Dumfries & Galloway

2015 Result:
Conservative: 16926 (29.9%)
Labour: 13982 (24.7%)
Lib Dem: 953 (1.7%)
SNP: 23440 (41.4%)
UKIP: 1301 (2.3%)
MAJORITY: 6514 (11.5%)

Category: Semi-marginal SNP seat

Geography: Scotland, South of Scotland. Part of the Dumfries and Galloway council area.

Main population centres: Dumfries, Stranraer, Kirkcudbright, Castle Douglas, Dalbeattie, Wigtown, Newton Stewart.

Profile: A large rural seat that covers the south-eastern part of Scotland, primarily covering the old historic counties of Wigtownshire and Kirkcudbrightshire, as well as the majority of the town of Dumfries. Most of the seat is mountains and farmland, with small market and tourist towns dotted amongst the lochs and along the coast. Dumfries is by far the largest settlement, known as the "Queen of the South" and an administrative and economic centre for southern Scotland, followed by the ferry port of Stranraer at the western end of the seat.

Politics: Dumfries and Galloway was created in 2005 and won by the Labour party, who retained it in 2010 before losing to the SNP in 2015. The predecessor to the seat had been Galloway and Upper Nithsdale, historically a Conservative seat and won back by the Conservative at the 2001 election, perhaps helped by the outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease in the seat. Despite notional figures that in hindsight look rather questionable the addition of the town of Dumfries under the new boundaries in 2005 probably helped Labour take the seat.

Current MP
RICHARD ARKLESS (SNP) Born 1975, Stranraer. Educated at Glasgow Caledonian University. Former solicitor. First elected as MP for Dumfries & Galloway in 2015.
Past Results
Con: 16501 (32%)
Lab: 23950 (46%)
LDem: 4608 (9%)
SNP: 6419 (12%)
Oth: 695 (1%)
MAJ: 7449 (14%)
Con: 18002 (35%)
Lab: 20924 (41%)
LDem: 4259 (8%)
SNP: 6182 (12%)
Oth: 1524 (3%)
MAJ: 2922 (6%)
Con: 12222 (34%)
Lab: 7258 (20%)
LDem: 3698 (10%)
SNP: 12148 (34%)
Oth: 588 (2%)
MAJ: 74 (0%)
Con: 12825 (31%)
Lab: 6861 (16%)
LDem: 2700 (6%)
SNP: 18449 (44%)
Oth: 1183 (3%)
MAJ: 5624 (13%)

2015 Candidates
FINLAY CARSON (Conservative) IT consultant and former farmer.
RUSSELL BROWN (Labour) Born 1951, Annan. Educated at Annan Academy. ICI worker. Former Dumfries and Galloway councillor. Annandale and Eskdale councillor 1988-1996.MP for Dumfries 1997 to 2015. PPS to Lord Williams 2002-2003, PPS to Baroness Amos 2003-2005, PPS to Alistair Darling 2005-2007, PPS to Jim Murphy 2007-2010.
ANDREW METCALF (Liberal Democrat)
RICHARD ARKLESS (SNP) Born 1975, Stranraer. Educated at Glasgow Caledonian University. Solicitor.
Comments - 228 Responses on “Dumfries & Galloway”
  1. Alex Fergusson (MSP for South of Scotland [1999-2003], Galloway and Upper Nithsdale [2003-2011] and Galloway and West Dumfries [2011-2016]) was knighted as part of the Queen’s Birthday celebrations.

  2. Found the spreadsheet mentioned earlier: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1tRE59IkgeRREISpM75I8gR0MdkGe1diParW0hVO109Y/edit?pref=2&pli=1#gid=881507152

    According to the following spreadsheet which, estimates the result in each local authority in GB, the highest-to-lowest Leave percentages in Scotland will be:

    Dumfries and Galloway 48.5% Remain 40.2% Leave
    Angus 52% Remain 38.2% Leave
    Moray 50.3% Remain 37.7% Leave
    Scottish Borders 54.9% Remain 36.1% Leave
    East Ayrshire 52.6% Remain 36% Leave
    North Ayrshire 52% Remain 35.9% Leave
    West Lothian 53.2% Remain 35.5% Leave
    Falkirk 51.9% Remain 35.4% Leave
    Inverclyde 55.1% Remain 35.3% Leave
    Clackmannanshire 53.4% Remain 34.7% Leave
    North Lanarkshire 52.9% Remain 34.3% Leave
    Midlothian 55.3% Remain 34.3% Leave
    South Ayrshire 54.1% Remain 34.1% Leave
    South Lanarkshire 55.3% Remain 33.7% Leave
    West Dunbartonshire 55.1% Remain 33.7% Leave
    Aberdeenshire 53% Remain 33.6% Leave
    Perth and Kinross 57.7% Remain 33.4% Leave
    Highland 56.5% Remain 32.8% Leave
    Fife 55.1% Remain 32.7% Leave
    East Lothian 57.8% Remain 32.5% Leave
    East Renfrewshire 58.9% Remain 32.1% Leave
    Argyll and Bute 58.6% Remain 31.5% Leave
    Renfrewshire 58.5% Remain 31.2% Leave
    Shetland Islands 57.7% Remain 31% Leave
    Dundee City 60.2% Remain 30.9% Leave
    Orkney Islands 59.3% Remain 30.4% Leave
    Comhairle Nan Eilean Siar 62% Remain 28.9% Leave
    Stirling 62.8% Remain 28.2% Leave
    East Dunbartonshire 62.6% Remain 28.1% Leave
    Aberdeen City 63.2% Remain 27.8% Leave
    Glasgow City 65% Remain 25.8% Leave
    City of Edinburgh 70.2% Remain 22.6% Leave

    Top 5 for Leave according to the spreadsheet (I also said earlier the top 4 here are the most likely councils in Scotland to vote Out):
    1. Dumfries and Galloway 40.2% Leave
    2. Angus 38.2% Leave
    3. Moray 37.7% Leave
    4. Scottish Borders 36.1% Leave
    5. East Ayrshire 36% Leave

    Top 5 for Remain:
    1. City of Edinburgh 70.2% Remain
    2. Glasgow City 65% Remain
    3. Aberdeen City 63.2% Remain
    4. Stirling 62.8% Remain
    5. East Dunbartonshire 62.6% Remain

  3. And from this blog (http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/can-we-really-not-predict-who-will-vote-for-brexit-and-where/) Moray is set to be the best area for Leave in Scotland, sitting in a range of 41-43% Leave. This is followed by East Ayrshire and East Dunbartonshire.

  4. If Oliver Mundell is to be believed then the Leave result in the Galloway & West Dumfries constituency was around 49%-50%, implying an overall Leave result in Kirkcudbrightshire, and a potential Leave vote in Galloway proper.

  5. Ranking Conservative constituencies in the Scottish Parliament in terms of affluence:
    – Eastwood
    – Edinburgh Central
    – Aberdeenshire West
    – Ayr
    – Dumfriesshire
    – Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire
    – Galloway and West Dumfries

  6. I think that the Conservatives would have a good chance of gaining the following constituencies in a by-election in the Scottish Parliament:
    – Aberdeen South and North Kincardine
    – Angus North and Mearns
    – Angus South
    – Edinburgh Pentlands
    – Moray
    – Perthshire North
    – Perthshire South

    I also think that Labour could gain somewhere like Cowdenbeath or Rutherglen.

  7. As for a Westminster by-election: there’s no precedent, though I would question Conservative gains outside of WA&K, ER, BRS and D&G.

  8. It’s possible though I too doubt it very much.

  9. “Well, conventional wisdom being that working class voters are both more pro-independence and more pro-Brexit, that makes sense. Recent polls show a surprisingly large % of the SNP vote plumping for Leave, presumably many are working class former Labour voters in the central belt. Or perhaps some tactical voters who want a short cut to independence.”

    Turns out that the Central Belt did have the highest Remain vote in Scotland.

  10. Possible South of Scotland Constituencies
    (combining Dumfries & Galloway, Scottish Borders and the Eastern rural wards of East Lothian).

    Berwickshire, East Lothian & Selkirk
    Dumfries & Galloway
    Dumfriesshire and Roxburgh

  11. “Possible South of Scotland Constituencies
    (combining Dumfries & Galloway, Scottish Borders and the Eastern rural wards of East Lothian).
    Berwickshire, East Lothian & Selkirk
    Dumfries & Galloway
    Dumfriesshire and Roxburgh”

    It’s unlikely that East Lothian will be split up into more than one constituency as the council area itself can function as a stand-alone constituency.

    I would opt for the following constituencies –
    * Annandale and Clydesdale
    * Dumfries and Galloway
    * Scottish Borders (or Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk)
    * South Ayrshire

    Alternatively –
    * Carrick, Cumnock and Galloway
    * Dumfries
    * Kyle
    * Scottish Borders (or Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk)

  12. Notionals for the proposed Dumfries and Galloway constituency:

    41% SNP
    31% CON
    24% LAB
    4% OTH

    2016 (constituency)-
    39% SNP
    38% CON
    20% LAB
    3% LIB

  13. Not spectacularly so – the Westminster notional is virtually identical to the 2015 result (Con up 1, Lab down 1, SNP unchanged) while from the looks of the second set they wouldn’t even have won it during this May’s pretty decent performance.

  14. I’ve heard a number of reports which suggest that Stranraer actually voted in favour of Scottish independence back in 2014. Unbelievable as that may sound the town is very similar both demographically and politically to Girvan in South Ayrshire, which I believe had a very very tight 50-50 result at the referendum.

    Whether or not the town did vote in favour of independence the rural parts of Wigtownshire will have most cancelled this out by quite a reasonable margin.

  15. As NTY has got his money down on an outsider, I have too. SNP are 9/2 to win this seat and I have availed myself of it.

  16. 9/2 does seem like good odds actually. Tories are favourites but not by that much.

  17. SNP have a decent chance of holding this as this was a gain from Labour last time, not from the Tories.

    It only needs a (likely) small direct swing from SNP to Tories and a roughly even split of any switching Labour voters to allow the hold to occur.

  18. Like it or not on current opinion polling this would be an easy Conservative pick-up.

  19. Statistically this is the Conservatives best target after Berwickshire, Selkirk & Roxburgh, however, I think that Aberdeenshire West & Kincardine is a more likely Conservative Gain/ or will fall to the Conservatives by a larger margin,

  20. What will happen to Russell Brown’s 13,982?

    Is his vote more Red Nat or Labour Unionist?

    In any event, without the polls I would expect Labours vote to drop to under 10,000, without Browns candidacy.

    There has been no Scottish poll since the local elections but we do have a sub-sample from the most recent UK You Gov poll which has the SNP on 46% and the Conservatives on 24%. Obviously, the margin of error is greater, but the sub-sample would suggest that the result in this constituency could still be in doubt.

  21. More than very vulnerable – it must be one of the most certain Con gains in the whole UK. I should expect the Lab vote will crash further to c. 15% – them being competitive in this kind of seat always relied on the Tories being ‘toxic’.

  22. Pretty good chance of the Conservative vote will being over 20,000?

  23. CON GAIN
    Majority 4,000

    CON 22,000
    * SNP 18,000
    LAB 12,000
    LD 1,400
    UKIP 500

    Most likely basis.

  24. [email protected] you have the SNP falling 5500 and Labour falling less than 2000.

    Russell Brown is not standing again.
    Labour have dropped from 25% in 2015 to 13 – 18% in the most recent Westminster voting intention polls.
    Scottish polls show a large shift from Lab to Con than SNP to Con.

    I think the Labour vote will collapse here as dramatically as the SNP vote did successively in 2005 and 2010.

  25. Dalek/Plop
    ok – has anyone totalled the local elections here?

  26. First preferences, with change on 2012
    Con 35% (+11%)
    SNP 22% (-)
    Ind 18% (-4%)
    Lab 15% (-15%)
    Oth 7% (+7%)
    Grn 3% (+2%)
    LD 0% (-1%)

    The conservatives got the highest number of first preference votes in seven of the wards. A candidate with no label won the most in the eighth (included in the ‘Oth’ total)

  27. Thanks David.
    Yes, Labour seem to be in a worse position here than I thought.

  28. Con gain, Maj 5600

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