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.
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Comments - 477 Responses on “Edinburgh South”
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  1. I agree with Dalek – there must’ve been a big Tory tactical vote for Ken here, which should unravel next time around: can only be good for the Tories.

  2. Agree with NTY UK

    Eastwood List Vote –

    Con 13929
    SNP 10680
    Lab 7263
    G 2390
    LD 999
    UKIP 458

    This list vote with a clear 6600 Conservative lead over Labour (which would remove Ken’s incumbency) would make this constituency much harder for Labour to regain in 2021 than the constituency figures suggest.

  3. Ian Murray has resigned from the shadow cabinet. Assuming Corbyn stays on somebody from outside Scotland will need to be appointed as Shadow Scottish Secretary.

  4. Yes, could be a peer. Though Corbynista peers are very thin on the ground. If Corbyn goes I expect Murray would come back.

  5. Benn seems to have ruled that out. I think that this is probably beyond stalking horses and they need a serious alternative candidate. That person will need to be someone who can peel away some 2015 Corbyn voters. Not immediately clear who but likes of Nandy and Jarvis likely to be mentioned.

  6. This is a full on coup and really succeed or bust for the moderates. If they fail to pull it off front-bench will be far-left dominated and Labour surely headed for disaster.

  7. The only credible challenge to Corbyn can come from a fresh face – Lisa Nandy, Keir Starmer, Gloria de Piero and those sort of names. No way an establishment candidate will win over an anti-establishment Labour membership.

  8. The right can’t win this leadership election. The soft left has a shot. Lisa Nandy would be a good shout, though she has a young child.

  9. Lucy Powell gone now.

  10. I think the fact Lisa Nandy had given birth about a week before the general election was one reason she didn’t stand.
    I personally don’t think Corbyn wiil lose with the members ( through I will vote 99% for another candidate)

  11. BM11 I respect your foresight – you called the Brexit vote – but I think CORBYN, if it gets to an election, might lose. If it’s one on one, Corbyn vs Jarvis for instance, I can see his opponent is getting 50% +.

    This is because the party is massively pro EU and Corbyn has, unfairly imo, got the blame for Brexit.

  12. Kerry McCarthy has now resigned. I make that 7. Burnham has said he doesn’t back the coup (which may have something to do with his Manchester mayoral bid and needing not to get too much on the wrong side of the members).

  13. I’m meant to be being interviewed for BBC Breakfast at 4. After that I expect at least Shadow Education.

  14. I suspect it’s the Manchester Mayoral bid which is keeping Burnham in the shadow cabinet for now as well.
    If the Coup fails then I cant see 50+ labour Mp’s being able to stay in the party to be honest. And even if the coup does work and someone like Jarvis or Nandy becomes leader some MP’s will still be at risk of deselection certain areas.

  15. On a similar note if the coup fails I think Corbyn is going to be forced to promote some of the left wing new intake from 2015. That was avoided until now due to lack of experience but hey baptism by fire and all that, he hasn’t got much choice now.

    I say prepare to see the likes of Cat Smith, Richard Burgon, Clive Lewis, Rachel Maskell, Jo Stevens, Catherine West, Kate Osamore, Daniel Zeichner, Rebecca Long-Bailey, Angela Rayner and Imran Hussein in the shadow cabinet.

  16. Seema Malhotra gone. Significant as she is a close ally of John McDonnell (though not a Corbynista).

  17. I think we’re heading inexorably towards the Bennite dream of mandatory re-selection.

  18. Your thoughts are based on Corbyn winning the members vote. It’s not guaranteed he will win a one on one contest.I don’tthink that’sa given anymoreafter #BREXIT.

  19. Personally I’m pretty relaxed about a leadership contest. Corbyn will only be threatened by a popular figure like Jarvis running on a equally radical anti austerity platform and truth be told I wouldn’t mind that. Anything else Corbyn would win again.

    Lets not forget since Corbyn was elected well over 100,000 people myself included have joined Labour (of which we can assume most are Corbyn fans) and there have supposedly been several thousand people who have left (of which we can assume most are Blairites) The fact that Corbyn won 60% of the old membership demonstrates his strength, the new membership will probably give him an even bigger mandate.

  20. Agree the only harm that comes from this is that it makes Lab look divided and makes the crisis overwhelming the country even greater since now BOTH our main parties are engaged in civil war.

    History will not look back on the present crop of politicians kindly.

  21. It’s my guess a Europhile, Northern, more Left than moderate or Right candidate and Corbyn has lost.

    But he may not be on the ballot paper – Labour rules are unclear. He needs 46 MPs to nominate him unless the rules are interpretation otherwise than an incumbent ldr doesnt need nominations.

    There could be a high court case.

  22. Apparently Lab has sought legal advice and it has confirmed Corbyn will be automatically on the ballot paper in the event of a leadership election.

  23. In 1995 Major actually had the support of most of his MPs. Corbyn doesn’t have more than one in ten.

  24. Threaten an election? Not sure corbyn has that power.

  25. Ian Murray resigns. Labour faced with the prospect of the first time of having a Shadow Scottish Secretary representing a non-Scottish constituency. Perhaps Jim Fitzspatrick or Barry Gardner?

  26. It certainly won’t be Fitzpatrick, who is whatever the opposite of a Corbynista is.

    @Matt Wilson

    I’d be interested in your thoughts as a Corbyn supporter on whether you think the game is up? Do you think the views of the membership/pool of £3 supporters have changed?

  27. What ever happened to Lord Murphy of East Renfrewshire?

  28. Support for Scottish Independence rockets to 59% to 32% against (9% undecided)..massive 27% lead…from.10% No lead in 2014.

  29. The lead will probably drop back from this as this is probably initial get feeling backlash. But the Union is on very shaky ground.

  30. This Is also a disaster for the Corbynites because regardless of Corbyn’s support from the membership and his almost certain re-election if a leadership election does come to pass it is a disaster for them because if you have the vast majority of your back benchers openly sabotaging you then Corbyn in reality has no leadership or authority and would only be a leader in name only. If the Corbinitas try mass deselections you could well be now looking at a whole new party SDP style (but perhaps more successful) being created with a huge chunk of the PLP defecting to it. The remaining sad Corbyn run rump of Labour would inevitably sink to one of Labour’s worst performance ever (probably sub Foot level).

    The Corbynistas really shouldn’t be cheering about this. The Blairites may destroy themselves but if they do they will destroy Corbyn and his allies with them.

  31. Actually in the event of Momentum deselections against all of Corbyn’s many enemies in the PLP (essentially 80%ish of them) due to them sabotaging him from the backbenches over half the PLP could defect and declare themselves the new opposition lol. This may sound farfetched but if the events that I have outlined e.g. Corbyn refuses to go, en masse backbench sabotage, en masse momentum deselections of all of the huge number of culprits come to pass then it really isn’t if you think about it.

  32. @Jack Sheldon

    Hiya Jack. Thanks for the question.

    My view changes as each piece of a news comes through and each person I talk to. Every time a cabinet minister resigns I despair as I know this walkout is to encourage Corbyn to resign but he won’t, and I feel like they know this. That makes its even worse because every time they say ‘we need to save this party and the country by uniting Labour’ it feels like they are lying. I don’t know whether they really believe what they are saying, all of them I respect and think are great MPs but this feels coordinated and preempted, it feels like a game. I feel frustrated as with the Conservative Party leaderless this is the time to turn up the heat. I know what these MPs a doing though, while the Tories are leaderless there is no better chance than to change our leader, it’s damage control.

    I share much of what Unite penned in their letter to the PLP, I have always believed the Labour Party is a broad church and that we should stand united. I have been opposed to mandatory deselection for that very reason despite the fact I support the CLPD’s reasons for it, particularly as our Councillors have to have reselection every election. It doesn’t feel though that the PLP want to unite. Many of these MPs have talked about giving this new leadership ‘a good go’ and I don’t doubt that’s not true. However, there is only one scenario I can see the PLP working towards which is trying to force Corbyn inevitably leading to a majority of the members leaving which I think the PLP will settle for if it removes any resistance to getting rid of Corbyn.

    It becomes increasingly difficult to form a Shadow Cabinet if you don’t have MPs willing to support you. However, if there was an election and Corbyn wins then what do those MPs do then. I guess they will have to accept it but I’m not so sure, half the Shadow Cabinet don’t resign to have to accept their jobs back after the leader is re-elected.

    As we almost reach the 200,000 mark of people who have signed this petition supporting Corbyn, I’m fairly confident Corbyn would be re-elected. I know many have cited these videos, comments online and phone calls, from Corbyn supporters calling for him to go. I’m cautious to get think too much of it as it could be exaggerated. Until there is polling we won’t know. As for Brexit there has certainly been a narrative that Corbyn is to blame and there are people who believe it. I personally don’t, I do think Corbyn could have done some more appearances like his Sky News appearance which personally I found really convincing. All this commentary on Labour losing it’s heartlands to Leave voters, I find really misleading since two thirds of Labour voters voted to remain which is on par with most parties and perhaps it was the 57% of Tories and 96% of UKIP voters that voted to Leave which might have done it in the north as well as the rest of England. I realise though that Labour voters were pivotal and not enough came out for remain, I don’t blame Corbyn though tbh I wish I had done more myself.

    Sorry for this very long ramble. All in all, someone about a month or so ago said Corbyn should fail on his own. For the Europhiles in the Labour Party maybe this was it. For me fight a GE and if he loses he resigns. I realise that’s not enough for some who think we are turning our back on the people we should represent if we don’t win an election. I want to say more but I probably should stop now.

  33. Re that latest Indy poll I read somewhere the company that did it isn’t a member of the British Polling Foundation so it apparently has very dodgy methodology.

    HOWEVER there was another proper poll which showed a big boost for a yes vote with it essentially neck and neck with a small yes lead but yes up 5 points and no down 5. I do agree with Pepperminttea though that this is probably for the most part an immediate backlash, it could die down but if the economy totally tanks (which seems likely) it could be maintained or boosted even further.

    The union is looking very shaky indeed, yet another delightful consequence of this decision.

  34. It’s one of the many reasons that igniting the Labour civil war right now is insane.

    In terms of credible polling, there have been two polls, suggesting 4 and 7 point leads for Yes. Whether that diminishes depends on the UK political class sorting itself out very soon indeed, and avoiding a situation where Yes can present itself credibly as the safer option. Anecdotally, I think there are a decent number of No voters who are questioning their position right now, but wouldn’t currently tell a pollster they would vote Yes.

  35. Interestingly another poll showing the majority of Scots are AGAINST another referendum

  36. But the same poll suggested that, if there was such a referendum, Yes would win by 7-8 points. I think all we can say right now is that a referendum would start very close, with Yes maybe having a slight lead, that opinion is also split on whether a second referendum is a good idea, and that there are definitely cracks in the unionist coalition.

  37. Depends if the EU wants to play silly buggers with the English. If they interpret their rules to allow Scotland to remain in the EU as a successor state to the UK, retaining UK opt outs on the Euro and Schengen, then Yes would cruise to victory in a referendum. If it were made clear that Scotland would have to apply to join EU as a new member it would be hard for Yes to win I think. Depends whether the EU prioritises pissing off the English ahead of setting potential precedents for the Catalans, Flemish etc.

  38. Max, there’s the great big elephant in the room that you’re ignoring, in that Spain, Italy, Belgium and anyone else with separatist movements haven’t voted to leave the EU. That means the only precedent that needs to be set is that in the event of a country voting to leave, secessionists that wished to stay in the EU could be welcomed. That shouldn’t be a huge issue for Spain or anyone else. Certainly the mood music from Europe is much more positive than in 2014, although it remains to be seen whether more concrete commitments can be obtained.

  39. This is a HUGE opportunity for Scotland IMO. Edinburgh within the EU could become the financial services capital of the (former) UK.

  40. We also shouldn’t discount the possibility of London becoming some kind of city state

  41. Someone here has come up with a blueprint as to how that could potentially happen:

    http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/exit-plan-scotland-northern-ireland/

  42. @Kieran I think the key quesions is whether there is any appetite for this in UK Government circles and/or Brussels? I don’t know how feasible it would be – the internal customs border would seem to me to be difficult for the UK Government to accept – but it strikes me as the sort of proposal, which even if practical, won’t be seen as a realistic option in London.

  43. “We also shouldn’t discount the possibility of London becoming some kind of city state”.

    You’re not alone, Hemmelig, among those who supported remain in seemingly having currently lost all sense of perspective. London secession is about as likely as Shetland seceding in the advent of Scottish independence.

    As to the idea that Edinburgh could be strengthened as a financial centre should Scotland choose not to accept the referendum result, I see at least one major flaw. If Scotland went independent in order to remain within the EU it could join the Euro, in which case how would it be any more attractive as a city to locate financial services operations than any number of other Eurozone cities? Also recent history is not exactly filled with examples of smaller nations doing well out of Eurozone membership.

    Alternatively it could of course retain sterling, but in that scenario I dont see the financial services industry concluding that being part of the EU but using the currency of country that isn’t in the EU would be a recipe for long term economic stability.

    The result of the Brexit referendum hasn’t made the currency issue any easier for supporters of Scottish independence to resolve. It was a major flaw in the Yes campaign in 2014, and would continue to be so in any post Brexit vote. I actually think it was the major reason why Yes lost in 2014, so much so that I think had the referendum taken place pre-Eurozone crisis Yes would have won.

  44. Yes currency, residual loyalty to Britain and the SNPs entire economic plan being largely based on the volatile price of oil (which has obviously since crashed).

  45. Ian Murray, who resigned from Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet, has been appointed as Scottish Labour ‘Westminster Spokesperson’ by Kezia Dugdale.

  46. Why would Murray be deselected? The core of the local party (at least the area that overlaps with Edinburgh Southern) is middle class non Corbynite.

    I think this is quite clever actually although I do have ongoing concerns about Dave Anderson.

    None of this on it’s own should hurt Murray as he’s so dependent on anti SNP middle class votes anyway although brexit is a real problem for Labour’s longer term viability in Edinburgh IMO.

  47. Remember that local elections in Scotland are done by STV. So it’s not really accurate to talk of wards being won by a particular party in the same way as it would be under FPTP.

    On a side-note, I have repeatedly tried & failed to understand how STV works. If someone could explain clearly…

  48. Andy has done well. Usually the best way to get your head around it is a really simple worked example . I’ll jot one down later for you poll troll when I get a proper computer .

  49. Is that a subsample from a wider UK opinion poll? If so it should not be taken seriously at all as the margin of error is simply too wide to draw any conclusions.

  50. How exactly are surplus votes distributed?

    By that I mean do they count the first 20,001 and then just look at the next 999 for second preference or do they look at the second preference of all 21,000 and allocate each of them a value of 999/21000

    The second way would seem fairer but be a lot more work.

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