The Labour party has held the Cowdenbeath seat for the Scottish parliament after the constituency held a by-election.

Alex Rowley won with a majority of 5488 votes from the SNP’s Natalie McGarry.  Mr Rowley attracted 11,192 votes from a 20,062 turnout.

The ballot was another disaster for the Lib Dems with the party attracting a mere 425 votes.

However the 34% turnout is sure to raise questions after national media gave little coverage to the contest.


2014-01-24 10:38

Still always hoping for a breakthrough, a sign that things are changing, moving in the right direction.
This was not it.
The message is not getting through in Cowdenbeath. How typical is that of so many other areas of the country.
We need something to really give the yes campaign more momentum.
I dread to even contemplate a ‘no’ victory.
What can we do to win?
2014-01-24 12:10

Well done Spirtle for openly admitting what must be blindingly obvious to every Yes campaigner: there is absolutely no sign of a momentum towards independence.

The launch of the White Paper was meant to be the game changer but there is little or no evidence of it having the desired effect. On BBCQT last night John Swinney once again claimed that the polls would move once the facts had been explained to the electorate. Dimbleby, quite rightly, pointed out that he had been saying that for months.

I am not complacent enough to predict a certain No victory, but there can be little doubt which campaign team is scratching their collective heads searching for a game changer that actually works.

derick fae Yell
2014-01-24 12:27

Spirtle – the message is getting thorough! 11,000 canvassed and in the process asked how they intended to vote in the independence referendum – and the largest percentage said they were going to vote yes. Of the 11,727 people who gave their opinion, 41% said yes, 36% said no, and 23% said they were still undecided. Strip out the undecided voters,that would give a notional referendum result of 53.2% yes, 46.8% no.

Figures from Wee Ginger Dug

And remember that in 1997 the undecided broke overwhelmingly for Yes Yes.

Steady as she goes
2014-01-24 13:07

When political parties canvass during elections they do not speak to a representative sample of the electorate. The SNP canvass will have covered known voters but excluded anyone which previous data showed to be firm Labour, Tory or Lib Dem supporters.

If a Labour canvass produced a result showing only 41% of our target vote were likely to vote No in September I would be deeply worried. I would most certainly be neither boasting or celebrating such a result.
2014-01-24 23:59

The problem with your analysis is the sample size. 11k people didn’t vote snp.

2014-01-24 15:28

The important figure here is the low turnout.
I still say many many voters will make up their minds in the last two or three weeks before the referendum.
2014-01-24 17:02

I disagree. This close the vote, the impetus for change should be making its presence felt. Significant numbers amongst us still have faith in Labour. I find that worrying,becaus  e frankly the logic is unfathomable.
Even making allowances for traditional loyalties, how can people who believe in socialism approve of means testing and bringing our society with its free health care and prescriptions into line with the UK which has forfeited these? Why do they turn a blind eye to the hypocrisy and vacuous promises which Labour wheel out at will? Postal votes? Are they / should they be discredited? – I don’t know.

I have a theory that most people do not rate the integrity of any politician, and given they’re on such a short leash, it is hard to overcome the cynical inertia of change.

There too many ‘non arguments’ being touted as decisive issues. Take being £500 better off. Meaningless. Why compare the before and after models when…
2014-01-24 17:29

Why compare the before and after models of our economy when the first thing we will do with our new found independence is change these “like for like” criteria? Is that all independence means? A few quid up or down?

It is precisely because our economy is under performing that we need to change it. We’re surely not voting for independence to keep everything just the same.

TELL people what we’ll change, and tell them why it needs to be changed. Give them the information and trust them to work it out. What will change to turn our “have nots” into “haves”.

I know, I know, the White Paper, but put it into words, ideally words on TV, for those who have no intention of reading the white paper.

2014-01-24 18:03

I suppose 300 years of conditioning doesn’t change overnight. Those not interested in politics or the ignorant will always take the path of least resistance, and will easily be led to the ballot box (if they bother at all) by the culture that surrounds them, without question. This is why labour have lasted so long.
2014-01-24 21:11

My YES group *has* had the impression that opinions are changing, so much so that we are expanding our area of coverage.
red kite
2014-01-27 19:31

It seems approx. 42% of the votes were postal votes. 8391 out of 20062 votes cast.
Less than 35% turnout. 15% postal votes and 19% at the polling stations.

That tells me there was industrial grade organisation in collecting those postal votes. Everybody knows the potential for fraud in the postal vote system.

These sorts of figures make a mockery of democracy. This potential for jiggery pokery should have been tackled and tightened up in good time for the referendum.
What sort of picture of modern democracy will this give the world if we end up with 15% of the electorate seemingly voting with no control or oversight of the ballots ?
2014-01-27 21:32

Full official figures:-

Alex Rowley (Lab) – 11,192 votes
Natalie McGarry (SNP) – 5,704 votes
Dave Dempsey (Con) – 1,893 votes
Denise Baykal (UKIP) – 610 votes
Jade Holden (Lib Dem) – 425 votes
Stuart Graham (Victims Final Right) – 187 votes
James Trolland (SDA) – 51 votes
Labour majority – 5,488 (27.36%)

11.25% swing SNP to Lab

Turnout 20,062 (34.78%)

8,391 postal vote packs were issued within the constituency and 5,586 were returned (66.57%).

5,440 valid votes were included in the count.

Hope that this is helpful.

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