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Glenrothes by-election

Brian Taylor | 22:09 UK time, Thursday, 6 November 2008

UPDATE AT 0059:

Very narrowly focused contest. Tories squeezed. Libs squeezed out of sight.

Both Tories and Libs lose their deposits as do all the other candidates.

Labour vote up 3.2. SNP vote up 13.1.

UPDATE AT 0056 GMT:

Details suggest that Labour has actually increased its share of the vote.

SNP share up too - by much more. But overall picture, taking those two factors together, is a swing which I reckon is only 5%.

Good in other circumstances - but not good in a seat which the SNP had said they would win. Plus Labour has also taken two council seats tonight.

A good night for Labour. A poor one for the SNP.

UPDATE AT 0047: GMT

Labour wins. Major boost for Gordon Brown. Lindsay Roy's first point in accepting vmictory? The claim of council cuts by the SNP.

UPDATE AT 0043 GMT:

Glenrothes not the only by-election tonight. Two council wards contersted: Glasgow Baillieston and Edinburgh Forth. Word is Labour has won both.

UPDATE AT 0022 GMT:

From the count, Labour now speaking of "confidence" that they have won - and that they might take council ward by-elec tions too.

SNP now talking of "halving" the Labour majority.

UPDATE AT 0003 GMT:

Quote from a senior member of the Labour team: "I'm smiling a lot more than I have done for weeks."

If Labour has won, it is a seriously good result for them. If the SNP lose, it is a significant setback for them.

The determining factor? Perhaps the Labour attack on the local council under the SNP.

UPDATE AT 2339 GMT:

Yet more gossip. Early boxes perhaps indicate Labour victory. Jim Murphy now forecasting Labour victory. Libs fourth? Toiries third.

UPDATE AT 2314 GMT:

The Scottish Secretary Jim Murphy says Labour has been fighting an "uphill battle" in the constituency.

He says that his party retains a "fighting chance" of winning the seat.

Remarkable, given that this is a seat with a ten thousand UK general election majority.

Reasonable, given that the SNP hold the comparable Holyrood seat and are the lead party in the council.

The Tories and the LibDems have disclosed that neither expects victory tonight. Another BBC Scotland exclusive!

UPDATE AT 2255 GMT:

Returning officer at the count says he hopes for a result before or by 0100 GMT.

There are 49 polling stations and 95 ballot boxes to count. Word from the count still that it is tight.

Polls closed, count under way, result due around 0100. First news, as ever, on BBC Scotland. Yes, folks, it's a by-election night.

I'll be blogging throughout the night. But, unlike for Glasgow East where I was a wounded observer, I'll also be in studio to offer punditry and random cheek.

So if you see me on the telly battering away furiously at a computer terminal - then that's another blog in the making.

Early tips from Glenrothes? Tight but looks like the SNP may have taken the seat.

Split showing

That's partly because the LibDems may be struggling to hold up their vote as well as they'd like. (A good LibDem showing splits the anti-Labour vote.)

But I stress. That's early - VERY early - gossip. Informed - but not authoritative.

Don't hold it against me if it's wrong. Just thought you deserved to know what folk on the ground are mostly saying.

Stay with it. This is going to be intriguing.

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