Final push for by-election votes

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Indy Politics

Labour today mounted a final push in the Glasgow East by-election by knocking on 10,000 doors in the constituency.

Its candidate, Margaret Curran, began the final day of campaign with a street-corner speech outside a bingo hall.

Voters cast their verdict tomorrow in a constituency where Labour is defending a majority of 13,507.

Loss of what would normally be one of its safest seats would be disastrous for Labour and raise questions over the future of Gordon Brown.

And in what is expected to be a tight result, the outcome could hang on factors as prosaic as the weather - light rain is forecast.

Labour have sought to focus the campaign on Ms Curran, a Holyrood MSP, and what ministerial visits there have been have been low-profile.

In a TV debate last night Ms Curran said she would vote against the Labour government if she judged it necessary.

"If it were required, and I was absolutely having to do that, I would", she said on STV's Politics Now by-election special

Today she said: "Voters tomorrow have a very clear choice to make over what kind of MP they want.

"By backing me they will be electing someone who will stand up for the east end and never, ever, talk it down.

"If they support my opponent, the self-confessed hard-line nationalist councillor Mason, they will be electing an MP who is obsessed with breaking up the UK and can see no difference between Labour and the Tories."

The SNP's final day of campaigning included a visit to a bowling club by deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and comedienne Elaine C Smith with candidate John Mason, a Glasgow councillor.

First Minister Alex Salmond, who has been campaigning in the constituency almost every day, has raised the stakes by declaring the contest to be a "test of strength" between his government and Gordon Brown's.

"People are passing judgment clearly on a Labour Government at Westminster but clearly they are also passing judgment on the SNP Government in Scotland," he said yesterday.

He will join Mr Mason as the campaign draws to a close later today.

Liberal Democrat Ian Robertson will concentrate on his campaign to save Parkhead fire station.

He will be joined by Holyrood politician Ross Finnie and MEP Elspeth Attwooll as they hand a petition to Glasgow City Council.

Tory candidate Davena Rankin will round off the campaign with Annabel Goldie, Scottish Conservative leader.

Solidarity billed its last day on the campaign trail as the only true public event.

Candidate Tricia McLeish will be with activists at a public meeting in Easterhouse.

SSP candidate Frances Curran will play up the differences with her Labour counterpart by unveiling a Curran versus Curran poster.

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