The National:

Winner in 2016: John Mason (SNP)

SHETTLESTON was a Glasgow constituency in which the Scottish Socialists enjoyed respectable results during their heyday.

The colourful Rosie Kane, who served as an SSP list MSP between 2003 and 2007, took 8% and 14.5% vote shares in the seat in the first two Scottish Parliament elections. As was the case in the Pollok constituency , though, the SSP withdrew from the scene after their 2006 split, allowing the SNP to assert themselves as the sole credible challenger to Labour.

In 2011, Shettleston was one of several Glasgow seats where the coin toss worked out for the SNP, with the incumbent Labour MSP Frank McAveety being sensationally ousted by the SNP’s John Mason.

The gap between the two was just 586 votes.

The SNP were probably assisted by the fact that Mason had represented the overlapping Westminster seat of Glasgow East until the previous year, after a famous by-election win over Labour’s Margaret Curran in the summer of 2008.

That victory is often cited as being the SNP’s most impressive ever by-election result in Glasgow – surpassing even the Govan wins of 1973 and 1988 – simply because it had hitherto been such an unpromising part of the city for them.

The historic Labour reverse in 2016 saw Shettleston being transformed from a marginal into what now appears to be a rock-solid SNP seat, with Mason’s majority shooting up to more than 7000 votes.

However, Labour’s near-miss in Glasgow East in the 2017 UK General Election may be a sign that the foundations are not quite as secure as we’d like to believe, and that the Labour Party can still prove extremely competitive when the circumstances are right.

That’s unlikely to prove a problem on this particular occasion. With the SNP enjoying a huge national lead over Labour at present, Mason should be elected for a third time in a row, probably with a thumping majority.