A big test of whether the Labour Party is making progress under Ed Miliband's leadership will be if Ken Livingstone is elected the Mayor of London on Thursday May 3rd. But that is not the only test. Glasgow is a city represented by seven Labour MPs. Yet it is looking increasingly likely that Labour will lose control of Glasgow City Council to the SNP. This prediction in The Scotsman that Labour might be able to cling on in coalition with the Lib Dems is among the more optimistic projections for Labour.
The Labour Party has been hit by bitter internal warfare with deselections, a defection to the SNP and a rebellion over the budget vote last week. One ex Labour councillor claims she was threatened by a former colleague that her disabled son would lose his job with the Council owned Quango City Building unless she voted for the budget.
Then there was the scandal over the Labour council leader Steven Purcell who resigned.
I am not quite sure when Labour last lost control of Glasgow. They have run Glasgow City Council since it was formed as a unitary authority in 1996. Before that there was a two tier system with Strathclyde Regional Council which came into being in 1975. There was also Glasgow District Council which may once have been under the control of the Progressives (a loose anti socialist, anti nationalist alliance of independents, unionists and Liberals). But we must be going back decades.
There are obviously strong local reasons why Labour deserve to lose in Glasgow. But the result of this election could revive muttering against Ed Miliband leadership. If Labour can't win in Glasgow, some will speculate, can they really win the United Kingdom?