Aberdeen South

2015 Result:
Conservative: 11087 (22.8%)
Labour: 12991 (26.8%)
Lib Dem: 2252 (4.6%)
SNP: 20221 (41.6%)
Green: 964 (2%)
UKIP: 897 (1.8%)
Independent: 139 (0.3%)
MAJORITY: 7230 (14.9%)

Category: Semi-marginal SNP seat

Geography: Scotland, North East. Part of the Aberdeen City council area.

Main population centres: Aberdeen, Cults, Peterculter, Milltimber.

Profile: Aberdeen South consists of the Southern part of Aberdeen itself and the more rural areas to the West of the city, including the middle class suburbs of Peterculter, Bieldside and Cults. There are also more working class areas included in the seat, such as the post-war estates in Torry, Kincorth and Nigg..

Politics: The seat was won by Labour in 1997, having had the distinction of being the only seat that Labour lost in the 1992 election. It had been held by the Labour MP Dame Anne Begg, only the second full time wheelchair user elected to the Commons, but was lost to the SNP in their 2015 landslide.

Current MP
CALLUM MCCAIG (SNP) Educated at Edinburgh University. Former Parliamentary assistant. Aberdeen councillor since 2007, former leader of Aberdeen council. First elected as MP for Aberdeen South in 2015.
Past Results
Con: 8914 (21%)
Lab: 15722 (37%)
LDem: 12216 (28%)
SNP: 5102 (12%)
Oth: 1080 (3%)
MAJ: 3506 (8%)
Con: 7134 (17%)
Lab: 15272 (37%)
LDem: 13924 (33%)
SNP: 4120 (10%)
Oth: 1171 (3%)
MAJ: 1348 (3%)
Con: 7098 (19%)
Lab: 14696 (40%)
LDem: 10308 (28%)
SNP: 4293 (12%)
Oth: 495 (1%)
MAJ: 4388 (12%)
Con: 11621 (26%)
Lab: 15541 (35%)
LDem: 12176 (28%)
SNP: 4299 (10%)
Oth: 425 (1%)
MAJ: 3365 (8%)

2015 Candidates
ROSS THOMSON (Conservative) Born Aberdeen. Educated at Bridge of Don Academy and Aberdeen University. Retail store trainer. Aberdeen councillor since 2012. Contested Gordon 2010.
ANNE BEGG (Labour) Born 1955, Bechin. Educated at Brechin High School and Aberdeen University. History and english teacher. MP for Aberdeen South 1997 to 2015. Begg was born with Gaucher Disease and is the first full time wheelchair user to be elected to the Commons.
DENIS RIXSON (Liberal Democrat)
CALLUM MCCAIG (SNP) Educated at Edinburgh University. Parliamentary assistant. Aberdeen councillor since 2007, former leader of Aberdeen council.
Comments - 246 Responses on “Aberdeen South”
  1. The flaw in that argument is that the membership will likely always support at least a soft leftie, they won’t vote for a Blairite who are the only ones likely to challenge JC, the other Corbynitsa’s and soft lefties would stick by Corbyn or stay out of it.

    That’s the outcome in this mad world where he refuses o budge (which might I add is like saying Liam Fox might decide to give up on Brexit if it proves too hard…err not gonna happen, Corbyn clearly doesn’t want to be leader he will leave first chance he gets, he aint gonna cling on to the leadership.

  2. “Why stand”
    As comical as it sound cos it was his turn to be the lefts candidate, he even said when he got on the ballot to JMc “now just make sure I don’t win”

    “Why re-stand”
    Apparently he didn’t want to but his team convinced him too cos the alternative was a free pass to the PLP.

    “Why get on a soapbox”
    Cos that’s what he’s always done, while he might not want to be leader JC clearly is passionate about what he believes in.

    “Interviewer: you’re doing badly in the polls
    JC: oh well I never wanted to be leader anyway”
    Well he refused to say he wanted to become PM when asked…take from that what you will.

  3. Of course by that logic Ruth Davidson should have resigned in 2015: it’s not always the best course.

  4. No point continuing this discussion if you’re just going to overlook all of my points.

  5. Compare 2005 with 2007 for Labour when Brown took over.

  6. The No vote in Aberdeen was heavily concentrated in the West End of the city, most of which is covered by this constituency.

    According to my fresh set of notionals for the city the largest No results were in the following wards:
    1. Lower Deeside 75% NO (West End)
    2. Hazlehead/Ashley/Queens Cross 74% NO (West End)
    3. Airyhall/Broomhill/Garthdee 68% NO (West End)
    4. Midstocket/Rosemount 66% NO (West End)
    5. Bridge of Don 61% NO

    All other wards in the city except Northfield (that is the remaining 7) had average/slightly below average NO results ranging from 55-52% of the vote. Northfield returned the largest YES result in the city at around 64% Yes.

    These figures would suggest that the following wards voted Conservative at the 2016 Scottish Parliament election:
    * Lower Deeside (located within the Aberdeen South & North Kincardine constituency)
    * Hazlehead/Ashley/Queens Cross (split between the Aberdeen South & North Kincardine and Aberdeen Central constituencies)
    * Airyhall/Broomhill/Garthdee (split between the Aberdeen South & North Kincardine and Aberdeen Central constituencies)

  7. They should considering they’ve done it a couple of times in recent local council by-elections. Near me I could see them polling ahead in somewhere like Ballochmyle or Cumnock.

  8. Council area probably not.

  9. Yes I agree with you in that case.

    My current projection for Scotland (in terms of largest party by council area) is:

    Scottish National – 18
    Conservative – 8
    Independent – 6
    Labour – 0

    I anticipate that the SNP will comprehensively oust Labour in their former Central Belt heartlands but that conversely the Conservatives will poll ahead in a number of councils which previously had the SNP as the largest party in 2012 (Aberdeenshire, Perth & Kinross and Stirling). I also believe that the Conservatives will become the largest party in Dumfries & Galloway, East Renfrewshire and the capital, City of Edinburgh. I also believe that Independents will push ahead of the SNP in Moray.

  10. Addressing each of the councils you’ve mentioned:

    That’s all possible I suppose: I’ve actually mixed up the new boundaries in East Dunbartonshire, I suppose it would all depend on whether or not the Conservatives can manage to take 2 out of 4 councillors in Bishopbriggs North & Campsie: something I’ll need to look at more carefully.

    I agree with you about East Lothian: the more affluent/conservative rural east of the council will most likely be going Conservative this time around. They will also be looking at taking councillors in some of the more working class wards to the west of the council (I expect they will manage a councillor in Musselburgh and another in Preston/Seton) which allow them to take second place here comfortably. The SNP should come first here.

  11. Moray I think will go Independent, Angus I think will go SNP, East Dunbartonshire I’m no longer certain about having looked at the new boundaries for that area.

  12. 2020

    SNP 15,000
    LAB 13,000
    CON 12,000
    LIB DEM 10,000
    GRN 1,000
    UKIP 200

  13. That’s the exact same list as the one I shared earlier only with East Dunbartonshire, Angus and Moray going Conservative over SNP.

    I just can’t see that happening in Moray, and have a hard time seeing it in Angus too.

  14. (My own comment from the VoteUK site):

    Assuming that the SNP continue to poll on (or in excess of) 47% of the vote in Scotland the main Conservatives targets should actually be (ordered based on the 2016 Holyrood election):

    1. Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk
    2. Clydesdale and Eskdale
    3. Dumfries and Galloway
    4. Edinburgh South West and Central
    5. Eastwood and Loudoun
    6. Ayr and Carrick
    7. Gordon and Deeside
    8. Aberdeen South
    9. Kincardine and Angus East

    Theoretically speaking:
    On a national result of 47% SNP 24% Conservative the Conservatives could gain Edinburgh South West & Central and Eastwood & Loudoun.
    On a national result of 47% SNP 26% Conservative the Conservatives could gain Ayr & Carrick and Gordon & Deeside.
    On a national result of 47% SNP 28% Conservative the Conservatives could gain Aberdeen South and Kincardine & Angus East.

    For the Conservatives to gain North Perthshire and Moray & Nairn they would need to achieve a direct swing from the SNP from the 2016 Holyrood election (likely requiring a national result of 45% SNP 28% Conservative): this is not something which I believe is achievable for the time being.

    So based on these proposed initial boundaries I would say that the Conservatives are on track to take somewhere in the region of 2-9 constituencies in Scotland. At the moment our two Scottish polls would suggest that the figure is somewhere between 2 and 5, my inkling is that it could be more but that the election campaign will play a major role in determining the final figure.

  15. 9 out of 53 constituencies (16.9%) would be the highest proportion of constituencies won by the Conservatives in general election in Scotland since 1983, when they took 21 out of 71 constituencies (29.6%).

  16. If they managed all nine targets then the notional results for the party compared with the 1992 election would be:

    Conservative Hold (7):
    * Aberdeen South
    * Clydesdale and Eskdale
    * Dumfries and Galloway
    * Eastwood and Loudoun
    * Edinburgh South West and Central
    * Gordon and Deeside
    * Kincardine and Angus East

    Conservative gain from Labour (1):
    * Ayr and Carrick

    Conservative gain from Liberal Democrat (1):
    * Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk

    Scottish National gain from Conservative (1):
    * Perthshire

    That would be a net gain of one constituency.

  17. The main areas of advancement for the party compared with 1992 appear to be Ayr, Galloway and the Scottish Borders: in contrast they’ve fallen back mostly in East Renfrewshire, Edinburgh West and Perth & Kinross.

  18. Well that’s just how it is: they can’t do well everywhere and there are some clear improvements on 1992 in some areas (Ayr, Galloway, Scottish Borders, Moray) and some areas where their vote has collapsed quite significantly on 1992 (Eastwood is clearly the best example of this).

  19. So I believe that we are due a Boundary Review for the Scottish Parliament boundaries within the next few years. Looking at the current electorate figures across Scotland the boundaries are unlikely to change significantly from the existing Scottish Parliamentary boundaries.

    One area where I believe the Boundary Commission switch the boundaries around a bit is in the North East of Scotland, whose boundaries are currently something of a mess in the Scottish Parliament.

    I would propose the following boundaries, with a ward split in Ferryhill (Aberdeen): http://i.imgur.com/hPwIFk1.png

    1. Aberdeen Central
    2. Aberdeen Deeside
    3. Aberdeen Donside
    4. Banffshire and Buchan Coast
    5. Dundee City East
    6. Dundee City West
    7. East Aberdeenshire
    8. Mearns and North Angus
    9. Moray
    10. South Angus
    11. West Aberdeenshire

    I do believe that this is the likely outcome of the Boundary Review in the North East.

    The rough partisan effect of the new boundaries would be good for the Conservatives, with Aberdeen Deeside becoming a very likely Conservative gain (having voted 68% No in 2014) and Mearns & North Angus becoming a very strong Conservative target (having voted 63% No in 2014).

  20. I also think that in Perth and Kinross the split in Perth will end, with the city of Perth joining the north-eastern parts of Perthshire, with the remaining area forming its own solidly Conservative seat of “Kinross-shire and West Perthshire”.

  21. My guess for Aberdeen South based on current polling:

    Con 46
    SNP 40
    Lab 10
    LD 4
    (excluding minor parties)

    Conservative GAIN from SNP.

  22. NTY UK, 46% for the Tories seems excessive. Labour got 27% of the vote and came second in 2015. The Tories may be able to hoover up some Labour unionists but where is the evidence that two-thirds of 2015 Labour voters will actively switch directly to the 3rd place Tories? Some will go LD, some will stay at home, some 2015 SNP voters may also stay at home.

    Of course, Aberdeen voted Remain.

    The Greens may not stand again. The SNP held the equivalent SP seat last year by 9 points.

    Depends on the campaign of course, but I would say the SNP will hold this seat with a small majority.

    Let’s go for SNP 38, Con 35, Lab 15, LD 12

  23. In 2016 my notionals suggest that Aberdeen South went 40% SNP 34% Conservative: it had a strong Leave vote relative to its demographics of around 33% Leave.

    It should be a straightforward pick up for the Conservatives based on current polling.

  24. You have Labour and LD falling from a combined 32% to 14%. That’s a lot of tactical votes shifting to the Brexit party. I concede the Tories could win, but 46% of the vote?

  25. I imagine there will be a few SNP MP’s having a few sleepless nights at the thought of losing to the Unionists…

  26. I’m confident enough here to predict, based on current polling, that this will be a Conservative gain from the SNP.

    I’m also confident enough to call Berwickshire, Roxburgh & Berwickshire, Dumfries & Galloway and West Aberdeenshire & Kincardine as fairly comfortable Conservative gains based on current polling.

    On current polling I believe that East Renfrewshire is probably on track to go Conservative but is much tighter than most people believe, so I am not prepared to guess that one just yet. I would also put Edinburgh South West and Moray down as Conservative targets.

    For the Liberal Democrats I suspect that they will manage to hold Orkney & Shetland, gaining East Dunbartonshire, Edinburgh West and North East Fife.

    Labour will make no gains in Scotland, their primary concern will be holding on to Edinburgh South.

  27. Ross Thomson is confirmed as the Tory PPC again.

  28. Edinburgh South will be a two-way marginal between the SNP and Labour.

    It is not exactly comparable to Edinburgh Southern in the Scottish Parliament as it had a much stronger Yes vote back in 2014 (35% Yes compared to Edinburgh Southern’s 31% Yes vote), covering more SNP-inclined council estates like Gracemount and Hyvots Park where the Conservative vote is significantly weaker.

    I have said that the proposed boundary changes in Edinburgh COULD transform Edinburgh South into a three-way marginal with the Conservatives as the favourites, but those boundary changes will not be implemented until after this June’s general election.

    On the current boundaries I would probably put the SNP as the favourites in Edinburgh South, especially with a Green-SNP pact here.

  29. That’s possible, but the Conservatives will need to take at least 35% of the vote in Edinburgh South to gain the constituency, which doesn’t seem plausible based on current polling and the fact that there is a strong pro-Labour tactical vote in that constituency which has only been reinforced by the results of the 2016 Scottish Parliament election.

  30. Survation/Sunday Post poll of Scotland

    SNP 43% (-7)
    CON 28% (+13)
    LAB 18% (-6)
    LDEM 9% (+1).

  31. I believe this poll gives the tories 8 seats in Scotland which is fantastic result

  32. Panelbase has:

    SNP 44
    CON 33
    LAB 13
    LDEM 5

  33. My prediction as of April 25th 2017

    SNP 37% (-5)
    Con 37.15 (+14.1)
    Lab 17.7% (-9.3)
    LDem 3% (-2)

    Predicted Scottish Conservative & Unionist GAIN.
    Majority of 0.1%

    *Assuming national vote shares of SNP 45% Con 29% Lab 15%, LDem 5.5% & Green 2.25% (their polling averages of polling since Jan)

  34. Amazing to think that two elections ago the LD’s were less than 1,400 votes away from winning this seat and today this election their main focus is to save their deposit this time round! How times change.

  35. Anybody on the ground have any info about what’s happening in this seat. It looks like the Tories are going to give this seat a right good go!

  36. @ Woof – I’ve heard the feeling on the ground here and in West Aberdeenshire & Kincardine is that the Conservatives are making substantial gains from Labour and that the SNP are slipping back. Apparently both seats are a shoe-in for the Conservatives.

  37. The way the UK polls are moving Labour should really be holding its vote here. However, the local campaign is invisible and the Council controversy must be confusing for Corbynistas.

    Would like to see another Scottish poll before predicting this one.

  38. Don’t think there’s going to be much movement to Labour in Scotland, even with the general movement in the polls. I’d say most of that is driven by the surge in Wales and consolidating the left-wing vote which they will find difficult to do here.

    I’d still say the Tories are going strong in Scotland because they’re running a regional campaign with Davidson as the highlight not May.

  39. Additionally the tactical voting which has consistently worked against the Tories in Scotland since 1997 seems to finally be re-aligning along unionist/nationalist lines – in other words, there is now some anti-SNP tactical voting going on. The Tories benefited from this at last year’s Scottish Parliament elections and may well do so again this June.

    The big thing for the Tories is to position themselves as the main challengers to the SNP in seats where they came third last time (like this one, East Renfrewshire, Ayr etc). If they can do that they could make several gains north of the border.

  40. Con gain


  41. It’s a long way they’d have to climb for that.

  42. I don’t disagree with that statement, but I still think this one might just be too far, especially with their polling declines and Labour’s rise.

  43. I am quite hopeful of this for the Tories.

  44. The scale of the polling shift is such that I doubt Scotland is completely immune. May hamper Con chances in ex-Lab seats like this one.

  45. You believe Labour are really on 35-38%? I don’t.

  46. I doubt Labour will actually score above 34%.

    Tories should be 42, +/- 3%.

    LDs will, I think, be in double digits, but by how much is unclear, and it might be in high single digits but with a slight increase from last time.

  47. Businessman Bill Samuel has switched his support from the SNP to the Conservatives. He’s donated £10k pa to the SNP for over a decade but donated £10k to the Tories before Easter.

    He said Salmond was, “Very charismatic” but Sturgeon, “just doesn’t get it.”

    The Herald has an interview with him and also with another former SNP donor Mr Spence – a friend of Salmond – who has switched from the SNP to endorse the Tory candidate here in Aberdeen S.

  48. Tories must be quietly confident of taking this seat.

  49. As I said on 18 May here to you Woof “I’ve heard the feeling on the ground here and in West Aberdeenshire & Kincardine is that the Conservatives are making substantial gains from Labour and that the SNP are slipping back. Apparently both seats are a shoe-in for the Conservatives.”

    I think that they pretty sure about this one, and I’ve heard sustained reports that West Aberdeenshire & Kincardine is completely in the bag for the Conservatives.

  50. CON GAIN

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