Scotland European Region

2014 Election
2014 Results
1. Ian Hudghton (SNP) 389503 29% (-0.1%)
2. David Martin (Labour) 348219 25.9% (+5.1%)
3. Ian Duncan (Conservative) 231330 17.2% (+0.4%)
4. Alyn Smith (SNP) (194752)
5. Catherine Stihler (Labour) (174110)
6. David Coburn (UKIP) 140534 10.5% (+5.2%)
. (Scottish Green) 108305 8.1% (+0.8%)
. (Liberal Democrats) 95319 7.1% (-4.4%)
. (Britain First) 13639 1% (n/a)
. (BNP) 10216 0.8% (-1.7%)
. (No2EU) 6418 0.5% (-0.4%)
Current sitting MEPs
Ian Hudghton (SNP) Former leader of Angus council. MEP for North-East Scotland 1998-1999, for Scotland since 1999.
David Martin (Labour) Born 1954, Edinburgh. Educated at Libertson High School. Lothian regional councillor 1982-1984. MEP for Lothian 1984. MEP for Scotland since 1999.
Ian Duncan (Conservative) Born in Alyth. Educated at Alyth High School and St Andrews University. Public affairs professional and former Scottish Parliamentary clerk. Contested Aberdeen South 2003 Scottish election. MEP for Scotland since 2014.
Alyn Smith (SNP) Born 1973, Glasgow. Educated at Leeds and Heidelberg Universities. Commercial lawyer. MEP for Scotland since 2004.
Catherine Stihler (Labour) Born 1973, Bellshill. Educated at Coltness High School and St Andrews University. Former researcher for Anne Begg. MEP for Scotland since 1999. Contested Angus 1997, Dunfermline and West Fife by-election 2006.
David Coburn (UKIP) Born in Glasgow. Businessman. Contested Old Bexley and Sidcup 2010. MEP for Scotland since 2014.

Full candidates for the 2014 European election are here.

2009 Election
2009 Results
1. Ian Hudghton (SNP) 321007 29.1% (+9.4%)
2. David Martin (Labour) 229853 20.8% (-5.6%)
3. Struan Stevenson (Conservative) 185794 16.8% (-0.9%)
4. Alyn Smith (SNP) (160504)
5. George Lyon (Liberal Democrat) 127038 11.5% (-1.6%)
6. Catherine Stihler (Labour) (114927)
. (Scottish Green) 80442 7.3% (+0.5%)
. (UKIP) 57788 5.2% (-1.5%)
. (BNP) 27174 2.5% (+0.8%)
. (Socialist Labour) 22135 2% (n/a)
. (Christian) 16738 1.5% (n/a)
. (Scottish Socialist) 10404 0.9% (-4.3%)
. Duncan Robertson (Independent) 10189 0.9% (n/a)
. (No2EU) 9693 0.9% (n/a)
. (Jury Team) 6257 0.6% (n/a)
Current sitting MEPs
Ian Hudghton (SNP) Former leader of Angus council. MEP for North-East Scotland 1998-1999, for Scotland since 1999.
David Martin (Labour) Born 1954, Edinburgh. Educated at Libertson High School. Lothian regional councillor 1982-1984. MEP for Lothian 1984. MEP for Scotland since 1999.
Struan Stevenson (Conservative) Born 1948, Ballantrae. Educated at West of Scotland Agricultural College. Formerly director of a family farmying and tourism company. Girvan councillor 1970-1974, Kyle and Carrick councillor 1972-1992. Contested Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley 1987, Edinburgh South 1992, Dumfries 1997. North-East Scotland European by-election 1999. MEP for Scotland since 1999.
Alyn Smith (SNP) Born 1973, Glasgow. Educated at Leeds and Heidelberg Universities. Commercial lawyer. MEP for Scotland since 2004.
George Lyon (Liberal Democrat) Born 1956, Rothesay. Educated at Rothesay Academy. Farmer. MSP for Argyll and Bute 1999-2007. Deputy Minister for Finance and Parliamentary business in the Scottish executive 2005-2007.
Catherine Stihler (Labour) Born 1973, Bellshill. Educated at Coltness High School and St Andrews University. Former researcher for Anne Begg. MEP for Scotland since 1999. Contested Angus 1997, Dunfermline and West Fife by-election 2006.
Comments - 627 Responses on “Europe Scotland”
  1. Based on the results of the 2015 UK general election, 2016 Scottish Parliament election and 2017 locals I believe that the seat distribution based on the following figures would be:

    SNP 39-44
    Con 11-14
    LD 4
    Lab 1-2

    Con gain from SNP (10)-
    Aberdeen South
    Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk
    Dumfries and Galloway
    East Renfrewshire
    Edinburgh South West
    Ochil and South Perthshire
    Perth and North Perthshire
    West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine

    TCTC (3)-
    Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock

    LD gain from SNP (3)-
    East Dunbartonshire
    Edinburgh West
    North East Fife

    Lab gain from SNP-
    TCTC (1)-
    East Lothian

  2. If the Conservatives are to do well anywhere I confess I’d rather it be in Scotland but I don’t know I really struggle to see the Tories managing 10 or more seats in Scotland, I’m not entirely convinced they’ll even get 5.

    It seems like since 2001 every time the Tories look set to make a breakthrough in Scotland some mitigating circumstance comes and foils it for them.
    2005=Major boundary changes and seat reductions
    2010=Brown boost
    2015=SNP wave

    I get this weird feeling that something will happen again to scupper them and the Tories will just manage 2-3 seats but I cant for the life of me think of what it could be.

  3. Elections can be unpredictable, especially in Scotland: important to keep in mind the fact that the SNP vote was under-stated by ~2% in the polls in Scotland in 2015 and that the Conservative vote was under-stated by at least 3% in the polls in 2016, so the truth is that Labour’s position is probably a little misleading and one of the two main parties are being under-stated yet again…!

  4. I don’t know about that. Even at their best, the Tories have been nowehere near where they are polling now since their collapse in 1997. Plus, according to YouGov, Davidson has the highest net well/bad rating of any party leader in Scotland – even more than Sturgeon at this point.

    Even if something does come up unexpectedly, I’d expect at least 5 seats at the very least.

    1. Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale & Tweeddale
    2. Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk
    3. Dumfries and Galloway
    4. Aberdeenshire West and Kincardine
    5. Aberdeen South

    More likely, the Tories are on track for way more than that but we’ll know for sure on election day of course!

  5. What is interesting is that the last time the Conservatives received a positive swing in a UK general election in 1992 they –

    1) Gained Aberdeen South from Lab
    2) Re-gained the by election loss of Kincardine & Deeside (now Aberdeenshire West) with a majority double the size it was at the previous general election.
    3) Increased their majority in Eastwood (now East Renfrewshire) from 6000 to 11000.
    4) Cut the Lib Dem majority from 9000 to 200 in Gordon.
    5) Reduced the Labour majorities in Renfrew West & Inverclyde and Cunningham North
    6) Held all 9 constituencies that they were defending.

    This was on an increase from 24% to 26%. An increase from 15% to 28% – 32% would have a much greater impact.

    As in 1992 the areas of greatest prospects for the Conservatives are the North East and Southern Scotland.

  6. I wouldn’t want to put a precise number on it, but looking at the underlying poll figures and where the Cons are targeting I think 10+ seats might now be possible. There seem to be big shifts from the SNP among ‘No’ voters (some of whom did vote SNP in 2015) and ‘Leave’ voters. That bodes very well for Con prospects in the North East in particular.

  7. Whilst any no of victories will be touted as a success by Ruth Davidson et al, I think privately Cons will be VERY disappointed if they don’t break double figures of seats as a minimum on June 8th – which frankly won’t be the case unless the polls move away from Cons in Scotland or are currently wrong / understating SNP.

  8. BT Says,

    I think that anything more than 3 seats won will make the Tories very happy. It’s hard to imagine how low expectations are among the Scots Tories. Many of them still can’t comprehend the warmth they’re increasingly getting on the doorsteps these days, let alone the poll results.

  9. At the last election, the worst result the SNP got was second and then by a few hundred votes.

    Is there anywhere they could slip to third. It seems very unlikely but would be interested in any thoughts.

  10. Unlikely. If there is a seat where they drop to third it’s East Renfrewshire – in the largely overlapping Holyrood seat of Eastwood, the Conservatives won and the SNP beat Labour to second place by only a couple hundred votes.

  11. One thought – the Labour surge is a very good thing for the union. I suspect Labour will take voters from the SNP as well as the Conservatives, since much SNP support has come from the threat of endless rule by the Conservatives which has evaporated completely over the last fortnight.

  12. Latest Scottish poll in Sun:

    SNP 39%
    Con 29%
    Lab 25%
    LD 4%

    Quick guess in seat terms:
    SNP 37
    Con 16
    LD 3
    Lab 3

    Kirkcaldy & Cowdenbeath and Coatbridge, Chryston & Bellshill would both be viable targets for Labour on these kinds of figures: so too might Dunfermline & West Fife and Lanark & Hamilton East.

  13. And I see in that poll it’s 54% yes for independence.

  14. Very interesting, I’ve not seen the full article yet. Where did you find those figures ?

  15. lol Scottyboy that’s a different poll-a subsample with a 15% margin of error!!

  16. I saw Gordon Brown talking up Lab chances in K&C a couple of weeks ago… a few Lab gains from SNP wouldn’t surprise me too much, looks like the SNP are going to be quite a bit down on their 2015 vote

  17. I still think the Tories will be on track for at least 10 seats; they’re getting the votes right where they need them. That said, I can definitely see Labour doing relatively well in terms of seats too by focusing their attention on a select range of targets.

    One thing’s for sure, it isn’t looking great for the SNP.

  18. A result of <40% would be an absolute disaster for the SNP, even if they hold all of their seats. It would massively undermine the case for a second referendum, as nearly 60% could be said to have "voted against" Indyref2.

    The Tories would be extremely happy with 29% (their best result since 1983) and Labour would be very happy to get 25%, since it would suggest that their disintegration has finally stopped.

    The Lib Dems one is weird, since I think that they'll probably gain seats and lose vote-share. A curate's egg?

  19. NTY UK
    lol Scottyboy that’s a different poll-a subsample with a 15% margin of error!!
    May 28th, 2017 at 9:36 am

    On the contrary, it’s the same poll.

  20. SATURDAY, MAY 27, 2017

    SurveyMonkey subsample finds 54% of Scottish public want independence
    I’m not sure if we’re ever going to see datasets for last night’s GB-wide SurveyMonkey poll for The Sun, but one person who clearly has seen more detailed results is Hugo Gye, a political correspondent for Sun Online. He revealed an intriguing titbit last night…

    “And one fairly surprising finding: in this survey, 54% of Scottish voters say they would support independence…”

    Now, of course, that result is merely taken from the Scottish subsample of a GB-wide poll, but it’s an unusually large subsample. The GB sample was around 6000, so presumably around 500 were in Scotland – roughly the sort of figure required to make a poll credible. The snag is that the subsample probably wasn’t correctly weighted, but it’s an interesting straw in the wind all the same. It arguably reinforces the message from recent full-scale Scottish polls, which is that support for independence is either holding steady or perhaps creeping up a little.

  21. No Scottyboy that is a subsample from a different poll! The Scottish Sun poll in question is it’s own poll with a sample size of just under 2,000 which has been properly weighted to take into account the relative socio-demographics of Scotland as a whole.

    The poll you are referencing is a subsample of 500 people lacking any proper weightings based on demography: so it has a significant margin of error making it completely irrelevant.

  22. Me on the voteuk site explaining why sub samples are useless:

    Subsamples are trash, last time subsample averages were well out for all parties (if I can recall correctly +3% for the Conservatives -10% for the SNP). The margin of error is well over 15%, so even subsample averages cannot be taken with any authority.

  23. Where are the weightings and tables for the poll you quote?

  24. Can someone please explain this to me.

    If the Lib Dems have fallen from 7.5% in 2015 to 4% how can they possibly gain any seats when almost 50% of their vote has diminished?

    The problem with some seat projectors is that the work on the basis that Lib Dems are down 3.5% in every Scottish constituency so they only drop by 3.5% in East Dunbartonshire therefore they must beat the SNP who are down 11% in every constituency.

    Could someone please answer this question. How can the Lib Dem share of the vote drop by 3.5% in every Scottish constituency when in many constituencies they don’t have 3.5?

    Surely this would mean that there would be a larger drop of support in constituencies like East Dunbartonshire where the Lib Dem vote was large?

    Personally, I don’t believe that the Lib Dems would get as little as 4% (more like 8%) and I also don’t see the SNP polling less than 41%.

  25. No. 1 at least try to answer it yr eekf. Surely you have an opinion?
    No 2. National / local. Mmmmn tink about it

  26. Scottish polling averages from the last month (changes with 2015):
    SNP 42% (-8)
    CON 29% (+14)
    Lab 19% (-5)
    LD 6% (-2)

    In seat terms based on recent election results I estimate this to be somewhere in the region of:
    SNP 39-43
    Con 11-14
    LD 4
    LAB 1-2

    CON gains from SNP:
    Aberdeen South
    Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk
    Dumfries and Galloway
    East Renfrewshire
    Edinburgh South West
    Ochil and South Perthshire
    Perth and North Perthshire
    West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine

    Too close to call;
    Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock

    LD gains from SNP
    East Dunbartonshire
    Edinburgh West
    North East Fife

    LAB gain from SNP
    Too close to call;
    East Lothian

    Based on more recent polling I would put the number of seats for each respective party at:
    SNP 39
    CON 14
    LD 4
    LAB 2

  27. The Scottish surge at the moment seems to be for Labour. That of course spells trouble for the SNP in working class constituencies where SNP have taken over but it also spells trouble for the Tories in seats where they are relying on the Labour vote to defeat the SNP candidate.
    Seats like Edinburgh South, Edinburgh East are looking much less likely but the biggest concern for them will be seats like East Renfrewshire, Stirling and even Dumfries and Galloway.

  28. Sorry, I meant Edinburgh North not Edinburgh East!

  29. The problem with the Scottish Conservative & Unionist campaign is that it has been over focused on attacking the SNP and not Labour. If you look at their Facebook page it’s just post after post blasting the SNP and very little attacking Labour.

    That does not go down well with Conservatives who are much more anti Labour than anti SNP.

  30. Dalek

    So what? It’s obvious that to get the votes in the right places they need to be going after SNP. I’m sure their already loyal voters will get over it!

    They have also been going after Gordon Brown to ‘come clean’ on his federal plans and what the impacts might be.

    And anyway, by attacking SNP they will attract, rather than repel, some Lab voters in many seats, esp loyal Unionist ones where Lab can no longer win this time. As well as making SNP Brexiteers / soft Indys uncomfortable enough with SNP’s agenda to at least lend Cons their vote this time.

  31. Wait, what? Labour surge? Since when? I’ve only seen 1 Scotland-wide poll since the wobble and that hardly proves Labour are on the up. Definitely flimsy IMO.

  32. In Scottish crosstables (apart from the most recent 25% Scotland poll ) Labour were consistently scoring in middle teen country and lower in places. In the last few weeks they have been picking up to around the low twenties mark.
    The Tories can only take some Scottish seats if they get the support of the other unionist parties. If the Labour vote is recovering and Labour supporters actually vote Labour then the Tories can’t win some of their Scottish target seats.

  33. Subsamples and subsample averages are useless Scotty: as I’ve said before last time the SNP were understated by 10% in the week before the 2015 UK general election in subsamples from UK-wide polls whilst the Conservatives were overstated by 3%. The margin of error is well in excess of 15% I believe, so even subsample averages are useless.

  34. And to add to that they ARE NOT PROPERLY WEIGHTED, meaning they do not take into account the relevant demographics of Scotland which Scotland-wide polls do.

  35. The margin for error in subsamples I accept but the average Labour score in these subsamples is up across the board (as is Conservative). Are you saying they are all wrong?

  36. Or if only Scotland wide polls are correct and properly weighted then you will agree that Labour have surged dramatically in the last one to 25% from the middle to high teens?

  37. “Are you saying they are all wrong?”

    He’s saying they’re useless.

    Paying attention to them is like paying attention to an online Daily Mail poll. These are not “polls” in the ordinary sense, because there’s no weighting.

    In that sense, NTY UK is implicitly overstating their value when he talks about their “margin of error”, since that suggests that these are genuine polls but with a wide confidence interval. They’re not even that, as he states in the second comment in response to you.

    Looking at real polls-

    – Labour have recovered from about 14% in March 2017 to somewhere above that, with one poll this month putting them on 19% and the most recent one (not in the graph above) on 25%. As always, one can’t extrapolate much from one poll, but Labour are doing a bit better.

    However, as that graph suggests, this recovery seems to have been at the expense of the SNP, not the Tories. The Tories have been above 25% in every poll this year.

    It’s only by making unfounded assumptions about the Labour vote’s distribution that the rest of your analysis follows, so I’ll ignore it.

  38. If the Labour share of the vote goes up (mostly at the expense of the SNP) how does it affect Conservative chances in seats like Aberdeen South, Ayr Carrick and Cumnock, Dumfries and Galloway, Edinburgh South West, Ochil and South Perthshire, Renfrewshire East and Stirling?

  39. Or perhaps someone can explain why, if only Scotland wide polls are accurate, the LibDems are down to 4% but NTY thinks they will gain three seats.

  40. @ Scottyboy –

    It’s never good practice to single out one opinion poll and take it for the result of the election.

    Across the last five opinion polls over the course of the month the Liberal Democrat vote has averaged out at 6% in Scotland, with the SNP averaging at 42%. The most recent two opinion polls from May average out at SNP 41%, Liberal Democrat 5%.

    Based on these figures I believe that the Liberal Democrats will gain three parliamentary seats in Scotland: namely East Dunbartonshire, Edinburgh West and North East Fife.

    First of all its important to contextualise where the Liberal Democrat vote IS in Scotland: on the whole the party’s vote is heavily concentrated in specific constituencies, and broadly irrelevant across the rest of the country – this has become increasingly more polarised in recent elections, with the Lib Dems making some significant in-roads in East Dunbartonshire, Edinburgh West and North East Fife at the 2016 Scottish Parliament election and 2017 local council elections in Scotland, but falling back quite heavily across the rest of the country in those same elections (in particular across Aberdeenshire and the Borders, and in parts of the Highlands).

    Edinburgh West and North East Fife voted Liberal Democrat in the 2016 Scottish Parliament election and in the 2017 local council elections.

    And on top of that there is a strong culture of tactical voting in these seats, as indicated by the Scottish Parliamentary election results in the three seats in question, where the Liberal Democrats performed significantly better on the constituency element of the vote (reliant on the First Past the Post system of election where tactical voting is prevalent) in comparison to the regional list element of the vote (reliant on a proportional form of election called the party list where tactical voting is substantially less prominent).

    The fact of the matter is, as proven by the 2016 Scottish Parliament election results, that the Liberal Democrats have clearly and successfully drawn in a significant tactical vote from would-be Conservative voters in the seats in question in opposition to the SNP, and to a lesser extent they’ve also drawn in some would-be Labour tactical votes as well.

    6% of the vote would be down by under 1% from the 2017 local elections – which is about right given the strong Liberal Democrat vote in south-west Aberdeen which was mostly propped up by Conservative voters, in addition to some other specific cases of strong local Lib Dem campaigns (e.g. Rutherglen, southern Perth, suburbs of Dundee and around parts of central Edinburgh).

    So in my opinion this puts them as the very clear favourites in Edinburgh West and North East Fife and fairly strong favourites in East Dunbartonshire.

    Looking at each of the three constituencies individually:

    Edinburgh West voted 66% NO in the 2014 independence referendum. The SNP took 40% of the vote here in 2015 with a majority of 6%. Given that they are now polling on 42% of the vote from 50% in 2015 (which is down 8%) its safe to say that their majority here is extremely vulnerable.

    The Liberal Democrats are pragmatic local campaigners: as indicated by their victory in the equivalent Scottish Parliamentary constituency of Edinburgh Western in 2016, where they took 42% of the vote with a 7.5% majority over the SNP.

    And this is also underlined by the 2017 local elections in Edinburgh West (on modern ward boundaries):
    LD 13,895 (37.7%)
    Con 8,298 (22.5%)
    SNP 8,226 (22.3%)
    Lab 2,926 (7.9%)
    Grn 1,384 (3.8%)
    Ind 148 (0.4%)
    UKIP 134 (0.4%)
    Lbt 99 (0.3%)

    Add in a pro-Lib Dem tactical vote here from would-be Conservatives and this looks to be a very likely gain for the party. And in addition to that you’ve got former SNP MP for Edinburgh West Michelle Thomson’s dubious property dealings, which may well have damaged the party’s standing locally, especially in a Westminster context.

    North East Fife was 64% NO in the 2014 independence referendum. The SNP took 41% of the vote here in 2015, with a majority of 9%. Again as they are down from 50% in 2014 to 42% in the polls now their majority here at risk, especially factoring in a strong resurgence in the local Lib Dem vote in this constituency in other elections. North East Fife voted Lib Dem by a good margin in 2016.

    The 2017 local council election results for wards covering North East Fife (including the western half of the Leven ward which is situated in the Glenrothes parliamentary constituency and is significantly better territory for the SNP) was:
    LD 11,548 (33.9%)
    SNP 8,947 (26.2%)
    Con 7,907 (23.2%)
    Lab 3,439 (10.1%)
    Grn 1,477 (4.3%)
    Ind 743 (2.2%)
    Sld 25 (0.1%)

    Again, given the prevalence of tactical voting here and the fact that the figures above are skewed in favour of the SNP due to the ward split in Leven I would say this is a very very likely Liberal Democrat gain.

    Last but not least is the affluent Glasgow commuter seat of East Dunbartonshire, which was 65% NO in 2014. This one is trickier: there was a massive Conservative tactical vote in favour of the Liberal Democrats in this constituency in 2015, which has dated back since the seat was first created in 2005. Last time the Conservatives only took 9% of the vote here. In 2015 the SNP took 40% of the vote but were just 4% ahead of the Liberal Democrats. A strong local campaign and tactical voting should together make this a probable Lib Dem gain. Another important factor to keep in mind is that this constituency often votes in very different ways at different elections.

    The party made gains here in 2016 and 2017, but this was not quite on par with Edinburgh West and North East Fife however.

    2017 local election results for wards covering the East Dunbartonshire constituency (Lib Dems roughly unchanged):
    SNP 11,670 (28.5%)
    Con 10,828 (26.4%)
    LD 6,161 (15.0%)
    Lab 5,449 (13.3%)
    Ind 4,798 (11.7%)
    Grn 2,071 (5.1%)

    With the SNP falling back here and a strong local Liberal Democrat campaign I believe that they will gain this constituency based on current polling, for the reasons I’ve outlined above.

  41. Thanks for that excellent summary.

    Edinburgh West- Agree with you, this looks easily the best chance of a LibDem gain in Scotland.

    North East Fife- I think the SNP will hold this. Main reasons being…

    1/ I think the incumbent is an articulate and talented guy.
    2/ Willie Rennie won this seat for Holyrood and benefited from hefty exposure on national television which gave him a clear advantage.
    3/ The conservative tactical vote won’t be as strong as in the past.

    East Dunbartonshire- This is a tough call but I think the SNP will hold.
    1/ The excellent LibDem candidate has been defeated here previously.
    2/ The very low Conservative vote in 2015 suggests a very large tactical vote was given to Jo Swinson- this tactical vote is highly likely to go down with the Conservatives resurgent.
    3/ There is very little margin for error here if Jo is to regain this seat, she needs everything to drop right for her.

    What about Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross? I am surprised this has not been mentioned much as a possible LibDem gain. I believe they have a fair chance of winning this seat.

  42. I agree with Scottyboy,

    The Lib Dems have a clearer lead in Edinburgh West than in the other two constituencies.

    The North East Fife Westminster constituency is larger than the Holyrood constituency and contains no go areas for the Lib Dems that are dominated by SNP/ Lab.

    In East Dunbartonshire the Conservatives had 9% in 2015 and now have 26%. It looks as if the Conservative Lib Dem tactical vote is unwinding. Nicolson’s SNP vote in East Dumbartonshire is certain to fall but Swinson’s vote may fall just as much.

  43. North East Fife is a near certain Lib Dem gain in my opinion: Lib Dems did extremely well there in 2016 and 2017 BEFORE tactical voting. Personally I think that the SNP MP there is thoroughly unimpressive too based on his performance on Question Time to be honest.

    Caithness, Sutherland & Easter Ross in contrast is most probably going to go SNP: only 55% No vote there in 2014. The SNP vote was already low in 2015 and based on 2016 it’s unlikely to fall by as much as elsewhere in the country. The Lib Dems fell back there in 2016 so I believe the SNP could potentially secure a larger majority there.

  44. Lib Dems fell back in Caithness, Sutherland & Easter Ross in 2016 relative to 2015*

  45. East Renfrewshire and Newton Mearns in particular is traditionally a much stronger area for the Conservatives though, whereas the suburbs of East Dunbartonshire have traditionally been more inclined towards Labour and the Lib Dems.

  46. The Labour vote should go up as people now tune in to tactical voting ten days out from polling day.

    Individuals whose preference would be Con/Lib in seats where Labour are clear challenger should now, I would expect, be saying they would vote Labour if polled.

    But them ticking up into the low 20s doesn’t necessarily translate into any additional seats.

  47. In short, don’t read a rise in Labours numbers as being a meaningful surge in support. If Holyrood was voting on June 8th they’d be on for a worse nice than last May. The FPTP system will salvage them % wise, but it’s all about seats, as the Lib Dem examples above so nicely show.

  48. Quite. Further, they’ve had much less time investing resources into specific seats. So while there may be a general increase (though I doubt above 20%), it’s probably come too late for Labour to effectively harness it where it counts.

  49. All evidence to date has shown the Conservatives gaining significant Labour unionist votes so I would be very surprised if Labour did take 25%.

    The only thing in Labour’s favour is that they polled more strongly in the local elections (22%) than all polls had suggested.

  50. If the Labour vote goes up across the board and they do win East Lothian, it will also mean that the Tories will not win some of their target seats where they are relying on support from Labour unionist voters.
    Besides, now that the Westminster race is becoming closer by the day, why would a Labour supporter vote Conservative if it is going to increase their majority?

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