Sometimes you just have to shake your head in disbelief. The Telegraph reports an ICM poll in Glasgow East, which puts Labour on 47% and the SNP on 33%, a massive 15 points behind. Why on earth do people in that constituency even consider continuing to vote Labour? To misquote the Life of Brian, what has Labour ever done for them? The constituency has a male life expectancy of around 64, many of the council estates are the poorest in the country. Need I go on? When Iain Duncan Smith first visited the Easterhouse estate there in 2002 someone yelled out to him: "What are you doing here, we're all Labour?" He shouted back: "Yes, and look around you. Look where it's got you!"
The Telegraph and PoliticalBetting.com both report this poll as great news for Labour. I beg to differ. It is actually rather better for the SNP than it might seem at first sight. It shows there has been a 15% swing to the SNP since 2005. They only need another 7% to win and there are still ten days to go. Since 2005 Labour's vote has gone down by a quarter and the SNP's has doubled. There's also 16% of LibDem and Tory voters for the SNP to squeeze. I suspect there will be many Tory voters in that constituency who would happily give Gordon Brown a black eye. I am not for one minute suggesting they should do anything other than vote Tory (natch), but the SNP won't be so squeamish.
Those who are as long in the tooth as me will remember the last time the SNP won a by election in Glasgow - back in 1988 when Jim Sillars won Glasgow Govan. A poll was taken the Monday before polling showing Labour on 51% and the SNP on 33%. For that reason, the SNP won't be downhearted by the ICM poll tonight, and nor should they be. By election campaigns are all about momentum, and there's no doubt that it is the SNP which has the Big Mo at the moment.