The Glasgow North East by election tells us very little about the likely result of the next election in Scotland, apart from the fact that Labour is better able to hold on to its client state than it is in England.
It was certainly an achievement to gain nearly 60% of the vote, albeit on a pathetic 33% turnout. The SNP will have been disappointed not to increase their share of the vote by more than 3%. And the BNP was expecting to do better than its 4.2%, a mere 1.7% better than their 2005 election showing. The Conservatives moved up from 5th to 3rd place, but with only 5.2% of the vote, a mere 0.7% increase in 2005. (UPDATE: It appears from info in the comments that the Scottish Unionist candidate in 2005 wasn't in fact an official Conservative candidate). Meanwhile, the LibDems staggered in in 6th place with a minute 474 votes, surely their worst ever by election performance. No wonder they didn't even bother to put up a candidate in 2005!
It's amusing how Jim Murphy is all over the media saying how this means the Labour Party is on its way to victory int he general election. Keep taking the pills, Jim.
UPDATE: Ben Brogan says there is one clear consequence from this result. Gordon Brown is safe. Hallelujah.
UPDATE: Will Straw's Left Foot Forward has a more sober take than most on the left on what this means for Labour.