Glasgow North

2015 Result:
Conservative: 2901 (7.9%)
Labour: 10315 (27.9%)
Lib Dem: 1012 (2.7%)
SNP: 19610 (53.1%)
Green: 2284 (6.2%)
UKIP: 486 (1.3%)
TUSC: 160 (0.4%)
Others: 154 (0.4%)
MAJORITY: 9295 (25.2%)

Category: Safe SNP seat

Geography: Scotland, Glasgow. Part of the Glasgow council area.

Main population centres: Glasgow.

Profile: The north of Glasgow, the seat contains the large council estate of Summerston on the outskirts of the city and the areas of Maryhill, Kelvingrove and Hillhead. While there are tower blocks and poverty here, there are also handsome original sandstone tenements and large Victorian houses that are popular with Glasgow`s middle classes. Glasgow University is contained within the seat, towards the City centre and the many students and academics mean this is one of the best educated seats in the city.

Politics: Even in the days of Labour hegemony on Glasgow this seat was not quite as monolithically Labour as the others. One of its predecessors, Glasgow Hillhead, was the last Conservative seat in Glasgow and following the death of Tom Galbraith (the father of the present Lord Strathclyde) in 1982 it was won by Roy Jenkins of the SDP. In 2015 it fell to the SNP.

Current MP
PATRICK GRADY (SNP) Educated at Strathclyde University. Contested Glasgow North 2010. First elected as MP for Glasgow North in 2015.
Past Results
Con: 2089 (7%)
Lab: 13181 (45%)
LDem: 9283 (31%)
SNP: 3530 (12%)
Oth: 1530 (5%)
MAJ: 3898 (13%)
Con: 2441 (9%)
Lab: 11001 (39%)
LDem: 7663 (27%)
SNP: 3614 (13%)
Oth: 3202 (11%)
MAJ: 3338 (12%)
Con: 1162 (5%)
Lab: 13420 (60%)
LDem: 2372 (11%)
SNP: 3532 (16%)
Oth: 1745 (8%)
MAJ: 9888 (44%)
Con: 1747 (6%)
Lab: 19301 (65%)
LDem: 2119 (7%)
SNP: 5037 (17%)
Oth: 1517 (5%)
MAJ: 14264 (48%)

2015 Candidates
LAUREN HANKINSON (Conservative) Parliamentary advisor.
ANN MCKECHIN (Labour) Born 1961, Paisley. Educated at Paisley Grammar School and Strathclyde University. Solicitor. Contested Scotland 1999 European Election. MP for Glasgow Maryhill 2001 to 2015. PPS to Jacqui Smith 2005. Under-secretary of State for Scotland 2008-2010. Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland 2010-2011.

Comments - 124 Responses on “Glasgow North”
  1. The polls would indicate that the Conservatives will not only hold their only Glasgow council seat in Pollokshields but gain a seat in the new Partick East/ Kelvindale.

    Langside, Newlands, Victoria Park and Linn are long shots. Other than these six wards, there is no other ward in Glasgow that is remotely winnable for the Conservatives.

    It is very unlikely that the Conservatives could hold the balance of power in Glasgow because the polls indicate that the SNP will have at least a dozen more seats than Labour and there will be only 2 or 3 Conservatives at the very most.

  2. “Scotland currently has four different electoral systems…”.

    Arguably they have five as local by-elections are conducted under AV.

    They will go back down to four soon, assuming there are not going to be any more European Parliament elections conducted in Scotland.

  3. Here’s my preview of some of the more interesting wards in Glasgow where Dalek anticipates Conservative gains-

    Located in the south of Glasgow, Langside covers a mix of fairly affluent suburbs in Glasgow’s Cathcart area in addition to some more deprived tenement blocks and apartment buildings. Glasgow Cathcart was the last constituency in Glasgow to be represented by the Conservative Party, whose Teddy Taylor lost his seat in the 1979 Tory landslide election to Labour’s John Maxton, perhaps as a consequence of the rise of the Castlemilk estate in the south-east of his Cathcart constituency throughout the 1960s.

    This ward covers the once Tory strongholds of Mount Florida and Kings Park, alongside the suburbs of Langside and more deprived, traditionally Labour-voting, tenement blocks towards Cathcart and Toryglen.

    With the omission of Toryglen from the ward my figures suggest that the 2007 Langside ward voted against independence at 53% No 47% Yes back in 2014. This is a 4-member ward which I believe should return 2 Scottish National, 1 Labour and 1 Conservative.

    Partick East/Kelvindale:
    At the heart of Glasgow’s affluent West End is this brand new ward, combining the most affluent parts of the former Maryhill/Kelvin and Hillhead wards up with eastern parts of Partick West.

    Before the SNP’s breakthrough in the 2008 Glasgow East by-election, the former Glasgow Hillhead constituency, covering the modern day Partick East/Kelvindale and Victoria Park wards, was the last constituency in Glasgow not to return a Labour MP, being represented by the Conservatives until a by-election in 1982, from which point onwards the constituency was represented by Roy Jenkins of the Social Democratic Party until George Galloway gained the seat for Labour in the 1987 general election. At the 2003 local council election, Kelvindale and Jordanhill returned Liberal Democrat councillors, and in 2007 the party had councillors in all of Glasgow’s West End wards before being wiped out in north-west Glasgow at the 2012 local council election.

    This ward has 4 seats up for grabs, which should end up returning one each for the Conservatives, the Greens, Labour and the SNP. I would guess that this ward rejected independence at over 60% No in 2014.

    Situated within Nicola Sturgeon’s very own Glasgow Southside constituency in the Scottish Parliament, the Pollokshields ward covers a mixture of fairly affluent Victorian suburbs around Crossmyloof, Drumbreck, Waverley Park and Maxwell Park in the south of Glasgow in addition to tenement blocks around Port Eglinton and Strathbungo situated to the north-east of the ward and the Craigton council estate to the north-west of the ward.

    Crossmyloof, Maxwell Park and Waverley Park have been represented by Conservative councillors since 1995, becoming Glasgow’s only Conservative ward in 1999 and again returning Glasgow’s only Conservative councillor in the 2007 and 2012 council elections as part of the wider Pollokshields ward. The less-polished parts of Pollokshields have been typically Glaswegian in their voting patterns: traditionally recognised as Labour strongholds, now gone solidly over to the SNP.

    My notional figures suggest that the former Pollokshields ward, omitting Craigton and Drumbreck, voted against Scottish independence at the 2014 Scottish independence referendum by a margin of 55% No 45% Yes.

    Boundary change has transformed this ward from a 3-member ward to a 4-member ward. In 2012, the Conservative would have been elected on the first round of voting with this boundary change in mind, making his seat very safe here. It is likely that the SNP will gain the new seat, bringing the overall result to 2 Scottish National 1 Conservative 1 Labour.

    Victoria Park:
    Previously called Partick West, this ward covers the western fringes of Glasgow’s affluent West End in addition to some more deprived inner city areas around southern Broomhill and Whiteinch, on the northern banks of the River Clyde. The former ward was the most affluent in Glasgow, having voted against independence at roughly 60% No 40% Yes according to my figures.

    This ward has been reduced from 4 seats to 3 seats. The SNP should hold on to their seat comfortably here, and it is likely that the Conservatives will leapfrog over Labour to take around 25-30% of the vote, which should be enough to get one elected, leaving the final seat a contest between Labour and the Greens.

  4. In Linn Ward the Lib Dems returned their only Glasgow City Councillor with 12% first preference votes….not enough to win one of the 4 seats but gained enough redistributed votes. I could see the Conservatives coming 4th on first preference votes in this 4 seat ward. In the past SNP and Green voters have stopped ranking candidates once they hit unionist parties they are not too keen on like Lab and the Lib Dems.

    Now the SNP and Greens are encouraging their supporters to continue to rank all the candidates and place the Conservatives at the bottom. This could result in Labour and the Lib Dems winning seats that may have otherwise gone to the Conservatives like Newlands or Linn.

  5. The Liberal Democrats were up +1.3% in the Glasgow Cathcart constituency in the 2016 Scottish Parliament election. They are obviously much more transfer-friendly than the Conservatives, especially in a ward such as Linn which is dominated by the deprived Castlemilk estate to the south-east.

  6. In Linn the Conservatives could gain a healthy first preference vote due to Simshill, Croftfoot and Carmunnock but then be overtaken by the Lib Dems as SNP, Labour and Green votes are redistributed for the 4th seat.

  7. I believe the Lib Dem incumbent in Linn is also fairly popular locally (indeed, she was the candidate in Cathcart which may explain why the party outperformed in this area compared to other seats, indeed, it was the only seat apart from Rutherglen (where ex MSP Robert Brown was the candidate), which saw the Lib Dems save their deposit in Glasgow in 2016.

  8. I have been looking at the Glasgow Conservatives Facebook page –

    Their active wards (in order of campaign posts) appear to be –

    1) Pollokshields
    This is the most obvious because the Conservatives currently have 1 of the 3 seats in the old ward. David Meikle is the husband of the Independent MP for Glasgow East (Natalie McGarry). The ward is being extended to include Dumbreck that was the only ballot box to be won by the Conservatives in the 1988 Glasgow Govan by election and the less Conservative Craigton part of Cardonald. The increase of an additional seat will make the David Meikle’s seat here more secure. My projection here is SNP 2, Con 1 and Lab 1.

    2) Partick East/ Kelvindale
    This brings together some very affluent parts of Glasgow’s West End that have been mixed with strong Lab/ SNP areas in other wards. SNP, Green and Con are likely to take the first three seats here with the 4th being fought over by the SNP, Lab and the Lib Dems.

    3) Victoria Park
    This combines Broomhill and Jordanhill which have some Conservative support. If the Conservatives win here Glasgow will have its first councillor of Black African extraction. My projection here is SNP 1, Green 1 and Con 1.

    4) Linn
    This seat may not seem like such an obvious target, but the Castlemilk housing estate that once dominated this ward is depopulating so perhaps Carmunock, Cathcart’s Simshill and Kings Park’s Croftfoot are now in the majority.
    Linn is likely to go 2 SNP and 1 Lab. Seat 4 is clear contest between the Lib Dems and the Conservatives.

    5) Newlands/ Auldburn
    The Newlands area of Cathcart has some very large detached and semi detached sandstone houses and is more similar to East Renfrewshire than Glasgow but this ward also contains social deprived parts of the Greater Pollok estate futher West. There are three seats here, most likely to go SNP 2 and Lab 1. If the Conservatives do exceptionally well on polling day the result could go SNP 2 and Con 1 or SNP 1, Lab 1 and Con 1.

    6) Langside
    Despite being a four member ward the Conservatives seem to be doing less here than I would have expected. The ward has been extended to include Toryglen. For those who follow this site that don’t know Glasgow, Toryglen is the inverse of what its name implies. However, the extension of the ward has seen the ward increase from 3 to 4 seats so although the boundary changes are disadventagous to the Tories its easier to win a seat in a 4 member ward than a 3 member ward. This ward still includes parts of Shawlands, Langside, Battlefield, Mount Florida and part of Kings Park so it should still be a potential Conservative prospect. I would project SNP 2, Con 1 and Lab 1 on the first ballot with the Greens then taking either the Tory seat or the Labour seat on the elimination process.

    7) Shettleston
    I was surprised by Shettleston quite frankly. I would have expected the Conservatives to target Hillhead Ward next or Anderston/ City/ Yorkhill Ward. Were the Conservatives to target a seat in the East End, I would have thought that their first target would have been Denniston, East Centre (that includes Riddrie) or Ballieston which are the least deprived wards in Eastern Glasgow and also have the highest proportion of Protestant Working Class voters who once strongly supported the Conservatives in Glasgow and are most likely to be influenced by Ruth Davidson’s ultra Unionist position. I can’t see any logic in the Conservatives targeting Shettleston unless they feel that they will pick up second preference Labour votes. Labour are fielding only 2 candidates in this 4 member ward.

  9. Patrick Harvie has announced he’s going to stand here for the Scot Greens.

  10. Dalek, looks like the Tories knew what they were doing in Shettleston after all!

  11. The Conservatives did not foresee gaining a seat in Calton or Ballieston. 3 of the 7 Conservative gains were in Glasgow’s East End.

    Their victory in these wards would infer that the Conservative gain of a seat in Linn Ward may not just have been down to a strong vote in Sims Hill, Carmunock and Croftfoot but they may also have had some support in Castlemilk to.

  12. Did the Tory surge in east Glasgow have anything to do with the orange order?

  13. Not the Orange Order directly but there was a considerable decline in the working class Tory vote in Glasgow following the Anglo Irish Agreement in 1986 that now seems to be reversing.

    Its reasonable to say that many people who voted Tory in Glasgow’s working class communities were more likely to support Rangers than Celtic.

    What’s ironic is that the middle class wards of Partick East/ Kelvindale and Victoria Park were Conservative gains whereas Ballieston, Calton and Shettleston were really Unionist gains. Socially mixed wards like Linn and Newlands/ Auldburn were somewhere in the middle.

  14. My prediction is

    SNP 31% -22%
    Conservatives 24% +16%
    Greens 22% +15%
    Labour 18% -10%
    LDs 5% +2%
    UKIP 0% -1%

  15. That would be astounding

  16. Its based on opinion polling and the 15% to Harvie in Glasgow Kelvin last year

  17. Dream on!

  18. I could see the Tories getting mid- to high teens, maybe 18-20% but no more than that

  19. Greens did very well in locals in Hillhead (about half the constituency) but not in the other parts. So 22 is probably a tad high, although I think they will be well into double digits.

    24 for the Tories, whew, brave call. Is that based on local polling, or just Scotland-wide polls?

  20. Conservative 24% would simply be following about the UNS across Scotland.

  21. Because the swing will be a universal one between Glasgow and the North East?

  22. This constituency had the best Remain vote in the country: its utter fantasyland to suggest that the Conservatives will come near 2nd place here. They should be 4th.

  23. “My prediction is

    SNP 31% -22%
    Conservatives 24% +16%
    Greens 22% +15%
    Labour 18% -10%
    LDs 5% +2%
    UKIP 0% -1%”

    Glasgow North combines the most affluent parts of Glasgow Hillhead with most of the former Glasgow Maryhill constituency. The Hillhead parts have both a very high Green and Tory vote like many urban middle class areas.

    To poll 22% the Conservatives and the Greens would need to poll over 40% each in the former Glasgow Hillhead part of the constituency as both their votes are quite depressed in the former Glasgow Maryhill part of the constituency that will vote solidly SNP/ Lab.

    Much of Glasgow Kelvin where the Greens polled 24.3% is in Glasgow Central and Kelvin also has quite a large public sector employed Labour Unionist vote that is unlikely to vote tactically for the Conservatives. Glasgow North is not as good boundaries for the Greens as Glasgow Kelvin. I would be very surprised if the Greens and the Conservatives got more than 15% each.

    If Labour fall back to about 20%, and the others (inc the Lib Dems) remain on 5% this would infer that the SNP would get 45%.

  24. I only just spotted that Patrick Grady MP resigned as the SNP Chief Whip, following allegations that he groped 2 teenage male researchers.

    Vote_Watch on twitter has a list of Labour Cllrs in Court.

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