Catastrophic Loss for Brown in Scottish Vote

Separatists win one of Labour's safest seats; PM may not survive
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 25, 2008 6:43 AM CDT
Scottish National Party candidate John Mason celebrates his win at the Tollcross Park Leisure Center in Glasgow after polls closed in the Glasgow East, Scotland by-election late Thursday July 24, 2008.   (AP Photo)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – Gordon Brown suffered a potentially fatal blow to his leadership when Labour lost a once rock-solid seat to the Scottish National Party in a special election early this morning. In one of the most stunning upsets in years, the separatists seized the constituency of Glasgow East as more than 22% of voters who went Labour at the last election abandoned the party.  "We are in trouble," one minister admitted to the Guardian.

"This SNP victory is not just a political earthquake, it is off the Richter scale," said the winning candidate. If the swing away from Labour were replicated in a general election, Brown would lose his own parliamentary seat and the party would be decimated. Parliament is currently on its summer break, however, and calls for Brown to resign have thus far been muted.