There are few more annoying sights in life than a gloating Scottish nationalist. Apart from, maybe, a room full of them. I was struck by the lack of dignity of their victory celebrations in Glasgow East, with their candidate doing a wee victory dance before the recount had even been declared. It was kind of Rambo come embarrassing middle aged male relative dancing at a wedding. Compare and contrast with the way Willie Rennie reacted when he won the Dunfermline and West Fife by election. Sure, he recognised the political earthquake he had caused, but he did so in a way which showed humility and gratitude at receiving the trust of the people.
The voters in Glasgow East had a choice between a Government which had kicked the poorest people there with the 10p tax, benefit cuts and had nothing to offer except more rising food and fuel costs and its Scottish counterpart which is nothing but hot air. Removal of tolls on the Forth Road Bridge and a minor cut in prescription charges isn't really that much to show for a year in office. I guess a blast of hot air is nice in the middle of a wet and miserable Summer, but the SNP bubble will soon burst if the Government doesn't start making real progress on the issues which concern people - housing, education, health and crime.
I suspect Labour and the SNP will have spent close to the £100,000 limit each on their campaigns. The Liberal Democrats will have spent a tiny fraction of that. Ian Robertson was a good candidate with a fantastic team around him - but there's just no way he could compte with that sort of money being spent by the others. However, I am sure that this campaign is not going to be the last we will hear from him. He has actually listened to the concerns of local people and I am sure that he will continue to campaign on issues like the Parkhead fire station long after the by election circus has left town.