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
Con: 9452 (22%)
Lab: 15215 (35%)
LDem: 14899 (34%)
SNP: 3354 (8%)
Oth: 881 (2%)
MAJ: 316 (1%)
Con: 10291 (24%)
Lab: 14188 (33%)
LDem: 13783 (32%)
SNP: 2635 (6%)
Oth: 1801 (4%)
MAJ: 405 (1%)
Con: 6172 (17%)
Lab: 15671 (42%)
LDem: 10172 (27%)
SNP: 3683 (10%)
Oth: 1468 (4%)
MAJ: 5499 (15%)
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.
PHYL MEYER (Green) Driving instructor and consultant.
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.
Comments - 477 Responses on “Edinburgh South”
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  1. https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/labour-hopeful-of-clinging-on-with-win-in-edinburgh-7km02rf37

    The poll was a private poll conducted by Labour but the fieldwork was conducted before the local elections where the Conservatives and the SNP took leads in all the wards within the constituency. Perhaps Labour could come second to the Tories in Morningside and second to the SNP in Gilmerton and still win.

  2. That poll looks about right to me. In a PR election, as shown by the locals, this would be Tory at the moment, but the dynamics of FPTP and anti-nat voting mean Ian Murray is very likely to win at the GE. If you don’t believe such tactical voting happens look at the difference between the list and constituency votes in the Edinburgh seats at last year’s SP election.

  3. Yes, rightly or wrongly the narrative will be so blatantly that only Lab can beat SNP here that they will win in spite of the possibility that voters’ first preferences here would give Cons the win (and we will never know).

  4. If people voted in accordance with previous election bar charts Labour would never have gained Hastings & Rye in 1997 which had been a close Con/ LD Marginal with Labour on about 12%.

    Murray could actually gain anti-SNP unionist tactical votes and anti Tory SNP votes. Anti-Tory literature in Morningside may not work and neither would anti-SNP literature in Gilmerton.

  5. Rumours are that Labour are going for a very left-wing manifesto. Not good news for Labour’s prospects with tactical voting unionists, even in Red Morningside…

  6. Red Morningside would be like Red Kelvinside in Glasgow. Both once solid Tory areas now with a strange mix of Conservatives and Greens. Consider Partick East/ Kelvindale (that is Kelvinside)…its councillors are now
    Con 1/ SNP 1/ Green 1/ Lab 1.

  7. The Greens are standing in just 3 seats across all of Scotland. They’ve basically quit and become cheerleaders for the SNP.

  8. I really don’t think that’s a good strategic move, but I suspect the Greens simply don’t have the money to stand 59 candidates at short notice, especially when most of them would lose their deposits.

  9. Let’s be reasonable here – the Greens are far more interested in Holyrood because:

    1) They want it to be Scotland’s national, rather than regional, parliament.
    2) The AMS means they can actually win seats there. They didn’t stand in more than a handful of constituencies last time, preferring to focus on the list.

  10. True, I hadn’t really considered those Scotland-specific factors. I do suspect money is a contributing factor to their desire for stand-down pacts in England though.

  11. I think Morningside is very much divided at the old Morninside station clock.

    The former South Morningside ward area still very much has an air of the stereotypical ‘Morningside Lady’ character about it. The former North Morningside/Grange ward area is very much a different beast. It definitely has a mix of Greens (formerly Lib Dems) and a splash of Tories.

    Looking at he Lib Dems. At the last election it’s clear the Lib Dem vote split heavily towards the SNP. I wonder now, with their (slight) recovery in the locals, they’ll hold onto their deposit this time. A pretty incredible change in fortune after the nail-biting elections of 2005 & 2010 coming within literally HUNDREDS of votes of winning this seat.

  12. Newington and Morningside very much carry the Labour vote in this constituency Woof: these are very affluent urban areas predominantly composed of leafy Victorian townhousing, with a significant yuppie unionist population in areas, ideally suited for Labour as most are prepared to vote tactically for Labour here to prevent the SNP from taking the seat, including a significant minority of would-be Green voters and a good proportion of would-be Conservatives and would-be Liberal Democrats.

    Contrasting this is the depressed council estates to the south-east of the constituency, places like Gracemount and Insch, which are mixed in with some more affluent areas such as Liberton: this best part of the constituency for the SNP but with a significant Labour presence too.

    To the south-west Fairmilehead is more traditional stone villa suburbia, Conservatives are strong there but at the locals it was Labour, and not the SNP, who came second here: clearly a willingness to vote tactically for Labour in that area as well.

  13. Regarding the aforementioned Survation constituency poll here, here are the full details:

    Lab 40%
    SNP 30%
    Con 20%
    Grn 7% (not standing)
    LD 3%
    Oth 1%

    On independence:
    Don’t Know included-
    No 55%
    Yes 34%
    DK 10%

    Don’t Know removed-
    No 62%
    Yes 38%

    This constituency was 65% No in 2014 and 78% Remain in 2016.

  14. Important to keep in mind that the Greens aren’t standing here: most Green votes did transfer over to the SNP on second preferences here, but that was a plurality. A significant minority also went to Labour, suggesting that Labour would still be comfortably ahead in Edinburgh South even without a Green candidate here to split the nationalist vote, probably with a majority of 8-9% based on this constituency poll alone.

  15. Yes that’s a good point — I’ve seen somewhere that tthere is a very significant minority of unionists who vote Green.

    I think the importance of the Greens standing down is exaggerated.

  16. I hear the Conservatives have been relatively quiet on the ground. Maybe they want to give Labour a free run against the SNP?

  17. It may have more to do with people power (politically correct term for manpower) than a politically motivated tactic.

    Labour may be thin on the ground in SW because they are concentrating in South as the Liberals traditionally would do.

  18. A friend of mine says he saw a “Greens for Murray” poster in a window.

  19. Yes apparently Morningside is heaving with Murray posters. I’ve always found election posters in windows to be an unusual American tradition more likely to attract a brick through a window than a vote for the candidate.

  20. The YouGov model is projecting a 30% + Labour majority here over the SNP here.

    I think 20% is more realistic because I think the SNP will remain strong on the peripheral working class estates of Gilmerton and Liberton.

  21. As far as I am aware, this is the only seat in Scotland where any party received more than 50% of the vote.

  22. John Lamont won 53.9% of the vote in Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk .

  23. Ian Murray has just lost a trigger ballot arranged by Unite, and will now face a formal reselection process.

    Utterly mystifying.

  24. It’s not that mysterious is it?

    Unite clearly have a candidate and Rule 66 gives paid up affliate branches a trigger in the trigger ballot process

  25. “Ian Murray has just lost a trigger ballot arranged by Unite, and will now face a formal reselection process.”

    Not yet.

    Unite casted their vote against his automatic reselection in the trigger ballot.
    To be triggered, one third of the organizations affiliated to the CLP must vote against him.

  26. Murray has been reselected. He won very easily the vote among members (over 90%). And Unite was the only affiliate to vote against. The 6 other affiliates were in his favour.

  27. Ex-SNP Cllr Lewis Ritchie has been charged with several sex offences.

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