2015 Result:
Conservative: 7325 (12.1%)
Labour: 15130 (25.1%)
Lib Dem: 1225 (2%)
SNP: 34831 (57.7%)
UKIP: 1829 (3%)
MAJORITY: 19701 (32.6%)

Category: Safe SNP seat

Geography: Scotland, Central. Part of the Falkirk council area.

Main population centres: Falkirk, Denny, Larbert, Stenhousemuir.

Profile: Falkirk lies roughly midway between Glasgow and Edinburgh at the junction of the Forth and Clyde Canal and the Union Canal. It was originally a heavy industrial town, an early centre for the production of cast iron and steel. Heavy industry has declined in importance here (though the town continues to manufacture buses and many residents are employed in industry in neighbouring Grangemouth), with the local economy now more dominated by retail and administration.

Politics: Falkirk and its predecessor Falkirk West both have a history of returning Labour MPs who left the party and sat as Independents. Dennis Canavan was MP for West Falkirk from its creation in 1983 but was rejected as an official Labour candidate for the Scottish Parliament in 1999. He instead successfully stood as a Independent candidate and was expelled from the party. He resigned from the Westminister Parliament a yeat later, his seat being retaken by Labour and Eric Joyce. Twelve years later Joyce followed Canavan out of the party in much less honourable circumstances having pleaded guilty to charges of assault after a punch-up in a Commons bar. Labour only narrowly defended the 2000 by-election over the SNP who eventually took the seat in the 2015 landslide.

Current MP
JOHN MCNALLY (SNP) Former barber. Falkirk councillor since 2005. Contested Falkirk 2010. First elected as MP for Falkirk in 2015.
Past Results
Con: 5698 (11%)
Lab: 23207 (46%)
LDem: 5225 (10%)
SNP: 15364 (30%)
Oth: 1283 (3%)
MAJ: 7843 (15%)
Con: 4538 (10%)
Lab: 23264 (51%)
LDem: 7321 (16%)
SNP: 9789 (21%)
Oth: 838 (2%)
MAJ: 13475 (29%)
Con: 2321 (8%)
Lab: 16022 (52%)
LDem: 2203 (7%)
SNP: 7490 (24%)
Oth: 2855 (9%)
MAJ: 8532 (28%)
Con: 4639 (12%)
Lab: 22772 (59%)
LDem: 1970 (5%)
SNP: 8989 (23%)
MAJ: 13783 (36%)

2015 Candidates
ALISON HARRIS (Conservative) Chartered accountant.
KAREN WHITEFIELD (Labour) Born 1970, Bellshill. Contested MSP for Airdrie and Shotts 1999-2011.
GALEN MILNE (Liberal Democrat) Contested Banff and Buchan 2010.
DAVID COBURN (UKIP) Born Glasgow. Businessman. Contested Old Bexley and Sidcup 2010. MEP for Scotland since 2014.
JOHN MCNALLY (SNP) Barber. Falkirk councillor since 2005. Contested Falkirk 2010.
Comments - 150 Responses on “Falkirk”
  1. He hasn’t resigned as an MP though, has he?

    The assault prosecution isn’t enough to bar someone from being an MP.

  2. It’s not just that, Hemmelig, any reduction in the number of Scottish MPs in the near future that is likely to negatively impact Tory fortunes. The few remaining Tory redoubts would be swamped in larger constituencies, unless the party manages to significantly increase the level of Scottish support it has been stuck at for the past 25 years or so.

  3. Completely agree, though a larger DC&T might still be OK for the Tories depending on which way it were extended.

  4. i think that Eric Joyce will keep his seat as an independent because he is liked as a person in Falkirk, so he should keep his seat at the election like what happened in Clacton where they voted the same person in not because of the party the person.

  5. Karen Whitefield is an uninspiring choice for Labour-she made little impact as an MSP, being defeated by Alex Neil (SNP) in 2011.

    This is therefore one of the best prospects for an SNP gain in 2015.

  6. This is one of a grand total of three labour held seats which the snp are odds on to win in 2015. Shady s world is very different from that of the daily mail which screamed that labour were on course to lose all 41 seats in Scotland… There are 4 seats off the lib dems where the snp are odds on… That points to about 7 gains for the snp. If we are being generous, we can give them 10 gains but difficult to see more than that….

  7. According to ladbrokes…

  8. Kevin – has Joyce said he’s standing?

  9. joyce is standing down, that’s why there s a picture of the labour candidate, karen whitefield, at the top of thread. kevin is clearly slightly behind the pace.

  10. Any news on the SNP candidate yet?

  11. This is one of the few seats in Scotland outside Edinburgh that Labour won with less than 46 % of the vote. It is often overlooked that Labour really do very poorly in the northern part of Scotland where the SNP and Lib Dems have strength. So their 40% of the national vote is piled up in big majorities in half of the seats.

    In 1983, the Conservatives won around 20 seats in Scotland – but if I remember correctly in only Tayside North did they gain 50% of the votes cast. It was an early warning that they would be in trouble if the opposition in each seat coalesced around a single candidate. This is what happened in 1987 and then in 1997.

    Labour are not as vulnerable, but is worth focussing on the winning vote, not majority in trying to identify which seats it may lose. Having said this, I suspect they will do better in Edinburgh, as the City was less sympathetic to the Yes campaign.

    This means Labour can drop a lot of votes, before they lose many seats. Falkirk must be an SNP prime target, with an established 30% base and a low-end Labour vote share. They do need a candidate to win though!

  12. doomed SNP gain, they could probably gain without a candidate.

  13. Another likely SNP gain as Labour have had massive bad press in that area for a while.

  14. Eric Joyce has been charged with 2 counts of assault and one of criminal damage and will appear in Court on December 30.

  15. This is turning out to be the most certain SNP gain of the whole election. If not for the 45% whining that Scotland didn’t vote to become a Europe’s Venezuela, Eric Joyce’s repeated bad behaviour and run ins with the law. I’m surprised he hasn’t stood down early.

  16. SNP selecting here – result expected 12 Jan . Candidates are :-

    Councillor John McNally (63), member for Denny and Banknock. The barbershop owner was SNP candidate for Falkirk at GE 2010, securing 30 per cent of the vote – the biggest swing from Labour recorded in any seat in Scotland.

    Councillor Steven Carleschi, member for Carse, Kinnaird and Tryst. A Stenhousemuir resident, he sits on the local authority’s planning and education committees.

    Paul Gilligan (36). A customer service advisor and father-of-three from the Bog Road area, he joined the party in 2012.

    Niall Coleman. Son of Councillor Tom Coleman, the Larbert works in the office of Falkirk East MSP Angus MacDonald.

    Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh (44). The only candidate currently living outwith the Falkirk district, the lawyer from Glasgow enjoys the highest national profile of the five thanks to her role as the party’s women’s and equalities officer. She joined the SNP in 2000 after standing as a Conservative candidate in the 1999 Scottish Parliament elections.

    From Falkirk Herald.
    Detail here :- http://www.falkirkherald.co.uk/news/local-news/falkirk-snp-members-vote-on-2015-general-election-candidate-1-3647275


  17. The SNP seem desperate to get Ahmed-Sheikh elected after she failed to win the third seat at the Euros. I believe she is also seeking the candidature for Ochil and S. Perthshire, effectively meaning she is hoping to stand in one of the two seats at the top of the SNP target list, which are almost certain gains.

    Falkirk was one of the seats where Craig Murray was seeking the candidature before he was blocked by the SNP filtering process. One of the theories was that they wanted to give Ahmed-Sheikh a free run in this seat, although, personally, I don’t buy it.

  18. Not sure a “Tartan Tory” will find it very easy to beat Labour in Falkirk. The SNP should surely have put her in a more Tory friendly target seat like Argyll or West Aberdeenshire.

  19. It would have made even more sense for her to seek nomination for a Glasgow seat, where she’s from, such as Glasgow South. If the SNP really rated her so highly, you would think she would be put to better use in a tough seat such as GS than Falkirk, where they are expected to “walk” it.

  20. Hoping McNally gets nominated, popular local figure

  21. Ahmed-Sheikh would also have been appropiate for Glasgow Central that covers much of Nicola Sturgeons Glasgow Southside Holyrood constituency.

  22. She’s also in the mix for Linlithgow and East Falkirk.

    There seem to be some SNP members running for candidacy in three constituencies or more. John Nicolson is another who seems to be in many places at once (Midlothian, N. Ayrshire, E. Dunbartonshire, W. Dunbartonshire, Linlithgow).

  23. Labour Hold

  24. I’d be cock-a-hoop if Labour held this. Hope you’re right. It is possible that Labour could hold this & lose seats which on paper are far “safer”.

  25. My reason for speculating a Labour hold here was the SNP did well here in 2010…in contrast to Glasgow East, Dundee West, Ochil and Kilmarnock.

    This constituency may have already swing as far to the SNP as it will. The SNP were ahead here on the Ashcroft polls but to a lesser extent than an ultra ‘safe’ Labour seat like Cumbernauld.

  26. DALEK

    “This constituency may have already swing as far to the SNP as it will.”

    It’s worth pointing to the 2011 results here. In Falkirk West (most of the seat” the SNP won 55% of the vote, and 51% in Falkirk East.

    That would suggest that there is still a lot of SNP potential there.

  27. Ashcroft did not poll Falkirk.

  28. Dalek, I would consider this to be one of the most vulnerable Labour seats . not least because of Mr Joyce’s much publicised antics. Even with their new candidate Labour will struggle to make up lost ground. SNP gain.

  29. I honestly suspect the SNP could be in the high fifties here.

  30. Dalek talking horse manure. Ashcroft hasn’t even polled Falkirk. If the SNP don’t win here they won’t gain any more than 2 or 3 Labour seats.

  31. This won’t even be close.

  32. UKIP got just under 13% in this constituency. Maybe Coburn thinks he has a better chance of holding his deposit here than going up against Salmond in Gordon.

  33. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-32557123

    Wow! Joyce has got some serious issues! Just one disaster after another in his life! The guy clearly needs help. Hope he gets it soon as he’s clearly not in a fit state of mind.

  34. Eric Joyce has been convicted of two counts of assault (again). This time it was a 14-year-old and a 15-year-old girl.

  35. David Coburn: “[People in Falkirk are not interested in the Scottish nationalists because the Scottish nationalists are not good for the business of Falkirk. They are not interested in fracking, which is essential to keep Grangemouth open. They are not interested in coal technology or improving it. They really just want to send us back to a William Wallace pre-industrialised age … but I think the vast majority of people would like to have their central heating thank you very much.

    We have got massive support here and it looks like we are going to win in Falkirk, fingers crossed, or at least do extremely well.”

    I trust I’m correct in thinking he is completely delusional?

  36. Labour win…they cannot possibly lose a seat with more than a 5% poll swing from Lab to SNP

  37. SNP Gain

  38. Not a surprising result at all given.

  39. I see David Coburn’s prediction that UKIP would romp to victory was a bit off.

  40. Tories must be looking at getting into 5 figures here, in what in an area (like most of central Scotland) where they haven’t traditionally had a large base.

  41. Bonnybridge & Larbert Ward By-election, 15.02.18:

    First Prefs

    SNP 1,295 39% (+5%)
    Cons 1,088 32% (+8%)
    Lab 813 24% (+9%)
    Green 124 4% (n/c)
    UKIP 35 1% (+1%)

    SNP hold (elected at 5th stage).

  42. Labour has suspended it’s candidate here over allegations that she made anti-Semitic posts on Facebook.

  43. Suspensions at this point aren’t that relevant. Ballot papers have already been printed.

  44. Stops a campaign which in a marginal could be crucial.

  45. The Tories coming 2nd or even winning here on 32% would certainly be amusing.

    With some justification after the last 3 people the Labour Party inflicted on them here.

    Will Labour Unionists switch or just stay at home?

  46. SNP forecasted for 44% here. Tories will surely get second but I don’t think they come near to gaining it
    Some might switch but others will still vote labour or abstain – i think they is a rump of labour unionsts who will never go tory no matter what.

  47. Some might move to the SNP, too.

  48. Eric Joyce has been given eight months in jail for the above charge.

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