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. “Yes it’s a subsample but one that’s not that hard to believe based on other Scotland polls.”

    Well ignoring the fact that the Conservatives have never polled on 26% in a Westminster poll in Scotland (since at least 1997, this is a subsample of 153 voters whose margin of error is so huge it can’t be taken with any deal of authority.

    Other subsamples show the Conservatives are on 20% of the vote anyway, so you’re obviously just picking and choosing subsample results to suit your own preference anyway.

  2. Well there’s been 2 since Theresa May’s election. 49% SNP – 20% Conservative and 47% SNP – 24% Conservative.

    You are cherry picking subsamples which have ridiculous margins of error anyway.

  3. Yes, sub-samples of different UK regions in national polls are totally unreliable – although obviously if you can be bothered to log every one then you can perhaps detect trends by doing so, in particular regions that aren’t otherwise polled, eg West Midlands or whatever.

  4. A breakdown of a national poll like NYT UK says rarely has more than 200 voters in their sample whereas Scottish Voting Intention polls up to 1,000 people. Generally speaking the larger the sample the more representative it is. Not always but generally speaking.

  5. Subsamples are meaningless

  6. @ Bt Says: “Yes, sub-samples of different UK regions in national polls are totally unreliable – although obviously if you can be bothered to log every one then you can perhaps detect trends by doing so, in particular regions that aren’t otherwise polled, eg West Midlands or whatever.”

    Tried this in Scotland for the Tories, I believe they had an average of 16-17% on the subsamples in 2015, which is an over-estimation of between 1-2%…!

  7. The problem is the margins of error are so huge there’s a good chance you could get a totally bonkers result when averaging them up.

  8. The purpose of averages is to accommodate for outliers, while it is likely it may well scew the result

  9. Council by-election?

  10. No I don’t think there should be a by-election there because of the 6 month rule.

  11. Here’s my profile of this constituency:

    West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine is a highly affluent rural constituency located in the south of Aberdeenshire. This area enjoys very low rates of deprivation overall in comparison to the Scottish national average.

    The seat covers the more sparsely populated upper reaches of the River Dee and its tributary streams, which together form the region known as “Royal Deeside” (a name given to the area due to its ties with the British monarchy). Royal Deeside encompasses the areas adjacent to the River Dee from the Cairngorms in the west, to the outskirts of the city of Aberdeen in the north-east. The course of the river is dominated by mountains and forests, giving way to flat plains further east. Dotted along the course of the river are a number of very prosperous and attractive settlements including Banchory, which is the area’s main town, and villages such as Aboyne and Ballater (which has considerable ties to the Queen’s estate of Balmoral to the west). Overall this area of Royal Deeside has traditionally returned a strong Conservative vote at local elections, and my notionals suggest that the area as a whole voted overwhelming against Scottish independence back in 2014 (at 71% No 29% Yes).

    East of here is the former County of Kincardineshire. Kincardineshire consists of a diverse mix of areas, covering the pastoral plains of the Mearns, various suburbs on the outskirts of Aberdeen and the affluent seaside resort and market town of Stonehaven. The northern part of the county covers the wealthy Aberdonian suburbs of Portlethen and Newtonhill, which have traditionally been more inclined towards the Labour Party in comparison to the rest of the constituency. Stonehaven and its surrounding areas have traditionally been more inclined towards the Conservatives, whilst the rural south of the county is traditionally more Liberal Democrat in nature (the rural south is more mixed in comparison to the rest of the county, though still prosperous). Overall Kincardineshire is a microcosm of the constituency as a whole: at the Scottish independence referendum my notionals suggest that this area had a 66% No 34% Yes vote (breaking down as 70% No 30% Yes in Stonehaven & Lower Deeside, 65% No 35% Yes in North Kincardine and 63% No 37% Yes in Mearns).

    Moving north-east of Royal Deeside is the wealthy Aberdonian suburbs of Blackburn and Westhill: an area which my notionals suggest had a good No vote at the 2014 independence referendum (68% No 32% Yes). West, cutting into the upper reaches of the River Don, are the large villages of Alford and Kemnay: which are more mixed areas (though still very affluent) in comparison to the constituency as a whole. My notionals suggest that the constituency had a 67% No 33% Yes vote at the Scottish independence referendum.

    The constituency voted Conservative at the 2016 Holyrood election. The Conservatives polled ahead in the following wards covered by this constituency:
    – Aboyne, Upper Deeside and Donside
    – Banchory and Mid-Deeside
    – Stonehaven and Lower Deeside
    – Westhill and District

    I’ve heard that they also polled ahead in Mearns but I’m afraid I cannot confirm it and personally doubt it myself.

    As such I would say that the SNP polled ahead in the following wards covered by this constituency:
    – Huntly, Strathbogie and Alford (pt.)
    – Mearns
    – North Kincardine
    – West Garioch (pt.)

  12. At the next UK general election I wouldn’t be surprised if the Conservatives poll ahead in all wards covered by the existing West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine constituency: assuming, of course, that they sustain their position in the polls.

  13. Great summary, NTY UK.

  14. What about your beloved Sedgefield/Penistone & Stockbridge? 😉

  15. Boundaries are changing…

    Besides I’m pretty certain the Conservatives are more likely to gain Berwickshire and possibly somewhere like Edinburgh South West over Moray in Scotland. Berwickshire is basically their only guaranteed gain.

  16. What about Labour? What’s the largest majority they could feasibly overturn? An opening suggestion: Harrow East, the only minority white seat with a Conservative MP, currently on a 10% majority. Could fall victim to the Conservatives’ reverse identity politics.

  17. In Scotland Labour are unlikely to gain any seats: with boundary change I suspect that they will actually lose their only Scottish seat to the Conservatives
    East Lothian is their best chance of a gain here: it is very unlikely at best.

  18. Dumfries and Galloway is by no means a certain Conservative gain but it’s a very likely one imo.

    I think that the Conservatives will come second in East Lothian at the 2017 local election (as I’ve suggested quite a lot): I’m not sure whether they could manage it with the caveat of pro-Labour tactical voting at a UK general election however.

  19. Thanks for repeating what I’ve said before and claiming you said it (seriously wtf – why??) ? 😛 I’ve already got something of a profile for Gordon on that page. I usually just make them on a whim when I feel compelled to discuss a certain seat.

    I think the Conservatives could manage Aberdeen South and East Renfrewshire, possibly also Edinburgh South West, and perhaps Edinburgh South if they can somehow break the cycle of pro-Labour voting in that area.

    But as I’ve said with boundary changes they’d have a very strong chance of gaining Edinburgh South West & Central.

  20. Yes, I’m still doubtful given their appalling performance in Pentlands at the 2016 Holyrood election but the constituency is a lot more similar to Pentlands than I first believed.

    Don’t see it happening in Gordon on the current boundaries although it is probably the constituency where the Conservatives are most likely to increase their vote by the largest margin in Scotland. With the boundary review I anticipate that they will be competitive in the proposed Gordon and Deeside constituency.

  21. It omits Fairmilehead (not huge but strong Conservative area) and parts of Saughton and Broomhill (working class SNP areas), gaining the affluent Fountainbridge/Craiglockhart ward (which my figures suggest had a No vote of around 63% compared to the 61.6% No vote recorded in Edinburgh South West).

    So I pretty similar, at least according to my own figures which has No on 61% of the vote for the Pentlands Holyrood constituency.

  22. I thought this map of people signing the anti-indyref2 petition was quite interesting – http://petitionmap.unboxedconsulting.com/?petition=180642

  23. The most interesting thing being that the English aren’t bothered – even seats with lots of Scots like Corby and Berwick have negligible signatures. No interest in Wales or NI either.

  24. Looking back on here the largest majorities likely to be overturned by the Conservatives on the new boundaries are Gordon & Deeside (SNP majority of ~13,000 over Conservative) followed by Aberdeen South, Ayr & Carrick and Eastwood & Loudoun (all with SNP majorities of ~11,000 over Conservative).

    Moray & Nairn and North Perthshire are also possible, but less likely.

  25. Yes. Remember Gordon was a LibDem-SNP battle, with Aberdeen South, Ayr and Eastwood all being Labour-SNP fights.

    Assuming that Scotland votes against independence for a second time I believe that it’s likely that the Conservatives will come away with somewhere between 8-10 Scottish constituencies on the new boundaries.

  26. Tories only standing one candidate in Aboyne and one in Ballater at this year’s local council elections. Very silly if you ask me. Now if they get all candidates elected the best they can do is TIE with the SNP here.

  27. Perhaps the surge in Tory support in Scotland has not been matched by new members / activists?

    After 30 years of relentless decline I imagine the remaining membership is largely small and old…they must have to scrape the barrel to find suitable candidates even in their more promising areas.

  28. It’s a little disappointing to be honest as we had two councillors in Aboyne back in 2007 and polled well over 50% of the vote in Deeside in 2016.

    I think that you’re right to be honest. The Conservative membership in an area like Royal Deeside will be almost exclusively elderly and retired with many English-born, especially as these are common demographics in the area. The younger ranks of the party (as with every other political party in Scotland) has a fair few homosexuals, which is quite a juxtaposition.

  29. Down with this sort of thing!

  30. “The younger ranks of the party (as with every other political party in Scotland) has a fair few homosexuals, which is quite a juxtaposition.”

    True, and nothing remotely new about that.

    I’ve lived either in or around London for 22 years now, but I’ve never seen so many gay people as at the Tory party conference, on the one occasion I attended it. And this was during their homophobic section 28 phase during the Hague leadership, way before Cameron, gay marriage etc.

    At that time the Scottish membership seemed more traditionalist than southern England but perhaps that has changed now.

  31. @ H.H. – You get the odd young careerist in most local branches but the tendency in Scotland seems to be a traditional, elderly, Protestant membership in most areas, with the younger (and homosexual) members in the cities and student branches.

    I’m not saying that all young members of the Scottish Conservative Party are gay – far from it – it’s just that like every other political party in Scotland they tend to make up a disproportionate amount of the membership/activist pool. No clue why but it’s worth noting that most party leaders in Scotland are also homosexual and I’ve heard similar things about Labour.

  32. No? (Could we stick to plain English on here btw).

  33. Yes I know. I didn’t know what you meant because it’s out-of-context jargon.

  34. My guess for Aberdeenshire:

    Banff and District (3) – 1 Conservative 1 Scottish National 1 Independent
    Troup (3) – 1 Conservative 1 Scottish National 1 Independent
    Fraserburgh and District (4) – 2 Scottish National 1 Independent 1 Conservative
    Central Buchan (4) – 2 Independent 1 Conservative 1 Scottish National
    Peterhead North and Rattray (4) – 2 Scottish National 1 Independent 1 Conservative
    Peterhead South and Cruden (3) – 2 Scottish National 1 Independent
    Turriff and District (4) – 1 Conservative 1 Scottish National 1 Liberal Democrat 1 Independent
    Mid Formartine (4) – 1 Conservative 1 Scottish National 1 Independent 1 Liberal Democrat
    Ellon and District (4) – 1 Conservative 1 Scottish National 1 Liberal Democrat 1 Independent
    West Garioch (3) – 1 Conservative 1 Scottish National 1 Liberal Democrat
    Inverurie and District (4) – 1 Conservative 1 Scottish National 1 Liberal Democrat 1 Independent
    East Garioch (4) – 1 Conservative 1 Scottish National 1 Liberal Democrat 1 Green
    Westhill and District (4) – 2 Conservative 1 Scottish National 1 Liberal Democrat
    Huntly, Strathbogie and Howe of Alford (4) – 2 Conservative 1 Scottish National 1 Liberal Democrat
    Aboyne, Upper Deeside and Donside (3) – 1 Conservative 1 Liberal Deemocrat 1 Scottish National
    Banchory and Mid Deeside (3) – 1 Conservative 1 Liberal Deemocrat 1 Scottish National
    North Kincardine (4) – 1 Conservative 1 Scottish National 1 Liberal Democrat 1 Labour
    Stonehaven and Lower Deeside (4) – 2 Conservative 1 Scottish National 1 Liberal Democrat
    Mearns (4) – 2 Conservative 1 Scottish National 1 Liberal Democrat
    ABERDEENSHIRE: 22 Conservative (+8) 22 Scottish National (-6) 13 Liberal Democrat (+1) 11 Independent (=) 1 Labour (-1) 1 Green (=)

    – The Conservatives could take the final seat in Peterhead South off of Independents or the SNP.
    – The SNP could take the final seats in Central Buchan and Turriff off of Independents.

    Clearly the Conservatives have under-nominated in Aberdeenshire, and according to Sandy Wallace on the VoteUK site (who is a Conservative candidate for Stonehaven & Lower Deeside) this is something that the local party is aware of.

  35. They should really be running two candidates in all wards located in Gordon, Kincardine and Deeside, but they aren’t running anywhere near that.

    The lack of two candidates in the two Deeside wards in particular is a poor show from the Aberdeenshire Conservatives.

  36. Yes they did well in Aberdeenshire West, and will most likely be concentrating their efforts on gains in Gordon & Deeside and Kincardine & North Angus at the 2020 UK general election.

    They probably don’t have enough willing candidates in Aberdeenshire for some reason. That or they just didn’t try hard enough at finding any.

  37. The existing West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine boundary arrangement would return a stronger Conservative vote to that of Gordon and Deeside, however the difference won’t be incredible. The proposed boundary arrangement in Aberdeenshire is better for the Conservatives in Aberdeenshire as it joins the most unionist parts of the Gordon and West Aberdeenshire & Kincardine constituencies together to form a likely Conservative gain for 2020 that is Gordon & Deeside.

    In addition the Kincardine & North Angus seat will probably be a target for the Conservatives: especially if Arbroath ends up in Dundee East and Kirriemuir, Forfar and Brechin join Kincardine and Montrose as a result of boundary changes from the interim proposals around Banchory.

    So it’s looking like 1-2 constituencies in Aberdeenshire come 2020 at the moment, with an additional target constituency in Aberdeen City (that being the Aberdeen South constituency).

  38. My notionals point to the largest No votes in Aberdeen City and Shire being:

    1. Lower Deeside (Aberdeen City): 75% NO
    2. Hazlehead / Ashley / Queens Cross (Aberdeen City): 74% NO
    3. Banchory and Mid-Deeside: 73% NO
    4. Aboyne, Upper Deeside and Donside: 70% NO
    5. Stonehaven and Lower Deeside: 70% NO

  39. I wonder a Tory gain

  40. Yes the Conservatives will be looking at taking this seat comfortably, with a majority well in excess of 10% if current opinion polling is to be believed.

    I would anticipate them to poll ahead in all wards covered by the West Aberdeenshire & Kincardine constituency.

  41. I think this will be one of four seats that the Conservatives will take from the SNP. The other three are Berwickshire, Dumfries & Galloway and East Renfrewshire.

  42. I’ve mentioned this before, but the SNP are going to have to think very carefully about how they pitch their campaign.

    In 2015 they were unafraid to bandy about words like “socialist” and “progressive” in a campaign that, while it worked everywhere, was tailor-made for Glasgow (and tailor-made to outflank Ed Miliband, whose Keynesian instincts were continually reined in by focus groups telling him he had to appear “tough” to capture those key Essex marginals). But Glasgow is now safe SNP territory, and the new battlegrounds are seats like WA&K which require a quite different approach. Unfortunately, triangulating towards the Tories would rather undermine their narrative of Scottish exceptionalism. Tough situation for them.

  43. I can see the SNP losing this but not by 12 points.

  44. No way the Tory vote will be 47%. The conservative vote was only at 38% here in Scottish parliamentary election.

  45. Prediction as of April 25th 2017:

    SNP: 37% (-5)
    Con 43.1% (+14.1)
    Lab: 0 (-5)
    LDem 19% (-2)

    Scottish Con gain, predicted majority of 6.1%
    *Prediction based on national shares of 29% Tory, 45% SNP, 15% Labour, 5.5% LDem, 2.25% Green.

  46. Here is my complete Scottish independence referendum 2014 notionals for 1999 wards in Grampian.

    Murtle – 78% NO
    Seafield – 78% NO
    Queens Cross – 78% NO
    Broomhill – 77% NO
    Midstocket – 77% NO
    Ashley – 76% NO
    Cults – 76% NO
    Gairn – 74% NO
    Peterculter – 72% NO
    Hazlehead – 70% NO
    Duthie – 68% NO
    Newhills – 66% NO
    Danestone – 65% NO
    Gilcomston – 65% NO
    Loirston – 65% NO
    Oldmachar – 65% NO
    Jesmond – 63% NO
    Pittodrie – 63% NO
    Sunnybank – 60% NO
    Berryden – 59% NO
    Bridge of Don – 59% NO
    Kittybrewster – 59% NO
    Langstane – 59% NO
    Donmouth – 57% NO
    Bankhead/Stoneywood – 54% NO
    Castlehill – 54% NO
    Hilton – 51% NO
    Pitmedden – 51% NO
    Garthdee – 50% NO
    Nigg – 50% NO
    Woodside – 50% YES
    Stockethill – 51% YES
    Kincorth West – 53% YES
    St. Machar – 54% YES
    Auchmill – 55% YES
    Summerhill – 55% YES
    Sheddocksley – 56% YES
    Seaton – 57% YES
    Torry – 58% YES
    Cummings Park – 59% YES
    Mastrick – 59% YES
    Springhill – 61% YES
    Tullos Hill – 65% YES

    Banchory West – 76% NO
    Mid Deeside – 74% NO
    Stonehaven Central – 73% NO
    Upper Deeside – 73% NO
    Banchory East and Crathes – 72% NO
    Stonehaven North and Fetteresso – 72% NO
    Alford – 71% NO
    Westhill Central – 70% NO
    Aboyne – 69% NO
    Donside and Cromar – 69% NO
    Echt – 69% NO
    Lower Deeside – 69% NO
    Meldrum – 69% NO
    Chapel and Gadie – 68% NO
    Ellon Town – 68% NO
    Kinellar and Westhill North – 68% NO
    Kintore and Keithhall – 68% NO
    Mearns North – 68% NO
    Portlethen South – 68% NO
    Elrick – 67% NO
    Tarves – 67% NO
    Insch – 65% NO
    Mearns Central – 65% NO
    Newtonhill, Muchalls and Cammachmore – 65% NO
    Udny-Slains – 65% NO
    Belhevie – 64% NO
    Huntly East – 64% NO
    Logie Buchan – 64% NO
    Newmachar and Fintray – 64% NO
    Kemnay – 63% NO
    Stonehaven South – 63% NO
    Strathbogie – 63% NO
    Ythan – 63% NO
    Inverbervie, Gourdon and Johnshaven – 62% NO
    Porthlethen North – 62% NO
    Upper Ythan – 61% NO
    Inverurie North – 60% NO
    Mearns South – 60% NO
    Boddam-Inverugie – 58% NO
    Gamrie-King Edward – 58% NO
    Inverurie Central – 58% NO
    Mintlaw-Longside – 58% NO
    South Buchan – 58% NO
    Buchan North East – 57% NO
    Durn – 56% NO
    Mintlaw-Old Deer – 56% NO
    Aberchirder – 55% NO
    Fyvie-Methlick – 55% NO
    Turriff East – 55% NO
    Turriff West – 55% NO
    Central Buchan – 54% NO
    Cruden – 53% NO
    Macduff – 53% NO
    Banff West and Boyndie – 52% NO
    Huntly West – 52% NO
    Inverurie South and Port Elphinstone – 52% NO
    Blackhouse – 51% NO
    Banff – 50% NO
    Fraserburgh South – 52% YES
    Buchan North – 53% YES
    Lonmay and St Fergus – 53% YES
    Dales-Towerhill – 54% YES
    Clerkhill – 63% YES
    Buchanhaven – 67% YES
    Peterhead Central-Roanheads – 70% YES
    Fraserburgh East – 70% YES
    Fraserburgh North – 77% YES
    Fraserburgh West – 78% YES

    Forres East – 70% NO
    Burghsea – 65% NO
    Elgin-Bishopmill West – 65% NO
    Finderne – 65% NO
    Innes – 65% NO
    Heldon and Laich – 64% NO
    Elgin-Central West – 62% NO
    Lossiemouth East – 61% NO
    Speyside – 61% NO
    Lennox – 60% NO
    Lhanbryde and Birnie – 60% NO
    New Elgin West – 60% NO
    Rathford – 60% NO
    Glenlivet – 57% NO
    Rural Keith and Rothes – 57% NO
    Lossiemouth West – 56% NO
    Elgin-Bishopmill East – 55% NO
    Fife-Keith and Strathisla – 55% NO
    Forres West and Altyre – 55% NO
    Keith – 53% NO
    Buckie East and Findochty – 52% NO
    Forres Central – 51% NO
    Buckie Central – 50% NO
    Buckie West – 51% YES
    New Elgin East – 51% YES
    Elgin-Cathedral – 53% YES

    For more breakdowns from the 2014 independence referendum check out my thread on the Vote UK site (here: http://vote-2012.proboards.com/thread/9192/scottish-independence-referendum-2014-results ) which includes maps and spreadsheets of the results broken down by 2007 electoral ward, 2011 Scottish Parliament constituency and 2005 UK Parliament constituency.

  47. Referendum result by UK Parliament constituency:

    West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine = 68% NO
    Aberdeen South = 65% NO
    Gordon = 62% NO
    Aberdeen North = 52% NO
    Banff and Buchan = 52% YES

  48. Dead cert Tory gain.

    Dead cert Tory gain.
    April 26th, 2017 at 5:54 pm

    No such thing in Scotland.

  50. Not dead cert but extremely likely based on current opinion polling.

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