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Page last updated at 15:02 GMT, Friday, 7 November 2008
PM 'safe' after by-election win

By Dave Howard
Newsbeat politics reporter

Lindsay Roy and his wife Irene
Lindsay Roy beat SNP candidate Peter Grant by nearly 7,000 votes

Perhaps you didn't notice, because of all that razzamatazz in America, but an important election has just taken place in Glenrothes in Fife.

Some people said the Prime Minister Gordon Brown should lose his job if he couldn't hang on to the seat.

And, after a string of failures and upsets in England and Scotland, nobody thought Gordon Brown's Labour party could win. They were battered and bruised, and people blamed the PM.

Last night, though, saw a dramatic and surprising turn-around. His party won convincingly. They got 6,000 more votes than their nearest rivals.

It's partly because a lot's changed in the last couple of months.

Gordon Brown has gone from being compared to Mr Bean to being called Superman.

He has come to be seen as the man with a plan to fix the world's money problems.

It means his reputation's improved, his position is safer and people seem happier to back his people.

But perhaps it's not as simple as that.

Newsbeat's been speaking to people in Glenrothes who voted Labour, but not because they like Gordon Brown.

The local council is run by Labour's big rivals north of the border - the Scottish National Party.

There's been quite a lot of local anger, after the SNP-run council hiked up the cost of important social care, like home help for the elderly and the vulnerable.

Many people said they chose to vote against the SNP, rather than in favour of the PM.

SNP leader Alex Salmond admitted defeat, saying "we've got lessons to learn in terms of the tactics we employ".

For the PM though, it's a great result. He'll welcome this as a sign he's getting more popular again.


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