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Bill Butler's victory speech
"This was the by-election no-one wanted"
 real 56k

John Robertson's victory speech
"My door will always be open"
 real 56k

Grant Thoms, SNP candidate for Westminster seat
"A great stride forward for the SNP in Glasgow"
 real 56k

Friday, 24 November, 2000, 08:06 GMT
Labour holds Dewar seats
John Robertson and Bill Butler
All smiles from John Robertson (left) and Bill Butler
Labour has held Glasgow Anniesland in the by-elections caused by the death of Scotland's First Minister Donald Dewar.

Bill Butler secured the Scottish Parliament seat with a majority of 5,376, down from 10,993 in May 1999.

And John Robertson won the Westminster seat but the majority was again reduced, dropping from15,154 in 1997 to 6,337.

Turnout was 38%, the lowest figure for a post-war Scottish by-election.

Mr Dewar's death in October left a double vacancy.

2000 Scottish Parliament result
Labour: 9,838 (48.65%)
SNP: 4,462 (22.07%)
Tory: 2,148 (10.62%)
Scottish Socialists: 1,429 (7.07%)
Lib Dem: 1,384 (6.84%)
Scottish Greens: 662 (3.27%)
Socialist Labour: 298 (1.47%)
Lab. maj. 5,376 (26.59%)
He represented the constituency at Westminster and in the Scottish Parliament.

At the 1997 general election, Mr Dewar, who died from a brain haemorrhage, increased to 15,154 his majority in the seat he had held since 1978.

When the first Scottish Parliament elections were held in 1999, he also became MSP for Anniesland with a majority of 10,993.

In the Scottish Parliament contest, SNP candidate Thomas Chalmers came second with 4,462 votes and the Tories' Kate Pickering was third on 2,148.

The Scottish Socialist Party was delighted with the 1,429 votes received by its candidate Rosie Kane, who beat the Lib Dems' Judith Fryer on 1,384.

Left-wing councillor

In his victory speech, Mr Butler, 44, an English teacher and a left-wing Glasgow city councillor, paid tribute to the late first minister.

He said: "I consider it a huge honour to be given the chance to follow in his footsteps and I will do all I can to continue the fight for what he believed in.

Close-up of ballots being counted
Two colours of ballot paper were used
"The people of Anniesland have voted for decency, fairness and social justice; Donald Dewar's values, my values, Labour's values."

The Scottish National Party had been striving to repeat its near success in Hamilton South earlier this year when it came within 600 votes of taking the seat from Labour.

Mr Robertson, 48, chairman of the Anniesland constituency Labour Party, polled 10,539 votes ahead of Grant Thoms, SNP, on 4,202.

'No Donald Dewar

The Tories' Dorothy Luckhurst secured 2,188 votes.

The Lib Dems' Christopher McGinty finished on 1,630, ahead of Charlie McCarthy, Scottish Socialist Party, on 1,441. William Lyden, Family Action Movement, received 212 votes.

2000 Westminster result
Labour: 10,539 (52.14%)
SNP: 4,202 (20.79%)
Tory: 2,188 (10.83%)
Lib Dem: 1,630 (8.06%)
Scottish Socialists: 1,441 (7.13%)
Family Action Movement 212 (1.05%)
Lab. maj. 6,337 (31.35%)
In his speech, Mr Robertson said: "I can't be another Donald Dewar.

"I can only be John Robertson but I promise the people of Anniesland that I will represent them to the best of my ability."

In the other two by-elections held on "Super Thursday", Labour also held Preston and West Bromwich West.

The latter was caused by the retirement of Betty Boothroyd, former speaker of the House of Commons.

Turnout in all three constituencies was low.

Labour sources said its main concern was the need to persuade the electorate to use their votes for the good of democracy.

The party is now expected to call an early by-election in the Falkirk West Westmintser seat being vacated by rebel MP Dennis Canavan, with 21 December being seen as the possible date.

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24 Nov 00 | UK Politics
Labour wins battle of by-elections
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