Ayr, Carrick & Cumnock

2015 Result:
Conservative: 10355 (19.8%)
Labour: 14227 (27.3%)
Lib Dem: 855 (1.6%)
SNP: 25492 (48.8%)
UKIP: 1280 (2.5%)
MAJORITY: 11265 (21.6%)

Category: Safe SNP seat


Main population centres:



Current MP
CORRI WILSON (SNP) Educated at Ayr Academy and West of Scotland University. South Ayrshire councillor since 2012. First elected as MP for Ayr, Carrick & Cumnock in 2015.
Past Results
Con: 11721 (26%)
Lab: 21632 (47%)
LDem: 4264 (9%)
SNP: 8276 (18%)
MAJ: 9911 (22%)
Con: 10436 (23%)
Lab: 20433 (45%)
LDem: 6341 (14%)
SNP: 5932 (13%)
Oth: 1906 (4%)
MAJ: 9997 (22%)
Con: 7318 (18%)
Lab: 22174 (55%)
LDem: 2932 (7%)
SNP: 6258 (16%)
Oth: 1425 (4%)
MAJ: 14856 (37%)
Con: 8336 (17%)
Lab: 29398 (60%)
LDem: 2613 (5%)
SNP: 8190 (17%)
Oth: 634 (1%)
MAJ: 21062 (43%)

2015 Candidates
LEE LYONS (Conservative) Artist manager, consultant and event organiser.
SANDRA OSBORNE (Labour) Born 1956, Paisley. Educated at Camphill Secondary School and Jordanhill College. Counsellor. Former Kyle and Carrick councillor, former South Ayrshire councillor. MP for Ayr 1997 to 2015. PPS to Helen Liddell 2002-2003. Resigned as a PPS over the war in Iraq.
RICHARD BRODIE (Liberal Democrat)
CORRI WILSON (SNP) Educated at Ayr Academy and West of Scotland University. South Ayrshire councillor since 2012.
Comments - 442 Responses on “Ayr, Carrick & Cumnock”
  1. I’m not too sure as the independent vote is quite strong down that way, but I believe it’ll go Minority Conservative.

  2. Fewer but they’re still there.

  3. I think it will become more partisan but I’m unfamiliar with the Independent cultures of Dumfries & Galloway and the Scottish Borders, so I’ll refrain from presuming too much about their local politics.

  4. With the right candidate probably – local politics in the Highlands and Islands are very personal.

  5. I’m not sure. The Highlands has traditionally had a diverse political history.

    Wales has mostly been dominated by Labour, and the west coast has traditionally been more Plaid Cymru than Liberal Democrat.

  6. For example


    * Caithness & Sutherland was held by Labour’s Robert Maclennan, who later defected to the SDP and held onto his constituency until his retirement in 2001.
    * Ross & Cromarty was held by Hamish Gray until his defeat in 1983 at the hands of Charles Kennedy.
    * Inverness was held by Liberal Russell Johnston until his retirement in 1997.

  7. Hamish Gray was a Conservative.

  8. There isn’t actually much sign of the independents going into retreat in a lot of the rural areas. I kind of assumed that they would be steadily pushed back, but they collectively improved their position in 2012.

  9. According to a survey by Rightmove Ayr and Troon (both located witin the Ayr constituency in the Scottish Parliament) are the two happiest towns in Scotland 🙂

    The article states: “Ranked on people’s responses to a range of questions, more people in Ayr said they “earn enough to live comfortably” than in any other UK town.

    And in Troon people felt a “sense of belonging”, that they could be themselves and safer than anywhere else.”

    This could tie in to the exceptional politics of the area.


  10. I’m now convinced that the Conservatives will be the largest party in South Ayrshire in 2017. The only result I am uncertain of is Girvan & South Carrick, whose final Councillor should either belong to Labour or Independents.

    The results:
    Ayr West: 3 CON 1 SNP
    Ayr East: 1 SNP 1 CON 1 LAB
    Ayr North: 2 SNP 1 LAB 1 CON
    Prestwick: 2 CON 1 SNP 1 LAB
    Troon: 2 CON 1 SNP 1 LAB
    Kyle: 1 SNP 1 CON 1 LAB
    Maybole, North Carrick and Coylton: 1 SNP 1 CON 1 LAB
    Girvan and South Carrick: 1 SNP 1 CON 1 IND (or 1 SNP 1 CON 1 LAB)

    Total: 12 CON (+2) 9 SNP (=) 5 or 6 LAB (-3 or -4) 0 or 1 IND (-1 or -2)

  11. Reviewing my notionals from 2015 and comparing them to the results in 2016 this result seems very likely…

  12. Charles Kennedy was helped by the boundary changes that transfered Skype and much of mainland Invernessshire to Rose & Cromarty. While there was a swing to the alliance…it would not have been enough to win in the old boundaries.

  13. I believe the Conservatives will take second place in Aberdeen City and East Lothian on top of your suggested councils.

  14. Sorry Aberdeen City is possible but I believe Labour will take second actually* at something along the lines of 22 SNP 12 LAB 10 CON

  15. I’d need to look at each and every council to answer that question… !

  16. Questioning my friends and family about the council boundaries in South Ayrshire, there is a reasonably strong will among them (who are in equal measures Conservative, Labour and SNP) for the “urban” side of the South Ayrshire council area (that being the towns of Ayr, Prestwick and Troon) to instead form its own separate council area.

  17. Is there any realistic hope for the Tories in this seat in the short- to medium- term or will Ayr always be outvoted by the rest of the seat?

  18. @ Paul D – Unless it is a phenomenal year for the Conservatives and the opposition is evenly split across the constituency, the rest will always outvote Ayr.

    Ayr is a mix of affluent suburbs and deprived council estates: the town itself is currently a marginal contest between the Conservatives and the SNP, with a solid Conservative vote in the suburbs. On a good year the Conservatives have been known to take upwards of 40% of the vote in the town (I would guess that they took around 41% of the vote in the town in 2016).

    The rural district of Carrick, covering the remainder of the constituency based in South Ayrshire, is considerably more deprived and is significantly hospitable to the SNP than Ayr (my notionals from 2015 have the SNP on around 52% of the vote here). However, the Conservatives have been known to perform well in patches of Carrick, particularly in the more remote parts of the district and around the village of Coylton.

    The main issue is Cumnock and Doon Valley (the East Ayrshire side of the constituency): a stretch of deprived former mining towns and villages, once a staunch Labour heartland, now a good area for the SNP (though if reports are to be believed not so good for the party as Carrick in South Ayrshire). The Conservatives are almost non-existent here, and have been known to lose deposits here in local council elections…

    With boundary change this could change however…

    There are four major potential outcomes of the current review of Parliamentary constituencies around Ayr which I have identified so far:
    1. Ayr South, Carrick and Galloway – combining the gentile southern suburbs of Ayr to the rural regions of Carrick and Galloway, this would be the best outcome for the Conservatives: a constituency with a real chance of voting Conservative in 2021.
    2. Kyle – covering the towns of Ayr, Prestwick and Troon plus the adjacent rural district of Kyle, this constituency would best resemble the old Ayr constituency, though the boundaries are not so favourable as the old Ayr constituency of 1992 and the current one in the Scottish Parliament (as Kyle is relatively deprived, covering some reasonable Conservative areas around Troon alongside the staunchly SNP mining towns of Annbank, Mossblown and Tarbolton).
    3. South Ayrshire – covering the South Ayrshire council area minus Troon, this would probably have a similar chance of going Conservative as the existing Moray constituency in the north-east of Scotland.
    4. Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock – A truly awful constituency.

  19. So a slim chance but it could go blue in the right circumstances and star-alignment. Thanks for the analysis.

  20. NTY [email protected]

    If Dumfries & Galloway is twinned with South Ayrshire an Ayr Constituency an Ayr Constituency similar to 1983 to 1997 (that included Prestwick, Troon and all of Ayr) is perfectly possible.

    In such a case, as Dumfriesshire constituency would be certain and the other could be Galloway & Carrick (that would also include much but not all of Cumnock & Doon Valley).

  21. It largely depends whether Clackmannanshire continues to be twinned with Perthshire & Kinross.

  22. “an Ayr Constituency similar to 1983 to 1997 (that included Prestwick, Troon and all of Ayr) is perfectly possible.”

    I said that (see my suggested ‘Kyle’ constituency above).

    It would be worse for the Conservatives than the 1983-1997 boundaries as the constituency would need to cover the former mining villages of Annbank and Mossblown (now staunch SNP territory), plus the more affluent village of Coylton (which is a better area for the SNP than the Ayr average) to fit the quota.

    “It largely depends whether Clackmannanshire continues to be twinned with Perthshire & Kinross.”

    That would create an awful mess elsewhere in Scotland (resulting in a constituency split between Dundee and Fife or Edinburgh and Fife), which is why I believe a South Tayside constituency covering the southern part of the Perth & Kinross council area plus the north east of Fife is the most probable/desirable option around here.

    “Twin it with Stirling, recreate a vintage Kinross & West Perthshire!”

    Again that would create a terrible mess in Dundee/Edinburgh/Fife.

  23. I agree with NTY UK said on the Coatbridge thread

    I predicted recently that the SNP won’t get more than 36% of the 1st preferences across Scotland next year and that prediction was rubbished by Simon until he started backtracking.

    Obviously that increase will be largely concentrated in Glasgow, parts of N Lanarkshire, S Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, the Kirkcaldy and Glenrothes areas of Fife and working class areas of Aberdeen and Edinburgh to a lesser extent from 2012 so will get a reasonable boost in cllr nos. but they will likely see lower swings in other areas, likely flat line in middle class areas and even go slightly backwards in some rural areas.

    I also think the LDs will hold on to their cllrs in the middle class areas of Aberdeen, Dunfermline and Helensburgh and also parts of Aberdeenshire where they are nowhere at Holyrood due to local issues.

    I agree with what Dalek said the other day about Tories being the new protest vote and SNP at Westminster.

    This could also apply to Scottish Labour in a few working class areas in next years council elections as well where Labour’s parochial anti cuts messages will play better in the council elections than in Holyrood where they had no convincing overall message for the whole of Scotland unlike the SNP or Tories.

    Overall NTYUK and Thomas Robinson are actually both right in that you cannot compare different sets of Scottish elections with each other and local elections/ by elections should not be extrapolated to much to other elections such as Westminster and Holyrood.

    I believe Labour’s ongoing free fall at Holyrood has more to do with Dugdale TBH and some indirect infighting spilling over from down south.

  24. I still think the SNP will get comfortably in excess of 36% next year.

    Labour’s ongoing problems are really nothing to do with Dugdale, and much more to do with the question of what the Labour Party in Scotland is there for, and how you fight the Tories for middle-class unionist votes and the SNP for working-class nationalist votes at the same time.

  25. Thank you A Brown, some interesting analysis there which I agree with (though I’m not going to speculate about the SNP’s vote share for 2017 just yet!)

    Regarding the Liberal Democrat vote, I think it could hold up in pockets of Edinburgh, Highland and North East Fife in addition to East Dunbartonshire. I’m not certain that the party will survive in Aberdeen beyond individual personal votes.

  26. The Lib Dems in Edinburgh, at least, are defunct except as an anti-SNP tactical voting vehicle. I wouldn’t be that surprised if they were wiped out next year in the city. I’m not sure that they’ll get enough first preference votes to get to harvest the numerous later preferences that they will undoubtedly attract.

  27. @Simon

    That’s true for the rest of the city but not totally true about west Edinburgh

    The LDs did still get about 21% of the list vote in Edinburgh Western and still have some real support around Corstorphine, Clermiston and South Gyle so it’s largely impossible for them to not elect a couple of councillors. That gives you an indication of their true support.

    Th LDs are historically weaker around South Queensferry etc where the SNP has more of a real base going back to the 80s and 90s

    Obviously there’s no reason for Tories in Cramond etc to vote tactically but the LDs should have no problems holding their 15% and getting a seat again in an enlarged 4 member ward.

    I’m sorry to drag this Ayr thread so far of topic BTW but I was responding directly to some previous points on this thread.

    It should be interesting to see if the SNP under performs in South Ayrhire and also parts of North Ayrshire next year.

  28. In Edinburgh, they’ll likely lose their seat in Almond, as they’ve deselected their councillor, who is now sitting as an independent and plans to run again. I think the Drumbrae/Gyle ward is likely to return 1 Lab, 1 SNP and 1 Con (it stays at 3 members). They probably should keep their councillor in Murrayfield/Corstorphine, but could lost that to Lab or Con – there will be 1 Con, 1 SNP and the Lib Dems ought to be favourites for the last seat, but who knows. Again it’s a 3 member ward. I don’t see any likely gains, so I think 1 or 0 are the most likely outcomes for the Edinburgh Lib Dems.

  29. Based on the 2016 regional list vote I would anticipate three Liberal Democrat councillors to be elected in the west of Edinburgh – I can’t comment on Almond.

  30. Two if their vote goes for the independent in Almond**

  31. @NTYUK Who do you think misses out in Drumbrae/Gyle? Labour and the SNP are both significantly ahead of the Lib Dems and the Tories are only a couple of points behind them. Seems a straightforward Tory pickup from the Lib Dems to me.

  32. Didn’t have you down as a Mr. Kipling man, Max.

  33. @ Simon – I think the Conservatives will gain one councillor from Labour, Liberal Democrat hold.

    The change in the regional list vote in Edinburgh Western from 2011 to 2016:

    CON +10.8
    LIB +9.0
    GRN +1.76
    SNP -5.88
    LAB -5.94

  34. Notional for the Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock constituency based on the results of the 2016 Scottish Parliamentary election:

    Scottish National – 46% (-3)
    Conservative – 30% (+10)
    Labour – 22% (-5)
    Liberal Democrat – 2% (+0)

  35. 1) Map of how Scottish Westminster seats voted on the List vote
    2) All notionals for Westminster seats for the constituency vote.

    I could probably do the maps, but the notionals aren’t going to happen (atleast not until after the 2017 local election).

  36. I started doing the constituency party strength last night. Quick transfer of List results onto Westminster boundaries yields:

    53 SNP
    5 CON –
    * Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk
    * Dumfries and Galloway
    * Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale
    * Edinburgh South
    * West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine
    1 LIB –
    * Orkney and Shetland

    I have the SNP ahead in East Renfrewshire by around 1-2% of the vote.

  37. They were behind in Edinburgh Pentlands by just under 900 votes on the regional list vote.

    The boundaries in Edinburgh South West are worse for them in comparison to boundaries in Edinburgh Pentlands as the South West constituencies excludes the staunch Tory area of Fairmilehead (which forms part of the Edinburgh South constituency) and gains some of the more deprived parts of Edinburgh Central (areas like Dalry and Fountainbridge).

  38. Not heard much in regards to the Corri Wilson/Chic Brodie expenses scandal.

    Extract from wikipedia:
    “In 2016 Corri Wilson and Chic Brodie, an Ayr-based SNP MSP representing the South Scotland electoral region at the Scottish Parliament, faced controversy over a public expenses scandal, with Chic Brodie transferring £87,616 of public expenses into Corri Wilson’s Caledonii Resources for “outsourced constituency work” after her election as councillor to the Ayr East ward in 2012, with some £20,000 being transferred during the Scottish independence referendum campaign in 2014 and a further £20,000 being transferred during the 2015 UK general election campaign. The expenses were not recorded within Corri Wilson’s Register of Members’ Interests. The matter is currently being investigated by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority.”

  39. And on the subject of expenses, the SNP have the highest average expenses of any political party in the British Parliament, with the average SNP MP claiming £74,064.94 (see http://www.mpsexpenses.info/#!/all ). The Conservative figure is half that at £38,680.21.

    And the 10 highest claiming MP’s are:
    * Michelle Thomson (SNP/IND for Edinburgh West) – £106,020.71
    * Stewart McDonald (SNP for Glasgow South) – £103,829.24
    * Paul Monaghan (SNP for Caithness, Sutherland & Easter Ross) – £102,761.62
    * Joanna Cherry (SNP for Edinburgh South West) – £101,090.10
    * Steven Paterson (SNP for Stirling) – £99,366.37
    * Brendan O’Hara (SNP for Argyll & Bute) – £94,545.41
    * Corri Wilson (SNP for Ayr, Carrick & Cumnock) – £92,898.54
    * Tommy Sheppard (SNP for Edinburgh East) – £91,341.22
    * Drew Hendry (SNP for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey) – £91,021.66
    * Jess Phillips (LAB for Birmingham, Yardley) – £89,578.13

    How refreshing.

  40. Is this a fair comparison? Surely MP’s representing Scottish constituencies will incur higher traveling and accommodation costs? How does these figures compare to the previous Lab/ Lib MP’s for these seats. I seem to recall that Jim Murphy’s expenses were quite steep.

  41. @ Dalek – Yes it is a perfectly reasonable comparison, the only ones I find acceptable are the expenses in Caithness, Inverness and Argyll & Bute.

    Ayr, Carrick & Cumnock and Stirling are both semi-rural constituencies outlying of the Central Belt: they are slightly acceptable though still do not belong on the list.

    Edinburgh West, Glasgow South, Edinburgh South West and Edinburgh East are all compact urban seats in close proximity to an airport. Why are they in the top ten?

    Compare this to the returns from Northern Ireland and the expenses for the UUP (which were under half the SNP average!!!)

  42. Adding: but yes, Jim Murphy allowed himself a hearty share of the tax payers money.

  43. There are always lots of Scottish MPs at the top of the list, as they all require accommodation in London, and will have regular flights or sleeper train journeys to and from London. Some MPs for more affluent urban seats will also have higher expenses as the cost of renting constituency office space will be higher for them than many others. Finally, I suspect that some of the SNP members are at the top of the list as most of them had to set up an office from scratch and the costs of doing so will be included in this period.

  44. @ Simon – Well that’s interesting because the UUP held no constituencies in 2010 and gained two in 2015 and yet their expenses were under half that of the SNP’s?

  45. By that logic (especially the last point), ALL 50-odd new SNP MPs would have expenses of 100K or near the top of the list, and not just a substantial chunk of them (the MPs I mean).

  46. Not going to get into a huge debate about expenses. I think the endless whinging about it is tedious in the extreme unless there are concrete allegations of impropriety, but there are real reasons why it’s the MPs representing particular areas who always have the highest expenses.

    @Max Not necessarily. Having a large rural seat is one thing that boosts expenses. There are others – some of which I even mentioned in the post you refer to.

    @NTYUK Both the new UUP MPs were previously MLAs so would likely have offices set up already. Also, given that the main components of expenses are travel, staff, office rental and London accommodation, I’m not sure that having massively lower expenses than similar MPs is really a good thing. It suggests either that you aren’t employing the staff required or you aren’t in London an awful lot.

    @BTSAYS Well it’s a factor. Some people will take a bit longer to get things fully up and running, which will make their numbers look better. In some areas, the party may have offices, or they can share with an MSP or something. In others, they’ll need to rent somewhere commercially, and maybe pay a number of months up front.

  47. @ Simon – They both resigned their posts as MLA’s and set up new constituency offices when elected, so that point is irrelevant… We also know that Michelle Thomson and Corri Wilson (who both just-so-happened to make the list) have had controversies regarding money/expenses in the past. I strongly disagree with that sentiment that to be a good MP you should have high expenses!

  48. I would contend that Corri Wilson and Michelle Thomson, as an example, are among the worst MP’s in Scotland…

    That is not me being ideologically biased as I do prefer some SNP MP’s to some unionist MP’s in Scotland (for example Philippa Whitford of Central Ayrshire has impressed me).

  49. It’s not irrelevant because they won’t need to rent new offices, including paying deposits/rent in advance, and won’t need to purchase office equipment and so on.

    On whether it’s necessary to have high expenses to be doing a good job, it’s necessary to have an adequately staffed office, and it’s necessary to be in London regularly while the House is in session. If you can do these things and not have high levels of expenses, then great. It’s virtually impossible to achieve if you represent a seat that’s far from London and aren’t independently wealthy.

  50. Sorry but I completely disagree with this sentiment. I wonder if £40,000 worth of office equipment would fit in Corri’s constituency office? Or maybe she’s paying “Caledonii resources” (her own business) for “outsourced constituency work” like her chum Chic Brodie did from 2012-16…

Leave a Reply

NB: Before commenting please make sure you are familiar with the Comments Policy. UKPollingReport is a site for non-partisan discussion of polls.

You are not currently logged into UKPollingReport. Registration is not compulsory, but is strongly encouraged. Either login here, or register here (commenters who have previously registered on the Constituency Guide section of the site *should* be able to use their existing login)