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Brown dealt by-election blow

Latest update : 2008-07-25

The ruling Labour Party suffered a further blow as it lost a by-election to the Scottish National Party by just 365 votes in one of its traditional strongholds in Glasgow.

GLASGOW, Scotland, July 25 (Reuters) - Britain's ruling
Labour Party lost an election for a parliamentary seat in a
traditional Labour stronghold, in a serious setback for Prime
Minister Gordon Brown, results showed on Friday.

Defeat in Thursday's poll in the Glasgow East constituency,
which Labour won with a huge 13,500 majority at the 2005
election, will fuel Labour unhappiness with Brown's leadership
and could lead to moves to oust him, some analysts believe.

The pro-independence Scottish National Party (SNP) scored a
dramatic victory by a slim 365-vote margin in Britain's
third-largest city as voters turned against Labour in droves.

The result, following a series of other recent Labour
election defeats, will strengthen expectations that Labour's 11
years in power may be nearing an end and that it could be
defeated at the next general election, due by 2010.

"This SNP victory is not just a political earthquake -- it
is off the Richter scale. It is an epic win and the tremors are
being felt all the way to Westminster (the UK parliament)," SNP
candidate John Mason said in his victory speech.

The result added to the sense of crisis afflicting Brown,
whose popularity has slumped since he took over as prime
minister from Tony Blair 13 months ago.

Brown and Labour have been hurt by the credit crisis, which
has hit economic growth and sent house prices sliding, and by
rising food and energy bills and the government's own political

Date created : 2008-07-25