Edinburgh South

2015 Result:
Conservative: 8626 (17.5%)
Labour: 19293 (39.1%)
Lib Dem: 1823 (3.7%)
SNP: 16656 (33.8%)
Green: 2090 (4.2%)
UKIP: 601 (1.2%)
Others: 197 (0.4%)
MAJORITY: 2637 (5.4%)

Category: Semi-marginal Labour seat

Geography: Scotland, Lothian. Part of the Edinburgh council area.

Main population centres: Edinburgh.

Profile: Residential suburbs to the south of Edinburgh, set around the Braid hills. It includes traditionally well-to-do neighbourhoods like Morningside as well as student areas like Newington.

Politics: Consistently held by the Conservatives in 1987 Edinburgh South fell to Labour in 1987, later becoming a Labour vs Liberal Democrat marginal. In the 2015 SNP landslide it was the only Labour to withstand the SNP tide, leaving Ian Murray as Scottish Labour`s only MP.


Current MP
IAN MURRAY (Labour) Born 1976, Edinburgh. Educated at Edinburgh University. Former events manager. Edinburgh councillor 2003-2010. First elected as MP for Edinburgh South in 2010. Shadow Scottish Secretary since 2015.
Past Results
2010
Con: 9452 (22%)
Lab: 15215 (35%)
LDem: 14899 (34%)
SNP: 3354 (8%)
Oth: 881 (2%)
MAJ: 316 (1%)
2005
Con: 10291 (24%)
Lab: 14188 (33%)
LDem: 13783 (32%)
SNP: 2635 (6%)
Oth: 1801 (4%)
MAJ: 405 (1%)
2001*
Con: 6172 (17%)
Lab: 15671 (42%)
LDem: 10172 (27%)
SNP: 3683 (10%)
Oth: 1468 (4%)
MAJ: 5499 (15%)
1997
Con: 9541 (21%)
Lab: 20993 (47%)
LDem: 7911 (18%)
SNP: 5791 (13%)
Oth: 602 (1%)
MAJ: 11452 (26%)

2015 Candidates
MILES BRIGGS (Conservative) Educated at Perth Grammar School and Robert Gordon University. Political advisor. Contested North East Fife 2010.
IAN MURRAY (Labour) See above.
PRAMOD SUBBARAMAN (Liberal Democrat) Educated at National English School Bangalore and Bangalore Institute of Dental Sciences. Dentist.
PAUL MARSHALL (UKIP)
PHYL MEYER (Green) Driving instructor and consultant.
NEIL HAY (SNP)
COLIN FOX (Scottish Socialist Party (SSP)) Born 1959, Motherwell. Educated at Our Ladys High School and Strathclyde University. Contested Edinburgh South West 2010. MSP for Lothian 2003-2007.
Links
Comments - 485 Responses on “Edinburgh South”
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  1. The last 2 elections have been super marginal. Lots of people I know were shocked that Labour managed to hold into this seat as most people had written it off as in the bank for the LDs.

  2. I doubt this will be so marginal in 2015 – Labour will hold on with relative ease, with a majority probably approaching 10%

  3. Logically the Conservatives ought to get second here. But this seat isn’t always totally logical.

  4. I have a question: would the Tories have got anywhere near to winning Pentlands in 2010? Seems unlikely but I was just wondering.

  5. Edinburgh Pentlands would be likely to have been just held by Labour had it continued in 2005 and 2010.

    In Edinburgh South West there was a tiny swing from Con to Lab of 0.7% followed by a tiny swing of 1.0% from Con to Lab.

    Given the Labour majority was 1742 in 2001, it would have fallen to 1200 in 2005 and then increased to just under 2000 in 2010.

    It may have been closer because Alistair Darling may have a stronger profile than Linda Clarke.

  6. Labour won the Gilmerton & Liberton division in a by-election held yesterday, but they had to wait until stage 7 to be declared the winners despite being about 670 votes ahead of the SNP on first preferences. Apparently this is a Lab gain from SNP although these areas are usually the one solid Labour voting block in this particular constituency – without it the Lib Dems or the Tories would have taken Edinburgh S. The present Labour MP Iain Murray represented the same area on Edinburgh council until his election to Parliament.

  7. “Apparently this is a Lab gain from SNP although these areas are usually the one solid Labour voting block in this particular constituency ”

    yes,it’s technically a gain even if Labour outpolled SNP in first preferences in 2012 locals.

    Compared to 2012 first preferences, the shares for historical parties have not changed by much. IIRC Lab -1.4 SNP -0.9 Con -1 LD +0.7

  8. The resilience of the Tory vote(in avoiding collapsing to the Lib Dems, as per East Dunbartonshire) seems to have helped Labour hold on here in 2010.

    Labour could subtaintially increase their majority here with the same share of the vote.

    Labour: 16000
    Lib Dem: 9000
    Conservative: 8500
    SNP: 7500
    Green: 2000
    MAJORITY: 7000

  9. Interesting result in the 2012 local elections in Meadows / Morningside (2007 results in brackets).

    The Lib Dems went from being ahead in this ward to being 4th, dropping from being the largest party in Edinburgh with 17 seats to just 3.

    Con 29.90 (26.4)
    Green 19.75 (15.2)
    Lab 19.64 (14.0)
    SNP 15.78 (10.5)
    Lib Dem 12.30 (30.8)

    If this trend continues in 2015 the Lib Dems could come 4th in the Edinburgh South constituency, and the outcome could be something like –

    Labour: 16000
    Conservative: 10500
    SNP: 8500
    Lib Dem: 6500
    Green: 2000
    MAJORITY: 7000

  10. I remember Sky actually declaring this seat for the Lib Dems very early in the night in 2010 …it was up on the screen for ages.

  11. I live in this seat and I broadly support Dalek’s forecast.

    I also wish to pay belated condolences to the former Scottish Tory leader David McLetchie.

  12. There used to be a poster on here called A Cairns who was also Scottish and also made a lot of predictions like yourself A Brown. Did you visit the site back when he contributed?

  13. I think they’ll be weighing the Lab. majority here next year. The Tories might even finish 2nd depending how bad the LD meltdown is!

  14. Miles Briggs is apparently the Conservative candidate here.

  15. Former SNP candidate Stuart Crawford has been selected for the LD party.

    http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/politics/ex-snp-man-stuart-crawford-to-stand-for-lib-dems-1-3469668

  16. Prediction-
    Murray (Labour)- 20, 120
    Head (SNP)- 8, 820
    Curry (Conservative)- 7, 560
    Bread (Liberal Democrat)- 6, 820

  17. The Tories will almost certainly beat the SNP here. I also doubt that Labour will be that far ahead. Silly candidate names.

  18. That was a real joke prediction BTW.

  19. No-one could have guessed

  20. I think, all joking aside, Labour could hope for a majority as much as 2-4,000 here.

  21. I think that the Tories will come second here and there will be a photofinish between the Lib Dems and the SNP (Lib Dems just ahead).

    The unwinding effect of Tory tacticle votes for the Lib Dems could push the Conservative vote back over 10000.

    The Lib Dems will also be more focused on retaining Edinburgh West.

    The Lib Dems had over 12000 more votes than the SNP in 2010 and I don’t think that gap could be fully bridged.

  22. Quite a significant number of YES posters in some parts of Morningside and Newington. Obviously, most voters don’t put up posters so they are hardly a rock solid way of making a prediction, but encouraging for the SNP get some sort of return in these areas. That said, Edinburgh should be solidly for Union come September. I expect Labour will hold comfortably, as Ian Murray has made a success of himself as MP. The Conservatives will easily out-poll the Liberals, with tactical votes, and perhaps a few converts coming their way.

    Prediction
    Labour: 17800
    Conservative: 12400
    Liberal Democrat: 5900
    SNP: 6800
    Green: 1000

  23. Lib Dems from a close second to fourth? Seems extreme, but perhaps. I’d say more like:

    Lab 37
    Con 27
    LD 24
    SNP 9
    Grn 3

  24. Given Ed Milliband’s woes, I wonder if this will be a straight forward Lab gain as was previously thought up until quite recently?

  25. How can it be a Labour gain when they already hold the seat?

  26. Is the swing for the lib dems in Scotland actually better than that of Labour?

  27. I meant HOLD!

  28. I don’t know. The Lab to SNP swing might be enough to let the LibDems through the middle here

  29. Teddy, buddy. ditto. see mid-dorset comment.

  30. This is beginning to look like a seat where whoever can get to 30% has a pretty good chance. Don’t suppose Lord Ashbrook would like to do a wee poll because it’s pretty difficult to work out who might manage to get there.

  31. Despite failing to re-gain the Edinburgh Southern at the 2011 Holyrood elections the Labour share of the vote increased by over 3% making this Labours best result next to their notional gains of Eastwood and Dumfries. I could see the Labour vote fall here but the Lib Dems could fall by much more. I could also see the non – Labour vote being fairly divided between the LDs, SNP and Conservatives who could each poll over 30% plus a reasonable deposit retaining Green vote picking up much of the former affluent lefty Lib Dem vote in Morningside. Labour could hold on here by 30%….even 28%…unless the SNP maintain their current lead….but some movement back to Labour before May is most likely.

  32. Despite failing to re-gain the Edinburgh Southern at the 2011 Holyrood elections the Labour share of the vote increased by over 3% making this Labours best result next to their notional gains of Eastwood and Dumfries. I could see the Labour vote fall here but the Lib Dems could fall by much more. I could also see the non – Labour vote being fairly divided between the LDs, SNP and Conservatives who could each poll over 30% plus a reasonable deposit retaining Green vote picking up much of the former affluent lefty Lib Dem vote in Morningside. Labour could hold on here by 30%….even 28%…unless the SNP maintain their current lead (but some movement back to Labour before May is most likely).

  33. If Scottish Labour/Ed Milliband are looking like they are in deep toilet in May, this might be another interesting seat to watch come election night.

  34. Not a Labour man myself, but I think that the Conservatives are not ready to mount a challenge here. That would seem obvious. Moreover, I think Ian Murray will be a popular MP, he has certainly done plenty to help Heart of Midlothian FC, which should endear him to voters and at least raise his profile.

  35. The LAB MP here said this on 6/1/15 in the HoC:

    “…Ian Murray: The Government have been incredibly complacent about the role of individual electoral registration. I have over 10,000 students in my constituency, many thousands of whom are not registered. What is the Deputy Prime Minister going to do about that? How is he going to spend the £10 million emergency fund? Is it not a recognition that this is a huge problem across the country and should be dealt with?..”

    1. If loads of students don’t register will this have a massive adverse affect on his share of the vote? Do loads more students in Scotland vote
    LAB over SNP or vice versa?
    2. Does anyone have any views on IER and it’s effect on vote share for any party and on turnout?

  36. I live within a prosperous, safe Tory council, and from personal experience their administration of individual electoral registration has been shambolic. The whole process has taken me about 3 months with multiple contacts with the council. Being a political kind of person I have made the effort to pursue it – many others would not bother. If it is as bad as this in the leafy, Tory home counties, we can only guess how terrible it will be in Tower Hamlets or inner city Birmingham.

    If there is one factor which causes an upset to the received wisdom of Labour entering no.10 this year, I think this could well be it. Just as in 1992, when there was mass desertion from the electoral register due to the poll tax.

  37. Insofar as where maximum impact of IER may be felt, it will surely be in London, where turnover of voters is greatest….I read somewhere that up to 50% of voters in some London seats were not there at the previous election (someone on here may have the precise statistic). Maybe there could be a decisive impact on Labour-leaning London Tory marginals like Croydon Central and Ealing Central.

  38. We can only hope so

  39. HH – At last someone had responded to my comments about IER & very interesting contributions.

    it’s my understanding that the new system that includes IER , transfers automatically those registered on the autumn 2013 electoral roll.And if they can be matched up automatically (NI number /address /DWP) then they remain. The govt has awarded £4m to maximise the amount registered.

    If a significant number of the young , students and recent immigrants don’t go through the procedure – could it result in Labour not winning any seats?

    Hansard 6/1/15
    “…Graeme Morrice (Livingston) (Lab): What assessment he has made of the completeness of the electoral roll?

    The Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office (Mr Sam Gyimah MP): Research by the Electoral Commission on the completeness and accuracy of the register shows that the decline in registration levels between 2000 and 2010 has stabilised since 2011. The Government take seriously the need to have a complete and accurate register, are making electoral registration more accessible through online registration and have invested £4.2 million, shared between every local authority and five national organisations, to get those in harder-to-reach groups on the register.

    .Graeme Morrice: Livingston:  Can the Minister tell the House how many fewer voters there were on the electoral register for England and Wales in December 2014, compared with the previous year… is he alarmed at the reduction?

    Mr Gyimah MP: The full December 2014 register has not been published yet so it is impossible to tell the state of the register as at December. As the hon. Gentleman knows, individual electoral registration is a two-year project. We are mid-way through it and it is proving very successful. Nine out of 10 electors were transferred to the electoral register, and online registration is proving a success.

    Mr Gyimah: Individual electoral registration is about the completeness and accuracy of the register so that only those who are eligible to vote are on the register. If there is a specific problem in my hon. Friend’s local authority and local area and if he writes to me about it, I will look into it.

    Sadiq Khan (Tooting) (Lab): Even before the move to individual electoral registration, we know that 7.5 million eligible voters were not on the register… As a result of the move, there is a risk of a further 5 million people falling off the register….

    Mr Gyimah: …., individual electoral registration is the biggest modernisation of our electoral system for more than 100 years. He also knows that nobody who was on the register in January 2014 will not be on the register come the 2015 election, so there is no risk there. Finally, the £4.2 million that the Government have invested in… Authorities that have more under-represented groups. …& have received more money. We have learned the lessons from Northern Ireland, which went through the same process, and have safeguarded the existing system…”

    It seems Labour MP are saying voters are falling off significantly but the Government are saying it’s a great success. …I suppose we should wait for the ” full December register” to be finalised and published – then we shall see the total of the electorate.

  40. “it’s my understanding that the new system that includes IER , transfers automatically those registered on the autumn 2013 electoral roll.”

    Exactly. But if you moved house since then (or, as in our case, your house was newly built in 2013), you have to register on the new system from scratch.

    In our small development of 8 new houses, only one household has yet managed to get on the electoral roll, and all the residents are professional middle class people. The process is cumbersome and the administration shambolic.

    The major impact will be in transient seats in London where perhaps 10-20% of the electorate were not living in the seat in 2013

  41. Why is so little being said about what really amounts to an attempt to pervert democracy, by removing Labour voters from the electoral role? And let’s not dodge the facts: it will overwhelmingly be the young, the less settled and Labour-inclined voters that are denied their basic democratic right.

    This is surely a massive scandal, to win an election by forcing your opponents supporters off the register isn’t democracy, it’s a fraud.

  42. That’s strong stuff LITHOTOMIST but there’s no doubt IF significant numbers are missing it will be disproportionately be students, young 18-25, private renters, immigrants, poor people (less likely to have a computer).

    HH – shocking that you had so much trouble registering. ..did you use:-
    https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote ….??

    My local council tells me that essentially only two things have changed

    There is no longer a form where multiple names are entered and sent to the LA – (household registration ended).

    Whether by online or on a hard copy form Voters will have to give a NI number or DOB – if the council can find a much the person will go on roll but if not they are written to.

  43. “HH – shocking that you had so much trouble registering. ..did you use:-
    https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote ….??”

    Yes. Despite typing in my NI number exactly as requested, it somehow kept vanishing by the time the application arrived at the other end. In the end it was simplest to persuade the council to write the NI number in themselves over the phone – not easy. I think there are bugs in the IT system which the councils don’t understand.

    I strongly support the idea of individual registration, but as with all such things, I am not at all optimistic that the government is able to administer it properly. It will certainly result in people not bothering to register to a much greater extent than previously, at least initially, unless the penalties/enforcement are draconian.

  44. If lazy or politically uninterested people can’t get their act together and register that is their lookout.

    And of course IVR will finally start to chip away at the massive organised voting fraud seen in certain parts of the country to the benefit mostly of Labour over recent years. The new system isn’t enough of course – there needs to be severe curtailment of postal voting as well.

  45. I would imagine the Asian communities will register quite enthusiastically, at least those who are eligible to do so. There will be bigger fall-offs in heavily black and WWC areas. Perversely it might increase the influence of Asian voters in seats like Feltham & Heston, Hayes & Harlington and Bradford West, where there is also a significant though diminishing WWC element.

  46. I believe a few Universities have been proactive. …eg: Sheffield University and Manchester Metropolitan University, who “…have linked their electronic enrolment systems to the compilation of the electoral roll. Early indications suggest this has been a successful way to reduce the impact of the change (IER) in registration.” (Higher Policy Education Institute – Dec14).

  47. I know Sheffield have (and the council is taking it further and sending letters to all the unregistered students encouraging them to register). About two-thirds registration rate, since you have to actively skip registration during the uni process (which actually included me – I registered later).

  48. Do you know the proportion of the students who attend Sheffield are in Sheffield Hallam constituency? Or would most students there attend Sheffield Hallam University (38,000 students).

    SHU are not as far as I can see, are not following SU on this.

  49. And the relevance of of all of the last few posts to Edinburgh South is?….

  50. See upthread:

    DEEPTHROAT

    The LAB MP here said this on 6/1/15 in the HoC:

    “…Ian Murray: The Government have been incredibly complacent about the role of individual electoral registration. I have over 10,000 students in my constituency, many thousands of whom are not registered. What is the Deputy Prime Minister going to do about that? How is he going to spend the £10 million emergency fund? Is it not a recognition that this is a huge problem across the country and should be dealt with?..”

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