Page last updated at 13:28 GMT, Friday, 25 July 2008 14:28 UK

Glasgow East: Labour voters react

Four Labour voters reflect on the future of the party following the party's defeat at the Glasgow East by-election.

The Scottish National Party claimed the election result was "off the Richter scale", after overturning a Labour majority of 13,507.

EMMA MYKYTYN, 34, HOUSEWIFE, GLASGOW

Emma Mykytyn
Labour have taken Scottish voters for granted, says Emma
Now all we need is for Labour to be voted out of Glasgow City Council. For too long Labour believed they had a divine right to rule in Scotland.

Since Blair the Labour Party haven't done anything for the voters who stood by them throughout the Thatcher years.

Before 1997 we hoped a Labour government would result in a huge change. Maybe we put them on the pedestal back then. But we just feel nothing has really changed here in Glasgow after all those years and all those promises.

Everyone I know feels disillusioned. For us, it is not a question of the 10p tax rate or rising fuel prices. We are concerned with local issues and we feel we are being ignored.

The Scottish Labour party are also a joke at the moment and the trouble they've had over their leader has just added to people's disillusionment.

I have always voted Labour but I switched to the SNP at the last Scottish election and the last local election. Many people feel that if Labour can't deliver they may give an independent Scotland a try.

Labour really have to start listening to voters to get people to change their minds by the time of the next general election.

ARTHUR WALKER, 49, POLICE OFFICER, WATFORD

The government spent the nation's money during the boom times leaving nothing spare
I was a Tory voter until 1997 when I switched to Labour because of the arrogance of the then Conservative government.

I have voted Labour since then but cannot see myself doing so at the next general election.

For a long time the government have been saying they are 'listening to the people' but not actually doing it.

I feel Labour went back on a commitment to have a vote on the European Treaty when, in my view, that document is not that different from the Constitution. At the time I wrote to my MP but she just replied with the general party line.

Governments should lead opinion but they should also listen to the people. Manifesto commitments should be set in stone.

I also feel that the party was deceitful over the abolition of the 10p tax rate by at first suggesting people would not be badly affected by the move.

The government spent the nation's money during the boom times leaving nothing spare as we went into an economic downturn. As an ordinary person I always put money away during good times in preparation for the lean.

At the next election I will be switching my vote, though maybe not to the Conservatives.

PAUL SINGH, 34, RECRUITMENT, LONDON

Paul Singh
Paul says the Labour Party has lost its direction
I have always voted Labour but, unfortunately, I think Brown's days are numbered. He should resign and let someone take over who can win the next election

Labour have lost their direction and lost touch with the core voters that put them into power.

There have been a number of issues that spring to mind. The extension of detention without charge for terror suspects to 42 days gives the impression that the party no longer cares about civil liberties.

Labour has moved away from its socialist roots in regard to the economy. The super rich remain untaxed and, worse, the 10p tax debacle makes ministers look like they are out of touch with ordinary working men and women.

The prime minister is just not equipped for the modern media age. He should give way for somebody like David Miliband who can take the fight to the more media-savvy Mr Cameron.

The party should fight the next election on the fundamentals such as investment in health and education and against a rich and privileged Conservative Party.

CATHERINE COUSTON, 42, TEACHER, GLASGOW


People have to wake up and realise that if they turn away from the Labour Party the Conservatives will be back in
I think the SNP victory is a good thing for Scotland but it is a very bad thing for Britain.

People have to wake up and realise that if they turn away from the Labour Party the Conservatives will be back in power and this will be a disaster.

Many voters have simply forgotten how bad things were under Thatcher. I am a Labour supporter and will vote Labour at the next general election.

Gordon Brown gets terrible press because of the way he looks and the fact he is a serious man. I think he has intelligence and gravitas. Tony Blair was suited to the media age and could play the guitar - but he led us into war. People should give the prime minister more of a chance.

Unfortunately, the media is more interested in Cameron and his bike. The Conservative leader may pretend to be a man of the people but we all know he is not.

The Labour Party need to tackle serious issues like housing and put more money into services to win back their core voters. Maybe they should not worry so much about middle England and instead try to re-connect with their roots.

I think greater power for Scotland would be a good thing. And maybe an independent Scotland under the SNP would be a good thing and a chance to escape a future Tory government.





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