ONE of the certainties from the Rochdale by-election is that we will never know what the result could have been if the Labour Party had not withdrawn their support for their candidate. But regardless of this, the result was monumental for both Labour and the Conservatives and sends shockwaves through the political system in the UK.

Monumental for the two main UK parties because regardless of Labour’s candidate situation that emerged, the next General Election is Labour’s to lose and on Rochdale’s result that could become a reality. The Conservatives polled 12%, lower than the latest opinion-poll predictions in Scotland, where they are predicted to be on 15%. From those predictions, the reality will be curtains for the Conservatives and the end of 14 years of austerity for the country.

READ MORE: Rochdale by-election in numbers amid record-breaking Labour loss

So, let’s turn to Scotland in the midst of the Rochdale result and explore the similarities. In 2019 the majority party in Scotland, the SNP, secured 81% of the seats and 45% of the vote, while Conservatives were on 21% of the vote, Labour on 18.6% and the LibDems less than 10%. In Rochdale Mr Galloway’s share of the vote was 39%, Conservatives 12%, LibDems 7%, and obviously we need to dismiss the Labour vote in the by-election, however Labour have a lot to answer for.

Both the main UK parties have been on the sidelines of Scottish politics for well over a decade, yet those very parties have control of so much of our daily lives through control from Westminster, surely a travesty of justice.

Catriona C Clark

I CAN barely believe what has happened over the last week. Is democracy dead? The Rochdale by-election democratically elected George Galloway. I don’t like it, many don’t like it, but that is democracy in action, and for Sunak and Starmer to complain is anti-democratic, it makes them no better than Galloway since they were complicit in what has happened.

To call for action against peaceful protestors is also anti-democratic – I have been to the pro-Palestine protests in Glasgow and did not see any anti-social behaviour, indeed they were friendly and inclusive. I don’t remember any such rhetoric during the Brexit demonstrations. Why do I have the feeling if these protests were for Israel there would not be a word of criticism?

READ MORE: Ruth Wishart: For victims, another week of high farce at the UK ranch isn't funny

What Israel is doing to the civilians in Gaza is very wrong and an immediate ceasefire should be called by all sane people, as well as the stopping of arms sales to Israel.

The stopping of arms and imposition of sanctions would make Israel stop and think, but while America and UK among others support them with mild rebukes this carnage will go on.

Winifred McCartney

I SENT a message of support to George Galloway for his campaign in Rochdale and I’m delighted he won his big victory. I’ve known George for many years and while we haven’t always agreed on everything I respect his consistent commitment against war and his longstanding support for the Palestinian people.

I’m also delighted he inflicted a major defeat on Starmer’s Labour Party. I was elected as a Labour MEP in 1994 and fell out with Tony Blair, but I have to say Starmer’s Labour Party is even worse than Blair’s Labour. I suspect the Rochdale result spells trouble for Labour at the General Election. A lot of Muslim voters are not going to support Labour over Gaza, as will many young people on the left.

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It could be that Starmer will need support from the SNP and Liberals to form a government. In that case the SNP must make it clear that any support from its MPs is contingent on the right of Scotland to decide its own future.

George Galloway has traditionally been a Unionist but I hear he might be rethinking his position on independence. I hope that’s true and he can see that the best way to break up the British state is for Scotland to become independent .The Rochdale result has shown that elections can change things, and let’s hope that spirit of change can take place in Scotland soon.

Hugh Kerr (MEP 1994-99)

TWO good things have come out of the Rochdale by-election. The first is that Starmer has had a real fright and will surely have to alter his position on Gaza. Stephen Flynn will hopefully feel justified in his criticism of Mr Speaker.

The second is the clearest indication that first past the post is now so antiquated that it has become totally anachronistic. Parliament and its ridiculous rules are well past their sell-by date. We are ruled by English traditionalists who think that Westminster is somehow modern. We still have a monarchy, the history of which, given the money wasted on forming armies and taxing the poor to pay for them, is redolent of the position of a modern Russian leader. We have a Prime Minister who can hand out “honours” to whomsoever he likes, to be endorsed by a monarchy whose members continue to waste huge amounts of taxpayers’ money.

As recompense, perhaps the King could spend more of his riches on the less fortunate of his subjects. As he spends much of his holidays in Scotland, perhaps he could show rather more socialist leanings.

Tony Kime

“PUTIN issues nuke warning to the West” reports Friday’s National. His war in Ukraine is not achieving the desired result. An election looms, which he intends to win. Macron suggests the deployment of Western ground troops is a possibility. Putin’s back is to the wall, his mental state is questionable. Will he lash out with nuclear weapons, or is it pure bluff?

READ MORE: Ex-MP calls on UK Government to publish review into Russian investors

We cannot take a chance on such a critical issue. Given that Scotland is a base for such insane weaponry, the safety of our nation is at stake. We must be rid of them before it’s too late. Never mind Westminster calling it illegal, time is running out. Declare independence now and do it.

Iain R Thomson