For a supposedly bright man,
Brown has made some pretty
dumb decisions: pressing
for devolution is one of them.

Devolution was supposed to end the SNP menace for ever and a day. The Labour Party, ever mindful of the need to preserve the lobby fodder its forty MPs from Scotland represent, reckoned they could have their devolution cake and eat it. Now they may be on the point of choking on its crumbs.

Glasgow East, about to be vacated by its sitting MP, is, in theory, one of the safest seats in the land for Labour. If they lost this at a General Election on a uniform swing, the Parliamentary labour Party would be able to share a bunk bed. With 60.7% of the vote in 2005 and a majority of 13507 votes, it ought to be as solid a Socialist Fortress as could be constructed. A swing of 21.85% would be required to topple Labour, not impossible but at the very limit of previous upsets. Yet…..

Glasgow East is the successor to an amalgamation of Glasgow Baillieston and Glasgow Shettlestone, so it is worth considering the votes cast in those two Scottish Parliament in the 2007 election. There you find that the combined SNP vote was 30.9% to Labour’s 52.13%. Now only a swing of 10.6% is needed and one begins to see how this might yet prove a disaster for Labour. If Labour voters were to switch or stay away in any numbers and Conservative and Lib Dem voters decide to vote tactically, the SNP might grab it.

And this is just the sort of seat where one might find a disproportionate number of the 1.1 million voters who continue to be affected materially by the abolition of the 10% rate of tax and for whom Alistair Darling says he is going to do no more than he has already announced. Factor in a collapse in morale of Labour supporters and one begins to see how Gordon Brown might find himself on the receiving end of a message in a bottle of Scotch…….

It would truly be ironic if this master gerrymanderer who was one of the driving forces of Scots Devolution were to get the bullet from the SNP who were supposed to have been neutered by the whole exercise. If you must live by the gerrymander, expect to die by it would seem to be the message.

If the voters of Glasgow East do trash Labour, then Gordon Brown will be seriously in the ordure, which many right-thinking people consider to be the best place for him. Hopefully he will cling on by what is left of his fingernails and take the rest of his rotten crew of Socialists with him.

Chart by ChartGizmo