The Glasgow East by election is one of those unforeseen ‘events’ that might just lead to things going wrong for Gordon Brown. Should Labour lose their third safest seat in Scotland – and given the fiasco about finding someone willing to fight the seat and the resignation of Labour’s leader in Scotland, this is a distinct possibility - Labour MPs might just decide they need a new leader to save themselves from electoral meltdown. A new Labour leader, who like Brown would have no personal mandate to be Prime Minster, might decide that the Labour party’s best chance would be to combine the European elections with a General Election – in the hope that the Conservatives differences to Europe emerge as a major issue.
This could mean a Conservative government within the year. Undoubtedly, Sinn Féin, in particular, will have to bear this in mind when considering its future tactics.