Aberdeenshire West & Kincardine

2015 Result:
Conservative: 15916 (28.8%)
Labour: 2487 (4.5%)
Lib Dem: 11812 (21.4%)
SNP: 22949 (41.6%)
Green: 885 (1.6%)
UKIP: 1006 (1.8%)
Independent: 141 (0.3%)
MAJORITY: 7033 (12.7%)

Category: Semi-marginal SNP seat

Geography: Scotland, North East. Part of Aberdeenshire council area.

Main population centres: Stonehaven, Inverbervie, Ballater, Banchory.

Profile: An affluent rural seat. In the west the constituency stretches up the Cairngorm mountains and is largely unpopulated coutryside, dotted with villages, and includes Balmoral Castle, the Royal family`s Summer retreat. The eastern part of the constituency is home to many who commute into Aberdeen and the oil boom in Aberdeen has seen an expansion in the suburbs around historic towns such as Stonehaven and Inverbervie.

Politics: Another former area of Conservative strength in Scotland, in this case one that went to the Liberal Democrats after the Conservative wipe-out in 1997 and then to the SNP in their 2015 landslide.

Current MP
STU DONALDSON (SNP) , son of Maureen Watt MSP. Educated at Banchory Academy and Glasgow University. Former Parliamentary assistant. First elected as MP for Aberdeenshire West & Kincardine in 2015.
Past Results
Con: 13678 (30%)
Lab: 6159 (14%)
LDem: 17362 (38%)
SNP: 7086 (16%)
Oth: 910 (2%)
MAJ: 3684 (8%)
Con: 11814 (28%)
Lab: 5470 (13%)
LDem: 19285 (46%)
SNP: 4700 (11%)
Oth: 379 (1%)
MAJ: 7471 (18%)
Con: 11686 (31%)
Lab: 4669 (12%)
LDem: 16507 (44%)
SNP: 4634 (12%)
Oth: 418 (1%)
MAJ: 4821 (13%)
Con: 15080 (35%)
Lab: 3923 (9%)
LDem: 17742 (41%)
SNP: 5639 (13%)
Oth: 805 (2%)
MAJ: 2662 (6%)

2015 Candidates
ALEXANDER BURNETT (Conservative) Businessman.
ROBERT SMITH (Liberal Democrat) Born 1958. Educated at Merchant Taylor`s School and Aberdeen University. Estate manager. Contested Aberdeen South 1987 for the SDP. MP for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine 1997 to 2015. Backed Sir Menzies Campbell in the 2006 leadership race.
RICHARD OPENSHAW (Green) Born 1975, Isle of Wight.
STU DONALDSON (SNP) , son of Maureen Watt MSP. Educated at Banchory Academy and Glasgow University. Parliamentary assistant.
GRAHAM REID (Independent)
Comments - 583 Responses on “Aberdeenshire West & Kincardine”
  1. Probably have similar problems in Edinburgh as one of the seats will likely include part of the west of the city and some of West Lothian.

  2. Clumping in South Ayrshire with Dumfries and Galloway would also create poor boundaries elsewhere, and likely would not fit with your wider proposal.

  3. Max, have you got proposals for all the recalcitrant socialist areas in between these constituencies too?

  4. Good, so your just missing most of the Central Belt and the North…

  5. I think his cunning plan to dilute SNP influence is to have one giant seat and dump everywhere else into it.

  6. Pointless as there is no way these seats will be used. WANK will lose some to a ‘mostly Gordon’ seat, while most will go into an ‘Angus North & Mearns’

  7. MP it doesn’t work!! I’ve set out some proposals which DO work.

    If you want to be taken seriously then create some review areas and then build up workable constituencies in those review areas which fit within the allocated quota. Creating a select few unworkable gerrymandered constituencies doesn’t mean anything. It’s meaningless.

  8. Those make far more sense. Unfortunately, though, your Argyll & Skye seat would fall foul of the area limit.

  9. The minimum electorate requirement doesn’t apply to seats of over 12,000 square kilometres, and no seat may have an area of over 13,000 square kilometres. According to the boundary commission, the Highlands are the only part of the UK where this is likely to be relevant. I’m pretty sure these are legislative rules, rather than the BC deciding unilaterally to alter what Parliament laid down.

  10. Those are my proposals that MP has ever-so-gracefully quoted to you above by the way. Thanks for accrediting me here rather than just copying my work straight from the Internet without stating “this work is from…” or anything.

    The area limit is 13,000km^2 as set out by the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act 2011, the Argyll constituency exceeds this limit by 2,000km^2. As I stated later on this constituency could work with extremely tight boundaries in the Lochalsh area divided between Caithness and Inverness. I have altered some of my proposals from the initial outline above by MP.

  11. Adding: there would also need to be some ward splitting in parts of Lochaber to avoid exceeding the area limit.

    My fixed proposal includes no town splits (with Coatbridge forming a single constituency with Airdrie) and additional arrangements for Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow.


  12. Right…

  13. Dear me people can be so precious on this site.

  14. Tory
    Your damn right ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  15. Out of interest, if you start with Caithness and Sutherland, how far south can you go before you come up against the area limit? You probably need to include Skye and Lochalsh to hit the quota, but the resultant seat looks huge.

  16. Coincidental*

  17. The SNP should take around 30 seats, the Conservatives 20 or over.

  18. I’d expect a good night for the Tories across Scotland, certainly in terms of vote share, based on their performance this year and the consistent addition of 7, 8, 9% to their vote share in local byelections. We’ll see how it translates into seat gains on the night I suppose

  19. Outside of the four usual suspect Conservative councils (that being Dumfries & Galloway, East Renfrewshire, Scottish Borders and South Ayrshire), I would say that the City of Edinburgh is the next most likely council area to have the Conservatives taking the largest proportion of Councillors.

  20. These overspending allegations never seem to go anywhere.

  21. Oh well it’s not the worst allegiation against an MSP to go under-reported. The SNP may possibly make a big song and dance about it on the Scottish media as they did with Orkney & Shetland, we will see.

  22. Burnett recently reported the SNP’s national survey to the Electoral Commission claiming it breached rules being presented as a government leaflet (to no avail) so this could be just tit for tat. The SNP / SC&UP war seems to intensified since the Scottish Tories doubled their seats and became the main opposition at Holyrood.

  23. I can’t say that Ayr is a particularly exciting place though it’s political uniqueness enthrals me.

    I have some relatives around Aberdeenshire (in the city and in North Kincardineshire) though I’m not particularly well acquainted with this constituency beyond my own outside knowledge of the seat, having only visited some parts of Kincardineshire and none of Deeside.

  24. Do you have any plans to visit Scotland (given your fascination of all things blue)?

  25. I’ve always had a soft spot for Scotland and try to visit once a year.

    I first went when I was about 10 in the mid-1980s and I’m always amazed by how different it feels these days compared with then. Today Scotland feels very separate from England whilst in the 1980s it really didn’t.

  26. You’d probably be closer and of more use helping out in Dumfries and Galloway.

  27. Sorry you’d definitely be closer* and probably be of more use*

  28. True commitment would suggest trying to spread the Tory gospel to the locals in somewhere like Glasgow North East.

  29. “True commitment would suggest trying to spread the Tory gospel to the locals in somewhere like Glasgow North East.”

    Visiting Springburn in the early 90s I realised Rab C Nesbitt wasn’t an exaggeration

  30. “Visiting Springburn in the early 90s I realised Rab C Nesbitt wasn’t an exaggeration”

    So very true!

  31. Yes….I agree that the SNP/Con battleground seats are AW & K and the three seats on the English border….any other constituency is a longshot.

  32. Well to be honest Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale & Tweeddale, Berwickshire, Roxburgh & Selkirk and Dumfries & Galloway aren’t especially affluent.

  33. Well in 2011 you might’ve called Greater Glasgow unionist and the North East of Scotland nationalist. The distinction of wealthy areas being more unionist than the more deprived parts of the country really comes back to the 2014 independence referendum in which the results of Yes and No were divided along the fault lines of rich and poor. In the 2011 census British identity was as widespread in the central belt as it was in Aberdeenshire etc. Ultimately, most wealthy areas (other than a few exceptions) are unionist because it’s perceived to be the more logical choice for people living in those areas, just as those living in deprived areas tend to see independence as the more logical choice for themselves.

    Drawing a line and saying Edinburgh is Unionist, Glasgow is Nationalist really means nothing because politics is dynamic. In 2011 for example 5 out of 8 constituency MSP’s in Glasgow were SNP, whilst in Edinburgh it was 5 out of 6. Now all constituency MSP’s in Glasgow are SNP whilst half of Edinburgh’s constituency MSP’s belong to different parties.

  34. My point being that to say No voters are more “loyal” in demographically affluent areas is baloney! The sovereignty debate in Scotland is by no means similar to the debate in Northern Ireland (yet).

  35. * Sigh*

    My point being that the SNP were DOWN in Edinburgh and UP in Glasgow, politics isn’t static. The starkest comparison would be something like Greater Glasgow vs. the North East of Scotland.

  36. And here are some examples to illustrate what I mean using some extremities from Scotland and Northern Ireland.

    * Unionist vote: 62.2%
    * Nationalist vote: 37.8%
    (Significant nationalist presence despite being the most “unionist” constituency in Scotland)

    * Nationalist vote: 65.1%
    * Unionist vote: 34.9%
    (Significant unionist presence despite being the most “nationalist” constituency in Scotland)

    Northern Ireland-
    * Unionist vote: 83.3%
    * Alliance, CISTA and Green vote: 15.0%
    * Nationalist vote: 1.7%
    (Less significant nationalist presence as one of the most unionist constituencies in Northern Ireland)

    * Nationalist vote: 85.0%
    * Alliance vote: 1.8%
    * Unionist vote: 13.2%
    (Less significant unionist presence as one of the most nationalist constituencies in Northern Ireland)

  37. In order I would say:

    Edinburgh Southern
    Edinburgh Central
    Aberdeen South and North Kincardine
    Edinburgh Western
    Edinburgh Pentlands
    Aberdeenshire West
    Strathkelvin and Bearsden
    Perthshire South and Kinross-shire
    North East Fife

  38. And the political composition of those 10:

    4 Scottish National
    3 Conservative
    2 Liberal Democrat
    1 Labour

  39. For a direct comparison, constituencies with the lowest “Yes” party vote shares in 2016 (ordered lowest to highest):
    * Shetland Islands – 23.05%
    * Orkney Islands – 24.32%
    * Eastwood – 28.65%
    * Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire – 31.79%
    * Edinburgh Southern – 32.60%
    * North East Fife – 33.65%
    * Dumfriesshire – 33.94%
    * Edinburgh Western – 34.41%
    * East Lothian – 34.82%
    * Aberdeenshire West – 35.51%

  40. “Dundee East and Angus Glens” is an odd invention. I would’ve preferred it for Kincardine to be joined to the more rural north-west of Angus, forming the Kincardine and North Angus constituency, allowing for Dundee East to join up with the coastal towns of south-east Angus. Unfortunately this would mean ward-splitting.

  41. I think that’s when you get into local knowledge more than anything else – which of the Angus towns you want to put in which seats, because they do have to be split somehow – and I don’t think I know the answer to that.

  42. I would look into creating a compact urban seat stretching from the east of Dundee along the Angus coast up to Montrose, moving the vast bulk of rural Angus in with Kincardine to make the numbers.

  43. Giving Monifieth, Carnoustie, Arbroath and Montrose to the Dundee seat (from my relatively limited knowledge of the area these towns are better tied to Dundee in comparison to the rural north-west of Angus, which is more akin to Kincardine).

  44. Which would mean Forfar and Brechin in the Kincardine seat, presumably? I’d guess that the likes of Montrose fits better with Kincardine than those towns, but I don’t really know.

  45. They are much the same to be honest, though Montrose really belongs in the same constituency with Arbroath, which has considerably closer ties and better road links to Dundee.

    The A90 is a pretty decent road link between Kincardine and the NW of Angus.

  46. Looks like the Tories actually polled ahead in the Mearns, Westhill & District and Huntly, Strathbogie & Howe of Alford wards at the 2016 Scottish Parliament election.

  47. Well, that was a mouthful wasn’t it?

  48. Is that a YouGov poll of Scottish Voting Intentions or the breakdown of a National Voting Intentions?

  49. Think it’s subsamples from the latest national YouGov opinion poll which has a margin of error over 10% I believe?

  50. “Well, that was a mouthful wasn’t it?”

    It’s pretty impressive, adding that onto Aboyne and Banchory it means that they polled ahead in all wards covering the West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine constituency at the UK Parliament outside of North Kincardine.

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