Upset Election Victory Gives Brown a Boost

Surging popularity helps party win open parliament seat
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 7, 2008 7:51 AM CST
Gordon and Sarah Brown in Manchester. Labour has won a surprise victory in a special election, in which the British prime minister's wife played a major role in the campaign.   (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
camera-icon View 4 more images

(Newser) – Labour won a stunning come-from-behind victory in a special election in Scotland early this morning, reports the Times of London, offering the first evidence that Gordon Brown's political recovery may be lasting. The election was called after the death of a Labour MP. The seat looked set to go to the separatist Scottish Nationalist Party, and Brown's team expected to lose even after polls closed last night.

Until today, Labour had lost every election it fought under Brown, and the race in Glenrothes—the parliamentary constituency that borders the prime minister's own—had the makings of a bloodbath. Brown got a major assist from his wife, Sarah, who untraditionally stumped for Labour during the campaign. The win not only emboldens the ruling party, it also marks an end to the honeymoon of the Nationalists, who have governed Scotland since May 2007.