Ayrshire Central

2015 Result:
Conservative: 8803 (17.3%)
Labour: 13410 (26.4%)
Lib Dem: 917 (1.8%)
SNP: 26999 (53.2%)
Green: 645 (1.3%)
MAJORITY: 13589 (26.8%)

Category: Safe SNP seat


Main population centres:



Current MP
PHILIPPA WHITFORD (SNP) Former consultant surgeon. First elected as MP for Ayrshire Central in 2015.
Past Results
Con: 8943 (20%)
Lab: 20950 (48%)
LDem: 5236 (12%)
SNP: 8364 (19%)
Oth: 422 (1%)
MAJ: 12007 (27%)
Con: 9482 (22%)
Lab: 19905 (46%)
LDem: 6881 (16%)
SNP: 4969 (12%)
Oth: 1634 (4%)
MAJ: 10423 (24%)
Con: 14256 (37%)
Lab: 16801 (44%)
LDem: 2089 (5%)
SNP: 4621 (12%)
Oth: 793 (2%)
MAJ: 2545 (7%)
Con: 15136 (34%)
Lab: 21679 (48%)
LDem: 2116 (5%)
SNP: 5625 (13%)
Oth: 200 (0%)
MAJ: 6543 (15%)

2015 Candidates
MARC HOPE (Conservative) Educated at Essex University. Former Wandsworth councillor.
BRIAN H DONOHOE (Labour) Born 1948, Kilmarnock. Educated at Irvine Royal Academy. Trade union officer. MP for Cunninghame South 1992 to 2015.
GORDON BAIN (Liberal Democrat) Born 1977. Web designer.
PHILIPPA WHITFORD (SNP) Consultant surgeon.
Comments - 63 Responses on “Ayrshire Central”
  1. Not unlike its sister constituency of Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock, only slightly better for the SNP.

    2016 notional-
    SNP 46%
    CON 31%
    LAB 21%
    LD 2%

    I believe that there is a (very) remote possibility of a Conservative gain here. On current polling figures the Conservatives would poll comfortably ahead in the coastal resort towns of Prestwick and Troon in South Ayrshire, coming close behind the SNP in Kyle. The main battleground here will be Irvine: a new town on the Firth of Clyde and Nicola Sturgeon’s home town. Irvine had a reasonably strong Brexit vote relative to the rest of Scotland, and Labour were fairly resilient here in 2016 relative to the rest of the county. If the Conservatives can tap in to this vote then they could gain the seat.

  2. Whitford has been one of the most impressive SNP MPs.

    She will win comfortably here.

  3. Ayrshire Central is very similar to the constituency of the same name abolished in 1983. It was Lab Gain from Con in 1959.

  4. Not really.

    The old Central Ayrshire constituency covered Kilwinning and Garnock Valley in North Ayrshire, a fairly strong area for Labour, and now the SNP.

    The current Central Ayrshire constituency covers the coastal resort of Prestwick and the adjacent village of Monkton in South Ayrshire, which is solidly Conservative. It also covers Tarbolton, Mossblown and Annbank in South Ayrshire which was better for Labour/is better for the SNP, but the population of this area is insignificant relative to Kilwinning and Garnock.

    The new boundaries in Central Ayrshire are better for the Conservatives in comparison to the old ones, but this is completely outweighed by the loss of the old Ayr constituency, which would be a safe bet for the Conservatives in the upcoming general election were it to be re-established.

  5. Various media outlets reporting that the Conservatives believe that they are “in the mix or ahead of the game” in the following constituencies based on analysis from the local elections:
    * Aberdeen South
    * Angus
    * Ayr, Carrick & Cumnock
    * Berwickshire, Roxburgh & Selkirk
    * Central Ayrshire
    * Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale & Tweeddale
    * Dumfries & Galloway
    * East Renfrewshire
    * Edinburgh South
    * Edinburgh South West
    * Gordon
    * Moray
    * Perth & North Perthshire
    * Stirling
    * West Aberdeenshire & Kincardine

    Few surprises there, as Ruth Davidson has also suggested that the party are competitive in Banffshire, and they also topped the poll in Ochil & South Perthshire (which I thought would have been a more viable target for the party over many seats listed such as Ayr, Carrick & Cumnock, Central Ayrshire and Edinburgh South).

  6. People compare Ochil & South Perthshire with the old 193 – 1997 Clackmannan constituency but it is actually more like the 1983 – 1997 Perth & Kinross constituency and would have been Tory until 1997.

  7. Incredible that the Conservatives lost here by around 1000 votes with Labour thousands behind in third place in what was until 2 years ago a very safe Labour constituency.

    Following the Conservative manifesto the Conservatives dropped back from 32% to 28.6% and Labour increased from 18% to 27.1%.

    Had it not been for the Corbyn surge amongst unionist voters Labour may not have gained any of the 6 seats they did due to the slender margins while the Conservatives may have gained Lanark & Hamilton East, Central Ayrshire, Argyll & Bute, Perth, Edinburgh SW and perhaps Edinburgh North & Leith and three way fight of East Lothian (that was won by Labour).

    Had it not been for the Corbyn surge the final result could instead have been –

    SNP 33
    Con 20
    LD 4
    Lab 1

  8. With Labour on the up in Scotland Lanark & Hamilton East hardly seems a relevant target for the Tories, though Central Ayrshire is a strong target for them, especially if they can get their act together and if the SNP make further loses to Scottish Labour.

    Ayr, Carrick & Cumnock is truly the only blue-collar Tory seat in Scotland outside of the Dumfries & Galloway: Central Ayrshire is their main blue-collar target in Scotland, and beyond that their main blue-collar target would be North Ayrshire & Arran.

    Why they do so well among the working classes in Ayrshire in particular is a curiosity: it could in part be explained by large numbers of Protestants in the region and a much stronger sense of British identity compared with elsewhere in the Scottish Central Belt, alongside a relatively high Leave vote at the EU membership referendum relative to elsewhere in Scotland and an older population.

  9. They’re not strong in the Cumnock area as I understand it. Further west in the seat would be different.

  10. I’m from Ayr, Carrick & Cumnock and you’re right the Conservatives are not nearly as strong in the Cumnock and Doon Valley section of the constituency as they are in Ayr and to a lesser degree Carrick. Regardless, it is altogether a very working class area, even with the exclusion of Cumnock.

  11. If you adjust YouGov’s recent MPR to account for inaccuracies from their 2017 findings then the Conservatives would gain Lanark & Hamilton East and Central Ayrshire and narrowly lose Ochil & South Perthshire.

    The Conservatives would hold Stirling with a 1% majority and the SNP would hold Argyll & Bute with a 2% majority.

  12. Certainly would be a shock to most to see further Tory gains in Scotland but I do think you analysis is broadly correct.

  13. Slight mistake, on the adjusted MRP result accounting for individual constituency inaccuracies from YouGov’s final forecast in 2017 the Conservatives would hold Ochil & South Perthshire with a very slender majority.

    Edinburgh West and North East Fife would be neck-and-neck between the SNP and Liberal Democrats.

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