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No Left Bank on the Clyde

The rise of the SNP has not led to a renaissance of Scotland's political culture

By Tom Gallagher   September 2008

After snatching Glasgow East in a late July by-election, the third safest Scottish Labour seat, the SNP raced into a 19 per cent opinion poll lead over Labour in August. Gleeful nationalists predicted that the three colourless candidates for the vacant Scottish Labour party leadership would lose their seats at the next Holyrood election. London commentators predicted that Scotland would exit the union and concluded that devolution was a giant miscalculation by Labour.

But what is really remarkable is that the humdrum Labour party maintained such a tight hold on Scottish loyalties for as long as 50 years, a period…

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