Page last updated at 12:30 GMT, Monday, 7 July 2008 13:30 UK

SNP launches by-election campaign

John Mason
John Mason is the party's candidate in Glasgow East

The Scottish National Party has launched its campaign for the Glasgow East by-election.

SNP leader Alex Salmond joined the party's candidate, Glasgow councillor John Mason, for the launch in the city's Easterhouse area.

Mr Mason said the vote would be a chance for local people to elect an MP who was "not out of touch like Labour".

The by-election was triggered by the resignation of Labour MP David Marshall

on health grounds.

Labour currently holds a 13,507 majority over the SNP in Glasgow East.

The Liberal Democrats finished third in the 2005 general election, with the Conservatives trailing in fourth.

Speaking at the launch of his campaign, Mr Mason said: "As an east end councillor I know the opportunities ahead for Glasgow East but I also know the burden felt by families facing rising fuel, energy and food prices.

An SNP win in Glasgow East will force Gordon Brown to take action on fuel prices - at the pumps and in the home
Alex Salmond
SNP leader
"This by-election is the chance for people in Glasgow East to elect an MP who is on their side, not out of touch like Labour.

"By electing an SNP MP voters will put Glasgow East on the map and force action from Gordon Brown."

Mr Salmond said his party's campaign had got off to a "flying start".

"This by-election is time for Glasgow East to elect an MP who will send a shockwave to London and force action over rising energy costs," he said.

"People in Glasgow and across Scotland are suffering as energy bills and petrol prices rise. Yet Labour are completely immobilised.

"At a time of real need, Labour are posted missing in every sense. Enough is enough, and the people can call a halt in this by-election.

"An SNP win in Glasgow East will force Gordon Brown to take action on fuel prices - at the pumps and in the home."

Other candidates declared include university worker Davena Rankin for the Conservatives, maths teacher Ian Robertson for the Liberal Democrats, retired GP Eileen Duke for the Scottish Greens, former MSP Frances Curran for the Scottish Socialist Party and council worker Tricia McLeish for Solidarity.

Labour is due to announce its candidate on Monday night. The by-election will take place on 24 July.

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