Glasgow North East by-election, 2009
The 2009 Glasgow North East by-election was a by-election for the Parliament of the United Kingdom's House of Commons constituency of Glasgow North East. The by-election was held on 12 November 2009 following the resignation of Michael Martin as an MP and as Speaker of the House of Commons following the MPs' expenses scandal. Martin was the first Speaker since Sir John Trevor in 1695 to be forced from office. Willie Bain, the Scottish Labour Party candidate, won with 59% of the vote. Just 33% of the electorate voted, which is the lowest ever percentage turnout in a Scottish by-election to the House of Commons.
There was a longer than normal gap between a seat falling vacant and the by-election. On 22 July, during a brief debate in the House of Commons, the UK Government refused to move the writ before the summer recess.
It is a convention (not always observed in practice) that mainstream political parties do not contest elections against sitting Speakers of the House of Commons. As such, Michael Martin won Glasgow North East without his former Labour Party label, and neither the Conservative nor Liberal Democrat parties had fought the constituency (or its predecessor, Glasgow Springburn) in either 2001 or 2005.
This was the last by-election of the 2005–2010 parliament.
Labour selected Willie Bain, a law lecturer and Constituency Labour Party secretary, as their candidate. Michael Martin's son Paul Martin, the MSP for the roughly equivalent Glasgow Springburn Scottish Parliament constituency, had ruled himself out.
The Scottish National Party (SNP) selected David Kerr. They had previously selected James Dornan, their leader on Glasgow City Council, but on the 12 July he announced that he was withdrawing as a candidate following allegations in the Sunday Herald over past financial difficulties.
The Scottish Socialist Party decided to stand Kevin McVey, a party organiser from Cumbernauld. On the ballot paper the party opted to use the description "Scottish Socialist Party – Make Greed History"
Solidarity called on the SSP, the Socialist Labour Party and themselves to adopt a "left unity" candidate. However, they later announced that they had selected Tommy Sheridan to fight the by-election, but he might have stood down in favour of a left unity candidate. On the ballot paper the party used the full description "Solidarity – Scotland’s Socialist Movement"
The Jury Team, an umbrella organisation aiming to support Independent candidates in UK elections, selected John Smeaton, the former Glasgow Airport baggage handler who became known for his intervention during the 2007 Glasgow International Airport attack as its first candidate for a Westminster election. On declaration of his candidacy in September, he was given the third shortest odds to win the seat.
Mev Brown stood as an independent candidate. Colin Campbell stood for The Individuals Labour and Tory (TILT).
Official candidate names and ballot paper descriptions were confirmed by Glasgow City Council on 28 October 2009
|2009 Glasgow North East by-election|
|Liberal Democrat||Eileen Baxendale||474||2.3||N/A|
|Scottish Green||David Doherty||332||1.6||N/A|
|Jury Team||John Smeaton||258||1.2||N/A|
|Scottish Socialist||Kevin McVey||152||0.7||-4.2|
|No Label||Mikey Hughes||54||0.3||N/A|
|Socialist Labour||Louise McDaid||47||0.2||-14.0|
|The Individuals Labour and Tory (TILT)||Colin Campbell||13||0.1||N/A|
|Labour gain from Speaker||Swing|
2005 election result
|General Election 2005: Glasgow North East|
|Socialist Labour||Doris Kelly||4,036||14.2||N/A|
|Scottish Socialist||Graham Campbell||1,402||4.9||N/A|
|Scottish Unionist||Daniel Houston||1,266||4.5||N/A|
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- "Nominations close in by-election". BBC News Online. 28 October 2009.
- Candidates Glasgow City Council