The signs are that the commentators are hedging their bets just a little over the stakes in the Glasgow East by-election. They’re probably waiting for a rash of opinion polls on the impact of Labour’s preferred candidate refusing the increasingly high fence. In the Scottish steeple chase, is the former champion rider Gordon Brown about to be toppled? As Scotland in Sunday reports, Labour are now feverishly playing catch-up.
Not that the London commentators are entirely blind to the events north of the Border. The uber metropolitan, Matthew d-Ancona is getting the message.
The most forthright to date is the Observer’s Andrew Rawnsley.
Behind it all is the smouldering issue of Scottish independence. A TNS system 3 poll for the Sunday Herald shows independence almost neck-and neck with the Union.
But polling methods vary, and this one is out of line with most others that show the Union in a clear lead, though with more powers for the Parliament.
One learned commentator advances Labours’ plight as a reason for cooling on independence.
Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London