People all over Britain were tumbled out of their beds late last night by the seismic shockwave caused by the sensational victory of John Mason, the Scottish Nationalist candidate, in the by-election in the former Labour bastion of Glasgow East.
Immediately after the returning officer made the announcement that Mr Mason had won 11,277 votes compared to the Labour candidate’s 10,912, a low rumble shook the building, spreading rapidly out from the epicentre. Although Labour MPs across the whole nation were reported to be badly shaken, the effects were felt most strongly in central London, with the Labour Party said to be in imminent danger of collapse.
“Many of these MPs are in a state of shock,” said a spokesman for the emergency services. “We’ve been pulling them from the wreckage all night. People have been saying for years that the whole structure was deteriorating badly, and now it looks like the whole thing is about to come crashing down.”
The Glasgow East result showed a swing of over 22% to the SNP in the former Labour heartland. If the trend were to be repeated, just one Labour MP would remain in the whole of Scotland – with both Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling losing their seats.
English nationalists - who have been complaining bitterly, ever since devolution was implemented, about the unfairness of voters in Scotland having the power to elect MPs to sit in Westminster and influence English politics - were the first to congratulate the SNP on their resounding victory, and sent them an invitation to field a candidate in every seat south of the border at the next general election.
“We don’t know what the SNP’s policies for England would be,” said one London cabbie as he tore the flag of St George from his aerial and replaced it with the cross of St Andrew, “But at least we’d have the option of voting for a party with experience of governing that isn’t infested with thieving Tory bastards."