A dreadful start to 2014 for those who would split Britain.

There was a big win for Labour in Scotland last night, as the party not only won the Cowdenbeath by-election, but did so with a huge swing to the party from the SNP. After <a title="Labour MSP Helen Eadie passes
away” href=”http://labourlist.org/2013/11/labour-msp-helen-eadie-passes-away/”>the sad passing of Helen Eadie late last year, the SNP were hopeful of winning a seat that they came close to taking in 2011. Instead they ended the night with only just over half the votes Labour received. It’s a dreadful start to 2014 for those who would split Britain…

Victorious Labour candidate – and newly elected MSP – Alex Rowley responded to the election win, saying:

“I’m delighted and humbled that the people of Cowdenbeath have put their faith in me to be their next MSP. This was of course a by-election that none of us wanted. Helen Eadie was a true champion for this constituency and for Fife. I have been struck by how fondly she is remembered by the people of Fife and I hope that I can be as an effective a voice for ordinary Fifers as she was.

“We fought this campaign on the issues and concerns of hard working Fifers. Jobs, skills, training and opportunities for our young will be my priority and must be for the Scottish Government. We need to ensure our older people can enjoy a secure retirement. These are the issues that this campaign was fought on as well as ensuring that the risks to our economy and future, posed by separation, were highlighted to voters.

“I look forward to rolling up my sleeves and getting down to business representing the people of Cowdenbeath next week in the Scottish Parliament.”

Here’s the result in full:

Alex Rowley (Lab) – 11,192 votes 55.78% (+9.28%)

Natalie McGarry (SNP) – 5,704 votes 28.43% (-13.17%)

Dave Dempsey (Con) – 1,893 votes 9.44% (+2.44%)

Denise Baykal (UKIP) – 610 votes 3.04% (N/A)

Jade Holden (Lib Dem) – 425 votes 2.12% (-1.78%)

Stuart Graham (Victims Final Right) – 187 votes 0.93% (N/A)

James Trolland (Scotthish Democratic Alliance) – 51 votes 0.25% (N/A)

Labour majority: 5,488 (27.36%)

11.25% swing from SNP to Labour

Turnout: 20,062 (34.78%)

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