Cumbernauld, Kilsyth & Kirkintilloch East

2015 Result:
Conservative: 3891 (7.9%)
Labour: 14820 (30%)
Lib Dem: 1099 (2.2%)
SNP: 29572 (59.9%)
MAJORITY: 14752 (29.9%)

Category: Safe SNP seat


Main population centres:



Current MP
STUART MCDONALD (SNP) Educated at Kilsyth Academy. Former solicitor. First elected as MP for Cumbernauld, Kilsyth & Kirkintilloch East in 2015.
Past Results
Con: 3407 (8%)
Lab: 23549 (57%)
LDem: 3924 (10%)
SNP: 9794 (24%)
Oth: 476 (1%)
MAJ: 13755 (33%)
Con: 2718 (7%)
Lab: 20251 (52%)
LDem: 5817 (15%)
SNP: 8689 (22%)
Oth: 1613 (4%)
MAJ: 11562 (30%)
Con: 1460 (5%)
Lab: 16144 (54%)
LDem: 1934 (7%)
SNP: 8624 (29%)
Oth: 1537 (5%)
MAJ: 7520 (25%)
Con: 2441 (7%)
Lab: 21141 (59%)
LDem: 1368 (4%)
SNP: 10013 (28%)
Oth: 1061 (3%)
MAJ: 11128 (31%)

2015 Candidates
MALCOLM MACKAY (Conservative)
GREGG MCCLYMONT (Labour) Born 1976, Cumbernauld. Educated at Cumbernauld High School. History lecturer. MP for Cumbernauld, Kilsyth & Kirkintilloch East 2010 to 2015.
JOHN DUNCAN (Liberal Democrat)
(SNP) Educated at Kilsyth Academy. Solicitor.
Comments - No Responses on “Cumbernauld, Kilsyth & Kirkintilloch East”
  1. Places like this seem to be now very much on the SNP target list – the SNP holds the Holyrood seat of Cumbernald and Kilsyth. Does anyone have local knowledge of this area/what council elections have been like here?

    (Also, apparently the longest named constituency in the Commons).

  2. If the seat had existed in 1974 it would certainly have been won by the snp.

  3. I can see the SNP making big gains in all 5 (or 4, depending if you consider Irvine a New Town) new towns in Scotland.

    The SNP hold the equivalent Holyrood seats with more than a 50% vote share in all but East KIlbride (48%).

    Their 2012 council results were also very strong all of these towns, although it seems to be the surrounding areas that could boost the Labour vote (e.g. Kilsyth in this seat).

    The five new-town seats are:
    Irvine North & Arron (with added Sturgeon effect?)
    East Kilbride
    Cumbernauld, K & K

    Glenrothes is the only seat with a swing that looks impossible for the SNP. However, I fail to understand why it’s so strongly Labour, especially given that the town itself seems like decent territory for the SNP.

  4. Irvine is completely in Ayrshire Central not Ayrshire North & Arran.

    You make a good point about New Towns though. London ‘ s New Towns are nearly all Tory in the 1980s and now (albeit Labour except Bracknell in 1997).

    Scotlands New Towns were strong for the SNP in the mid 1970s and in recent Holyrood elections.

    Cumbernauld formed the SNPs base in East Dunbartonshire in Oct 1974 and being twinned with solid Labour Kilsyth and now East Kirkintilloch has diluted the perceived the Nationalist presence in that New Town.

  5. You’re right, Dalek. I was thinking of the North Ayrshire council area.

    As for Cumbernauld, Scot Goes Pop has a good overview of the seat and it’s history between N. Lanarkshire and E. Dunbartonshire.

    He also claims that Cumbernauld was 58% Yes in September, although Kilsyth was likely the polar opposite.

  6. Ashcroft poll CVI

    SNP 52
    Lab 34
    Con 6
    LD 2

  7. ha ha, ho ho, he he.

  8. That would be a swing from Labour to SNP of 26%.

    8 of the Labour seats are in City of Dundee, City of Glasgow, North Lanarkshire and West Dunbartonshire.

    However, Paisley and Renfrewshire South is in Renfrewshire (that voted No) and must be too close for comfort to East Renfrewshire.

    If these SNP leads are sustained I think Jim Murphy will have a Grey Moment (Greys majority cut to virtually nothing in 2011) as opposed to Portillo moment.

  9. Geographical closeness is not relevant when a constituency is so contrasting as those 2. One might as well say that Labour are bound to win Beaconsfield because it’s next door to Hayes & Harlington, or that the Tories are bound to win Preston because it’s next door to Fylde. Jim Murphy will be concerned about his own seat given these polls, but not because it’s next door to a Yes area, but because of the Scotland-wide situation.

  10. with the kind of swings we have seen in Ashcroft polls (lab to snp of about 25%), every labour held seat is vulnerable. Murphy, as well as other colleagues, will be bricking themselves.

    There’s also clearly a sense in which tories are switching to the snp to twit labour. this has been happening for decades in scotland, but i imagine that trend will continue. Perhaps ironically, Murphy will be praying the tory vote holds up a bit…if it goes en masse to the SNP, his Westminster career will be over.

    I still can’t quite believe the snp will gain more than 20 seats off labour. That would be utterly historic, but the situation up north is unprecedented, certainly since 1945.

  11. Through if the SNP start hinting they may go for more and more reforms( even a second independence referendum) without a referendum on any changes Tory voters may pull back from the SNP as 95% of Tory voters voted No and probably wont change their views anytime soon.

  12. I think it’ll be very difficult for Labour to turn things around in those seats where the SNP lead in the constituency polls is greater than 10 points. The campaign starts in 9 weeks’ time.

  13. Even seats with 1 to 10% leads…the problem is there are so many….that Labour can’t throw resources into them all.

    Are Labour going to give up in Cumbernauld with a 18% SNP lead or Dundee West with 34% SNP lead?

    Instead of insisting Labour will hold all of its 41 seats he would be better to target to insure Labour win 30 to maintain a majority or 28 to remain the largest party (assuming Tories hold DCT and the LDs O & S, C & ER and Skye & Locharber).

  14. The Lib Dems holding Caithness & Easter Ross is pretty unlikely, I would suggest at this point. Even Skye and Lochaber is not safe at this stage.

  15. Although I am also of the opinion that Caithness is extremely likely to fall to the SNP, the constituency polling we have so far doesn’t give us a good idea as to how this seat will go.

    Both Gordon and Inverness are quite unique cases. Gordon because of Salmond standing and Bruce standing down. And Inverness because of Danny Alexander has become the pinup boy of the coalition, and because it was an area with a high Yes vote.

    Although, if we gleam that a reversion to 2011 is being borne out, an SNP win is well on the cards.

    Another point to make is that, if the Lib Dems are down at 1-2% in West Central Scotland, and are at 6-7% nationally, this suggests a disproportionally high vote share in their 11 held seats, does it not?

  16. True….but if their vote is falling to relatively 11% in Scotland they would still be wiped out on the Scottish mainland as in 2011.

  17. In 2011, they got 7.9%, and scored about 2% in much of West Central Scotland. They weren’t that close to holding any of their mainland seats then. I think a couple (Kennedy and Moore) have decent chances to hold still, but the pattern of their vote looks very like 2011.

  18. I regarded Moore as doomed but Thurso one of a trio of survivors (Kennedy and Carmichael).

    I now think it will just be Carmichael and Kennedy.

    The LDs polled just 4000 in Moores Holyrood seat in 2011 so I don’t see how he can possibly come back from that.

  19. There are deveral differences between 2011 and 2015 for Moore. Firstly, it’s a Westminster election, and Scottish seats are very reluctant to elect Conservatives for Westminster. There seems to be less of an issue for Tories to win first past the post seats at Holyrood. Secondly, given that the Tories had picked up the seat in 2007 at Holyrood, there was substantial tactical unwinding given that the Lib Dems had no chance to retain it. Thirdly, SNP and Labour voters have to hold their noses and vote for Moore if they don’t want a Tory MP. There are a lot of examples in England where the Lib Dems appear to be getting tactical votes in similar circumstances. Finally, there’s not really been much movement in local elections, which is not the case in other parts of the country.

  20. I don’t think there is a greater reluctance for people to vote Tory at Westminster than Holyrood…the Tory vote is very consistent 13 to 17%…and Ayr and Galloways Holyrood boundaries are much more advantageous than the Westminster boundaries.

    It’s more the non – Tory vote largely United behind Labour at Westminster.

    I think Moore will be lucky to come even second.

  21. Why is so much being made about the impact of the SNP’s on Labour’s chances of winning the GE?

    If I put Con 33% Lab 32% (27% Scotland) and SNP (43% Scotland) into Electoral Calculas I get –

    Lab 290
    Con 279
    Nat (including Plaid) 46

    Despite the Scotland scenario the FPTP voting system still benefits Labour.

    In many respect, any Labour seat lost to the SNP has been compensated by seats that have moved over to Labour in England through (demographic changes or middle class areas remaining middle class but having a greater reliance on public sector employment that benefits Labour).

    The number of constituencies in England that are now more Labour will outweigh Labour loses to the SNP.

    For every Cumbernauld lost Labour have gained a Brent North, Birmingham Edgbaston, Westminster North, Ealing North, Eltham, Sefton Central, Harrow West, Hampstead & Kilburn, Gedling, Tynemouth, Bury South, Blackpool South…..the examples exceed every Labour MP in Scotland…..and Scottish Labour surely will recover enough to hold 20 seats?

  22. Dalek, I suppose what has happened is that the SNP will knock out Labour’s path for a majority government. If we went back a year that looked very possible on polling averages.
    FPTP gives Labour a big advantage, remembering that just 35 and a bit per cent gave them a rather cosy majority of 60 or so in ’05 (boundary changes reduced it to around 40 I think- but still a nice enough result that any party today would long for).
    Knocking out 20 is seats in Scotland makes getting to the magic no. much harder.
    Holding 20 doesn’t seem unrealistic, but right now, far from a given.

  23. Regardless of your other points which are valid, Dalek, its not FPTP that is doing it for Labour its the inequity in the drawing of boundaries.. The bulk of the seats that were to be eliminated in Wales were Labour fiefdoms while redrawing the Midlands and Scotland would also take down the number of Labour seats while adding to non-Labour numbers in the south of the country, where seats are increasingly bloated about the average (IOW being the worst example).

    While the last redrawing fell victim to political machinations the 2019 redrawing will probably not be kind to Labour.. even if they are in power.. and even if absolute seat numbers are not reduced (as had been factored in at the abortive attempt).

    I keep seeing all these comments about “such and such party will take this seat in 2020” without much consideration as to what “this seat” will actually contain post the boundary redraw..or even if “this seat” will still exist…

  24. It’s a good point.

    However I wonder if the long-standing trend of Labour losing seats in boundary reviews will still be valid ….Inner London has seen a population explosion for one thing.

  25. I wonder though whether London may not be a case of ‘careful what you wish for” with Labour.. as you rightly say, a swathe of new seats will be created to account for the population growth but these may have the effect of taking what are a large number of disenfranchised Tory (and sometime LibDem) enclaves and reempowering them by breaking them off from monolithic labour seats.

    A bigger challenge is going to be the foreigner factor… with by far the largest agglomeration of Europeans (250,000 French supposedly etc etc) the population of London increasingly consists of voters who can vote locally and for MEPs but not nationally… so we will have seats that might add up to a “national average” number of voting age (and sometimes eligible voters) but when it comes to GEs maybe a third less voters than the average.. if that makes sense…

  26. I regarded Moore as doomed but Thurso one of a trio of survivors (Kennedy and Carmichael).
    I now think it will just be Carmichael and Kennedy…

    I think Thurso is totally doomed! if you compare the results in his seat with those of inverness, nairn, badenoch etc. the numbers are uncannily similar. Now I know thurso isn’t as disliked as Danny Alexander, but I still think his seat his vulnerable…i think ladbrokes have it as 2/7 SNP

  27. Cumbernauld, Kilsyth & Kirkintilloch East 2010 Result:

    Labour: 23549 (57.2%)
    SNP: 9794 (23.8%)
    Lib Dem: 3924 (9.5%)
    Conservative: 3407 (8.3%)
    Others: 476 (1.2%)

    Lab Maj: 13755 (33.4%)

    Cumbernauld, Kilsyth & Kirkintilloch East
    2015 Ashcroft Projection:

    SNP: 21398 (52.0)
    Labour: 13991 (34.0)
    Conservative: 2469 (6.0)
    Green: 1235 (3.0)
    UKIP: 1235 (3.0)
    Lib Dem: 823 (2.0)

    SNP Maj: 7407 (18.0)


  28. Interesting article from the local paper:

    “A LABOUR member in Cumbernauld has told Cumbernauld Media that the local party branch is “seriously struggling” to find support ahead of the UK General Election, in May.

    Speaking to Cumbernauld Media, the CLP member described how Labour faces “humiliation” from the SNP in May’s General Election.

    Last month, the Sunday Herald revealed that fewer than 100 contacts had been made in Cumbernauld by Labour, with a major offensive launched to claw back ground lost to the Scottish National Party.”

  29. The SNP were strong in Scottish New Towns in the 1970s with Cumbernauld forming Margaret Ewings (then Bains) base in East Dunbartonshire.

    I think that Labour only won in Londons New Towns in the Blair years so Labour may only have carried Scotlands New Towns on a 20% national lead over the SNP.

  30. In May we could see the London New Towns voting Tory and Glasgow and Edinburghs New Towns voting SNP.

  31. Labour has a very good chance in Stevenage though. Others would be outside chances at best.

  32. Dalek,

    The only constant I can see between the Scottish New Towns in the 1970s and Scottish New Towns in this decade is the pace of demographic change. I would think that the populations in 1974 and 2014 would be vastly different, particularly in terms of their town/city of origin.

    As I’ve said before, I am expecting the New Towns to provide the biggest swings. All of them went SNP in 2011 with huge swings (except Livingston, which was already SNP by the smallest of margins). The largest swing might well be Glenrothes.

  33. I think I’m right in saying that it was only in Cumbernauld & Kilsyth (formerly mostly part of East Dunbartonshire) and Clackmannan (formerly mostly part of Clackmannanshire & East Stirlingshire) were the only constituencies in Central Scotland where the SNP were not beaten into 4th place in 1983.

  34. SNP Gain

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)