2009 Glasgow North East By-election
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2009 Glasgow North East By-election

Glasgow North East by-election

← 2005 12 November 2009 2010 →
  WillieBainMP.jpg No image.svg RuthDavidsonMSP.jpg
Candidate Willie Bain David Kerr Ruth Davidson
Party Labour SNP Conservative
Popular vote 12,231 4,120 1,075
Percentage 59.4% 20.0% 5.2%

MP before election

Michael Martin

Subsequent MP

Willie Bain

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.[1] The by-election was held on 12 November 2009[2] 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.[3]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.[4]

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.[5]

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.[6] 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,[7] but on 12 July he announced that he was withdrawing as a candidate following allegations in the Sunday Herald over past financial difficulties.[8]

The Conservative Party selected Ruth Davidson, a journalist and broadcaster, as well as a Territorial Army volunteer and Sunday school teacher.[9]

The Scottish Liberal Democrats selected the South Lanarkshire councillor Eileen Baxendale as their candidate.[10]

The Scottish Socialist Party decided to stand Kevin McVey, a party organiser from Cumbernauld who promised to reject the £64,000 MP's salary and "live instead on the average skilled worker's wage - not a penny more".[11] On the ballot paper the party opted to use the description "Scottish Socialist Party - Make Greed History"

Solidarity initially called on the SSP, the Socialist Labour Party and themselves to adopt a "left unity" candidate.[12] However, they later announced that they had selected Tommy Sheridan to fight the by-election, claiming he might have stood down in favour of a left unity candidate.[13] On the ballot paper the party used the full description "Solidarity - Scotland's Socialist Movement"

Former Big Brother housemate Mikey Hughes stood as an independent candidate.[14]

The British National Party (BNP) selected Charlie Baillie as their candidate[15] who stood as second candidate on the list for Scotland in the 2009 European Election.

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.[16] On declaration of his candidacy in September, he was given the third shortest odds to win the seat.[17]

David Doherty, an environmental protection graduate of the University of Strathclyde, was the Scottish Green Party candidate.[18]

The Socialist Labour Party stood Louise McDaid, who topped their party list for Scotland in the 2009 European Election.[19]

Mev Brown stood as an independent candidate. Colin Campbell stood for The Individuals Labour and Tory (TILT).[20]

Official candidate names and ballot paper descriptions were confirmed by Glasgow City Council on 28 October 2009[21]


2009 Glasgow North East by-election[22]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Willie Bain 12,231 59.4 N/A
SNP David Kerr 4,120 20.0 +2.3
Conservative Ruth Davidson 1,075 5.2 N/A
BNP Charlie Baillie 1,013 4.9 +1.7
Solidarity Tommy Sheridan 794 3.9 N/A
Liberal Democrats 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
Independent Mev Brown 32 0.2 N/A
The Individuals Labour and Tory (TILT) Colin Campbell 13 0.1 N/A
Majority 8,111 39.4 +3.7
Turnout 20,595 33.2 -12.6
Labour gain from Speaker Swing

2005 election result

General election 2005: Glasgow North East
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Speaker Michael Martin 15,153 53.3 N/A
SNP John McLaughlin 5,019 17.7 N/A
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
BNP Scott McLean 920 3.2 N/A
Independent Joe Chambers 622 2.2 N/A
Majority 10,134 35.7
Turnout 28,418 45.8 N/A
Speaker win (new seat)

See also


  1. ^ By-election due in Speaker's seat BBC News
  2. ^ "UK , Scotland , Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West , Date set for Glasgow by-election". BBC News. 8 October 2009. Retrieved 2009.
  3. ^ "Under-fire Speaker to step down". BBC News. 19 May 2009. Retrieved 2009.
  4. ^ "Labour wins in Glasgow North East", BBC News, 13 November 2009
  5. ^ "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 21 July 2009 (pt 0005)". publications.parliament.uk.
  6. ^ "Exclusive: Glasgow North East by-election will not be held until November". The Daily Record. Retrieved 2009.
  7. ^ [1] Archived 10 July 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "SNP election hopeful stands down". BBC News Online. 12 July 2009. Retrieved 2009.
  9. ^ "ConservativeHome's Seats & Candidates blog: Scottish Tories choose ex-Sunday school teacher to fight clean and honest campaign in Glasgow North East". Conservativehome.blogs.com. 13 August 2009. Retrieved 2009.
  10. ^ "UK , Scotland , Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West , Lib Dems name by-election hopeful". BBC News. 6 August 2009. Retrieved 2009.
  11. ^ "SSP names by-election candidate". 9 October 2009. Retrieved 2014.
  12. ^ "Glasgow North East By-Election". Solidarity Scotland. Archived from the original on 24 July 2009. Retrieved 2009.
  13. ^ Daily Record, 2 July 2009
  14. ^ "Big Brother star in Commons bid". BBC News. 15 October 2009.
  15. ^ "BNP Will Fight Glasgow NE Westminster By-Election". Archived from the original on 4 July 2009. Retrieved 2009.
  16. ^ Smeaton pledges to 'badger' MPs", BBC News, 25 September 2009
  17. ^ Lorraine Davidson, "Have-a-go hero John Smeaton third favourite for by-election victory", The Times, 26 September 2009
  18. ^ "Scottish Green Party :: Greens Announce Candidate For Glasgow North East". Scottishgreens.org.uk. 8 October 2009. Archived from the original on 21 October 2009. Retrieved 2009.
  19. ^ "EUROPEAN ELECTIONS 2009". Socialist-labour-party.org.uk. 4 June 2009. Archived from the original on 24 November 2009. Retrieved 2009.
  20. ^ "Nominations close in by-election". BBC News Online. 28 October 2009.
  21. ^ Candidates Glasgow City Council
  22. ^ Boothroyd, David. "Results of Byelections in the 2005-2010 Parliament". United Kingdom Election Results. Retrieved 2015.

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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