Darling’s dealerships. At least...

Australian vineyards struggle to stay afloat amid wine glut

Receive free Wine updatesWe’ll send you a myFT Daily Digest email rounding up the latest Wine news...