Edinburgh West

2015 Result:
Conservative: 6732 (12.3%)
Labour: 6425 (11.7%)
Lib Dem: 18168 (33.1%)
SNP: 21378 (39%)
Green: 1140 (2.1%)
UKIP: 1015 (1.9%)
MAJORITY: 3210 (5.9%)

Category: Marginal SNP seat

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

Main population centres: Edinburgh, Queensferry.

Profile: Edinburgh West is largely suburban, consisting mainly of villages like Corstorphine and Davidsons Mains that have grown into suburbs of Scotlands capital. It also includes the town of Queensferry to the West, the site of the Forth road and rail bridge. The constituency includes Edinburgh airport, Murrayfield stadium and Edinburgh Zoo.

Politics: This used to be a safe Conservative seat. It returned Conservative MPs from 1931 until 1997, finishing with James Douglas-Hamilton, the heir to the Earl of Selkirk who disclaimed his peerage to protect the ailing Conservative government`s wafer thin majority. The Liberal Democrats won the seat in 1997 and held it until 2015, with Labour and the Conservatives battling for second place. The equivalent Scottish Parliament seat, Edinburgh Western, was won by the SNP in 2011, and this seat followed in the 2015 landslide.

Current MP
MICHELLE THOMSON (SNP) Former businessman. First elected as MP for Edinburgh West in 2015.
Past Results
Con: 10767 (23%)
Lab: 12881 (28%)
LDem: 16684 (36%)
SNP: 6115 (13%)
MAJ: 3803 (8%)
Con: 8817 (19%)
Lab: 8433 (19%)
LDem: 22417 (50%)
SNP: 4124 (9%)
Oth: 1474 (3%)
MAJ: 13600 (30%)
Con: 8894 (23%)
Lab: 9130 (23%)
LDem: 16719 (42%)
SNP: 4047 (10%)
Oth: 688 (2%)
MAJ: 7589 (19%)
Con: 13325 (28%)
Lab: 8948 (19%)
LDem: 20578 (43%)
SNP: 4210 (9%)
Oth: 570 (1%)
MAJ: 7253 (15%)

2015 Candidates
LINDSAY PATERSON (Conservative) Educated at St Andrews University. Policy manager. Edinburgh councillor. Contested Livingston 2003, Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill 2005, Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath 2010.
CAMMY DAY (Labour) Born Edinburgh. Edinburgh councillor since 2008. Contested Edinburgh West 2010.
MICHAEL CROCKART (Liberal Democrat) Born 1966, Perth. Educated at Perth High School and Edinburgh University. Policeman and systems developer. Contested Edinburgh North and Leith 2005. MP for Edinburgh West 2010 to 2015. PPS to Michael Moore 2010. Resigned as PPS over opposition to the rise in tuition fees.
OTTO INGLIS (UKIP) Contested Aberdeen Donside 2013 Holyrood by-election, Scotland region 2009 European election.
MICHELLE THOMSON (SNP) Runs a property management company.
Comments - 535 Responses on “Edinburgh West”
  1. Give the result of the recent by elections, I do think the Lib Dem’s can realistically hope to recover the following seats –

    Thornbury & Yate
    St Ives
    Edinburgh West

    I would also have included East Dunbartonshire and North East Fife but the boundary changes have extended these seats to more working class SNP voting communities.

    These seats will depend on whether to previous Lib Dem incumbent stands again –

    Kingston & Surbiton
    Old Southwark & Bermondsey

    I can also see the Lib Dem’s having a reasonable chance of holding Richmond Park but their ability to focus on that seat will also depend on whether Vince Cable and Ed Davey stand again.

  2. Totally agree with you there Dalek. They have a very good chance of gaining Edinburgh West in 2020…

  3. Don’t think the Somerset and Devon ones are terribly likely, certainly there would be stronger prospects for them.

  4. I disagree on some.

    First, Lewes: Baker isn’t standing again, but Blundell is a really good candidate. Local, compelling narrative, very active seeming.

    Twickenham and Kingston & Surbiton (especially post-Richmond Park) I think they have a good chance either way. Same with Sutton & Cheam, actually.

    Then, good shots:

    St. Ives
    Thornbury & Yate
    Edinburgh West
    North East Fife
    North Cornwall (depending on boundary changes, obviously)
    Hazel Grove

    And I’d think — given the Remain vote and such — Winchester is plausible for them, too.

  5. North East Fife is unlikely, if it survives the boundaries are moving south into some very working class (SNP) areas that would bring the 2014 referendum No vote down from 63% in the existing seat to 59%, not enough room for a Lib Dem gain. The proposed constituency is not at all comparable to the existing North East Fife seat in the Scottish Parliament which is purely based in the affluent rural east of Fife and had an impressive 67% No vote at the independence referendum.

    Similar for East Dunbartonshire, losing one of the Lib Dems strongholds (Bearsden North) to be replaced for heavily SNP working class areas in Kirkintilloch.

    Highlands North is completely out-of-reach for the Liberal Democrats for the time being (only 55% No vote), the only consolidation for them would be that the seat had a decent Leave vote at the EU referendum, though I suspect that won’t make any significant difference in 2020.

  6. By comparison Edinburgh West moves out to take in more affluent suburbia. The proposed seat appears to have had a very impressive 67% No vote: there would be a good chance of a Lib Dem gain here even under similar circumstances to the 2015 UK general election!

  7. So would East Dunbartonshire (better for the Lib Dems over North East Fife) but that’s before boundary change comes into effect?

  8. East Dunbartonshire must surely be one of the relatively few seats where the loser at the last election might contest it again. Jo Swinson is still only in her mid-thirties, there would be enough time for her to rebuild her political career.

  9. There are actually quite a few former Lib Dem MPs going for reselection. Julian Huppert leads the pack, but quite a few are in the list. I think Crockart will, too. Even some long gone people like Richard Younger-Ross are planning to stand again.

  10. Richard Younger-Ross? Bloody hell, after his performance in the PCC election he must be mad!

  11. Not Crockart. All women shortlists in Scotland.

  12. They’re literally only selecting women in the entirety of Scotland? What? Wouldn’t they make an exception for their popular former MP? Also, don’t Lib Dems not do AWS? Or did they change that?

  13. The top 5 target seats must have one.

    Under present boundaries:
    East Dunbartonshire
    Edinburgh West
    North East Fife
    Caithness, Sutherland & Easter Ross
    Ross, Skye & Lochaber

    Under proposed boundaries (Wells notionals):
    Highland North
    Edinburgh West
    Gordon & Deeside
    Inverness & Skye
    Milngavie & Kirkintilloch

    So this will not affect Reid standing again. Thurso will clearly not be standing again anyway given that he has been elevated to the House of Lords.

  14. Highland North is unlikely. Charles Kennedy had a massive personal vote back in 2015, particularly around the Ross-shire side of his old seat. In 2016 the Caithness, Sutherland and Ross seat (effectively the same as Highland North) had an SNP majority of 12.2%, an increased majority on the SNP’s majority in Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross from 2015.

    Based on the results of 2015 you would expect Gordon and Deeside to be a viable target for the Liberal Democrats, that’s unlikely now due to the Conservatives advance in the area, particularly in the Aberdeenshire West constituency in the Scottish Parliament (which is mostly covered by the proposed Gordon and Deeside constituency). I can’t see the Liberal Democrats forming up a significant enough presence in this area to challenge the SNP (and possibly the Conservatives).

    Again, Inverness and Skye is an area where we saw a pretty substantial swing to the Conservatives in 2016: the Liberal Democrats finished fourth in the Scottish Parliament constituency of Inverness and Nairn and 25% behind the SNP in the Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch constituency…

    I’m pretty certain that North East Fife is a more viable target for the Liberal Democrats than all of these constituencies: the Scottish Parliament seat (significantly more favourable for the Liberal Democrats in terms of boundaries) went Liberal Democrat in 2016 with a 10% majority.

    The same can be said of Argyll and Bute (especially if Alan Reid stands again) as the Lib Dems came 20% behind the SNP in the Scottish Parliament seat, which was a better result for them compared to Inverness and Gordon!

    For me the target list would be:
    1. Edinburgh West
    2. North East Fife
    3. Milngavie and Kirkintilloch
    4. Highland North
    5. Argyll, Bute and Lochaber

  15. What you think are viable targets is pretty irrelevant. Those would be the seats with AWS.

  16. Those are just my thoughts then. It’s too bad that those notionals are utter bollocks in my area and elsewhere in Scotland.

  17. I wonder if Crockart might pull a Blenau Gwent and stand as an independent.

  18. He won’t.

  19. The leader of the SNP group in Edinburgh has made some rather foolish comments in the press about “Scottishness”.


    While this may not have an impact in the share of the SNP vote in the election in Edinburgh, I can see this doing real damage to his chances of becoming council leader, as I can’t see any other parties apart from the Greens now willing to do a deal with him!

  20. Based on the nominations here is my guess at how Edinburgh will go this May:

    Almond (4): 2 Liberal Democrat, 1 Conservative, 1 Scottish National
    Pentland Hills (4): 2 Conservative, 1 Scottish National, 1 Labour
    Drum Brae/Gyle (3): 1 Conservative, 1 Scottish National, 1 Liberal Democrat
    Forth (4): 2 Scottish National, 1 Conservative, 1 Labour
    Inverleith (4): 2 Conservative, 1 Scottish National, 1 Labour
    Corstorphine / Murrayfield (3): 1 Conservative, 1 Scottish National, 1 Liberal Democrat
    Sighthill / Gorgie (4): 2 Scottish National 2 Labour
    Colinton / Fairmilehead (3): 2 Conservative 1 Scottish National
    Fountainbridge / Craiglockhart (3): 1 Conservative, 1 Green, 1 Labour
    Morningside (4): 2 Conservative, 1 Labour, 1 Green
    City Centre (4): 1 Conservative, 1 Scottish National, 1 Green, 1 Labour
    Leith Walk (4): 1 Scottish National, 1 Green, 1 Conservative, 1 Labour
    Leith (3): 1 Scottish National, 1 Green, 1 Labour
    Craigentinny / Duddingston (4): 2 Scottish National, 1 Labour, 1 Conservative
    Southside / Newington (4): 1 Conservative, 1 Green, 1 Labour, 1 Liberal Democrat
    Liberton / Gilmerton (4): 2 Scottish National, 1 Labour, 1 Conservative
    Portobello / Craigmillar (4): 2 Scottish National, 1 Labour, 1 Conservative
    City of Edinburgh: 19 Conservative (+8) 19 Scottish National (+1) 14 Labour (-6) 6 Green (=) 5 Liberal Democrat (+2)

    The most likely seat to deviate from the list is the final seat in Fountainbridge/Craiglockhart, which could allow the SNP to push a seat ahead of the Conservatives if they beat Labour here. The final seat in Southside could also go SNP over Lib Dem, and the Greens could take the final seat in Inverleith.

    The lack of two Conservative candidates in Almond, City Centre and Southside/Newington in particular does make it more difficult to envisage the Conservatives coming first in seat terms in Edinburgh (probably looking to be tied with the SNP or taking second place), although I do believe that they can come first on the popular vote and tie on the seats!

  21. I expect that they will top the poll in the following wards:
    City Centre
    Drum Brae/Gyle
    Pentlands Hills

    As I’ve said before, yes, I believe that the Conservatives will probably top the poll in the existing Edinburgh South, South West and West constituencies in this May’s local council election. On Scottish Parlimentary constituencies I expect that they will poll ahead in Edinburgh Central, Southern, Pentlands and Western. Will the poll ahead across Edinburgh? I believe so.

  22. Surely there must be good conditions for a LD gain here?

  23. I would say that this was the most likely LD gain in Scotland.

    1) The controversy with the former SNP MP
    2) The Lib Dem gain at Holyrood.

  24. Yep, their only other half chance is East Dunbartonshire.

  25. Actually, maybe i am being harsh on NE Fife.

  26. John Nicholson is quite pleasant but I can’t help thinking that there was an extremely high water mark for the SNP in 2015.

    Calum Kerr must be the most vulnerable SNP MP. He represents what is perhaps the most Unionist constituency in Scotland.

  27. I think NE Fife, E Dunbartonshire, and Edinburgh W are all at least 50% shots for the LDs, though the former two could go either way. This seat should flip, though, even without Crockart.

    Kerr will probably lose his seat, and Dumfries & Galloway strikes me as a better than even shot at Tory gain, too.

  28. In the 2015 General Election campaign in East Dunbartonshire the Lib Dem campaign could be compared to the use of a Grand Slam bomb by 617 Squadron on the Bielefeld Viaduct or the use of Tallboy bombs by 617 on the Tirpitz. The SNP campaign could be compared to a First World War biplane dropping bombs out of the cockpit. Nevertheless it was the SNP who won. In 2017 I would imagine the SNP campaign in East Dunbartonshire will be equally pathetic but I think we can safely predict the Lib Dem campaign will be considerably reduced compared to 2015. For one thing, the Lib Dems put out a large amount of literature in the months leading up to the General Election. They haven’t done that this time. It has been announced that Jo Swinson is standing again in Dunbartonshire East. I thought that she would try to get back into Parliament via a seat in the south of England.

  29. The SNP have confirmed that this MP will not be the SNP Candidate here.

    They have confirmed the 54 sitting SNP MPs will all be candidates however.

  30. Why would she be the candidate?

    She is an independent.

  31. Crockart is not standing again, correct? Who is?

  32. Lib Dems are selecting via an all women shortlist. Candidate should be announced within the next few days

  33. Christine Jardine is said to be favourite. She moved to Edinburgh from Aberdeenshire about a year ago.

  34. She would be a fantastic choice

  35. No John Smith, I don’t think you were harsh on NE Fife. This looks a sure pickup, East Dunbartonshire they’re second favourites but with a chance, and that’s more or less it.

    To assume they’ll do much better than that in Scotland is to assume that they are either more popular or have more tactical scope in Scotland than England. No evidence whatsoever on popularity – if any party is becoming more popular it’s the Conservatives. And due to nationalist/unionist/tactical support lines already being in place, with the SNP on the same side of the EU Remain/Leave debate as the LDs, I don’t consider a superior tactical position to be the case.

  36. Christine Jardine has been confirmed as the Lib Dem candidate here

  37. I think this is the best chance of a LibDem gain in Scotland. A disgraced SNP MP and the LibDems won the seat at Holyrood. Bookies didn’t agree at first but they do now!

  38. City Council elections here on May 4th of course.

    They could be an early indicator of how well the SNP are doing in this problematic area for them and crucially indicate who is their principal challenger in each of the Edinburgh seats.

    Well, East Dunbartonshire is surely
    April 29th, 2017 at 11:12 am

    I think they have a better chance here having won the Holyrood equivalent last year.

  40. Definitely the Lib Dems’ most likely gain, in Scotland at least.

  41. Yes, this is more likely than Dunbartonshire.

    Also, do we really want constituency polls, Plopwellian Tory? Really? They didn’t do so well last time… In fact, the LD canvassing returns in Richmond Park were more accurate than any polls we got last time, and that’s saying something.

  42. Toni Giugliano has been selected for this seat for the SNP. He was the candidate here in the Scottish Parliament election when he lost the seat to the Lib Dems.

  43. Straightforward ? No. LDEM gain? Every chance.

  44. Plopwell – you are the one making the assertions here, so you must provide the evidence to back that up, not Scottyboy.

    LDEM 45
    SNP 32
    CON 20
    LAB 3
    April 29th, 2017 at 11:42 am

    I’d love to know how you arrive at this stab.

  46. In the 2015 General election, the 2016 Holyrood election and your guesstimate the Con +Lab total is approx 24% (Labour at three is a wee bit low).

    This constituency will come down to the candidates for SNP and LIbDem. If voters are happy that the SNP MP has been ditched and are now willing to support the SNP again, this will be a very close call indeed.

  47. @ Plopwell – actually the SNP won here at the 2016 Scottish Parliament election.

    My notional figures:
    SNP 35
    LD 35
    CON 17
    LAB 12
    OTH 1

    The obvious caveat is a lack of tactical voting in Murrayfield (covered by Edinburgh Central in the Scottish Parliament and Edinburgh West in the UK Parliament), which went quite strongly Tory in 2016 and should go Lib Dem this year.

    I would say the Lib Dems have a very strong chance of gaining this constituency at this year’s general election, I’m probably 90% sure of it, but victory is far from guaranteed.

  48. Yeah, because that was the only problem with your prediction.

    Interesting to remember 2005: a 30% LD majority.

    I tend to think this seat will go LD by a fair shout with quite a bit of tactical voting. Still, will be one to watch.

    I’d also remind Plopwellian Tory that the SNP MP not standing is far more likely to help the SNP than to hurt them, given her scandal.

    I’d guess LDs will be 40% +/- a few points, with the SNP in the mid-30s and everyone else below 20%.

  49. Still best chance in Scotland for a LibDem gain I feel but it will be close. The disgraced MP was a main factor in the LibDems taking the equivalent seat at Holyrood in 2016. She has been replaced so that factor is diminished but nonetheless leaves a smell. I fail to see why the LibDems would poll 45% (they polled 33% in the 2015 general election). They polled 42% in the Holyrood election. With less favourable boundaries and a resurgent Scottish Conservative party surely they are likely to poll less than that? Labour may be down to their core vote here but the suggestion of 3% is very doubtful.

  50. @Scottyboy – only the boundaries are more favourable for the Liberal Democrats in Edinburgh West…

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