2015 Result:
Conservative: 15319 (31.1%)
Labour: 4898 (9.9%)
Lib Dem: 1395 (2.8%)
SNP: 24384 (49.5%)
Green: 1345 (2.7%)
UKIP: 1939 (3.9%)
MAJORITY: 9065 (18.4%)

Category: Safe SNP seat

Geography: Scotland, Highlands and islands. The whole of the Moray council area.

Main population centres: Elgin, Forres, Buckie, Keith, Dufftown.

Profile: A rural seat in north east Scotland, stretching down into the Cairngorms National Park. The main centres of population are Forres and the Cathedral Burgh of Elgin. The river Spey runs through the seat and its valley forms a premier area for the distilling of malt whisky, important distilleries here includes the Glenfiddich and Balvenie Distilleries at Dufftown. The RAF are also important local employers, with the only remaining Scottish airforce base RAF Lossiemouth.

Politics: An SNP seat with the Conservatives normally in second place..

Current MP
ANGUS ROBERTSON (Scottish National Party) Born 1969, Wimbledon. Educated at Broughton High School and Aberdeen University. Former journalist. First elected as MP for Moray in 2001.
Past Results
Con: 10683 (26%)
Lab: 7007 (17%)
LDem: 5956 (15%)
SNP: 16273 (40%)
Oth: 1085 (3%)
MAJ: 5590 (14%)
Con: 8520 (22%)
Lab: 7919 (20%)
LDem: 7460 (19%)
SNP: 14196 (37%)
Oth: 698 (2%)
MAJ: 5676 (15%)
Con: 7677 (23%)
Lab: 8332 (25%)
LDem: 5224 (16%)
SNP: 10076 (30%)
Oth: 1914 (6%)
MAJ: 1744 (5%)
Con: 10963 (28%)
Lab: 7886 (20%)
LDem: 3548 (9%)
SNP: 16529 (42%)
Oth: 840 (2%)
MAJ: 5566 (14%)

2015 Candidates
DOUGLAS ROSS (Conservative) Parliamentary researcher. Moray councillor. Contested Moray 2010.
SEAN MORTON (Labour) Educated at Milnes High School and Stirling University. Moray councillor since 2012.
JAMIE PATERSON (Liberal Democrat) Born 1972.
JAMES MACKESSACK-LEITCH (Green) Educated at Glasgow University.
Comments - 262 Responses on “Moray”
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  1. Angus Robertson is a popular MP. I would expect him to hold on comfortably. It will be interesting to see where the LD squeeze would go to (the SNP probably?).

  2. A closer look at the result in Moray and Nairn in February 1974-
    W Ewing (SNP)- 16, 046 (49.26%, +21.43%)
    Campbell (Conservative)- 14, 229 (43.68%, -5.71%)
    Smith (Labour)- 2, 299 (7.06%, -15.71%)

    Majority- 1, 817 (5.58%)
    Swing- +13.57% From Con to SNP.

  3. The SNP have lost the Buckie by election here in their heartland to an independent candidate. Thats 19 council by elections in a row since 2012 that they have failed to win.

  4. “Angus Robertson is a popular MP. I would expect him to hold on comfortably. It will be interesting to see where the LD squeeze would go to (the SNP probably?).”

    I think that the lefty Liberal vote that will go to Labour in England will go to the SNP in Scotland.

    Such a split would still benefit Labour in East Dunbartonshire and Edinburgh West because the SNP are starting from a long way behind – not the case in the Lib Dems Highland constituencies.

  5. This seat was two Ind and one SNP before and it was an Ind who had stood down…

  6. Interesting that Margaret Ewing successfully held this in 1992, yet in spite of the SNP increase all over Scotland that year, her majority was slightly cut by the Tories, who had recovered some ground.

    Angus Robertson since he became MP here has got himself entrenched well, and despite the mighty fall in the SNP’s vote here in 2001, he now has a solid enough five-figure majority over the Tories here,

  7. Do you need help with counting, The Results?

    5590 is a four figure majority, unless I’ve gone mad.

  8. Is it a truism to say that none of the commentators in here on Scottish seats ever see the SNP ever again losing a seat…?

    Have they found the political elixir of eternal life?

  9. In most of their Westminster seats, the SNP could only realistically be defeated if there was a big resurgence in the Tory vote, and I don’t see much prospect of that happening. Labour are too weak to realistically win in the likes of Moray and Perth, although they may have occasionally come quite close.

    Dundee and Western Isles are plausible SNP losses under the right circumstances.

    In terms of Holyrood there will most likely be numerous SNP seats lost in 2016.

  10. Thanks for that.. valid comments..

    I get very wary when I see pundits in here talking of a Soviet style domination of the polls by the SNP.. history shows that what goes up must come down.. even if it takes a while to happen..

    Interesting to note the honorable member here was born in Wimbledon.. I wonder how many other SNP MPs are “foreigners”..

  11. I think most of us Scots are noy making too many predictions about SNP seats till we see what state the party is in post referendum. Will there be bitter infighting and recriminations between members? Will Salmond carry on or be forced out Thatcher style? There will be a lot of MSPs starting to get worried about losing their seats in 2016. Who would take over and could the keep the party united? It all remains to be seen

    Im not sure about “foreign” MPs but the ghastly Nationalist blogger Wings Over Scotland lives in Bath and the website Newsnet Scotland is registered in Denmark.

  12. Moray is an interesting example of an area where the snp dominate the parliamentary elections but not the council. Another by election loss yesterday in my father’s birthplace of Buckie.

  13. I don’t think it impossible that Labour could retake Dundee East. In truth, and if you know the seat, there are a large number of Conservatives there who vote SNP to keep Labour out. Perhaps the new focus on Union will convince them that Labour is a safe option. In Scotland, the Scottish Conservatives have presented a message that it is safe to vote SNP for quite some time now. As for Perth, I expect it to become more marginal again, as the Conservatives will improve on their 2010 vote while Labour voters will return to their natural party. Moray, on the other hand, is safe so long as Angus Robertson wants it. Only Forres remains a good area for the Conservatives; though they might be expected to pick up in Elgin if they fought better campaigns. Recovery here will no doubt happen, but not for many more years.

  14. It’s interesting in Dundee East that after Gordon Wilson’s defeat in 1987, the SNP vote fell back by 6%, some of which went to the Tories. As has already been said about this particular result before, there was always some natural Tory vote there, a lot of which had gone tactical for Wilson against Labour from the 1973 byelection onwards. Interesting also I reckon that the Lib Dems have always struggled in both Dundee seats, although in East there may have been some slight suppression in their vote because of Wilson’s tenure. But without the byelection in the 70s, I do wonder if the SNP would have done as well as they have in Dundee East?

  15. Dundee East must be the only example of the SNP building upon a by election that they lost.

  16. so far, at Westminster level and in the short term, yes.

  17. There has been some suggestion that the SNP might lose this seat in 2015 as the Yes vote was comfortably defeated with 42.4 % of the vote.

    Given that exceeds the 39.7% the SNP polled in 2010 that would seem highly unlikely with multiple parties involved.

  18. Moray will count as one of the many disappointments that the SNP suffered during the referendum. 57.5% voted no. (59% voted for the SNP (Richard Lochhead) in the 2011 SP elections.) This is not to say that Angus Robertson is in real danger – the Yes vote in Moray (42.5%) is more than enough to get him re-elected next year.
    The Labour candidate, Sean Morton, is a young local councillor and marks a definite improvement for them. The likely Conservative, Douglas Ross, is also a young local councillor for the same ward (Fochabers-Lhanbryde) and has a high profile. So it should be a lively campaign.

  19. Also, Capercaillie, there were more significant Scottish parties supporting a No vote than Yes vote (four on the No side, two on the Yes side)-so the pro-union Establishment’s votes will be split anyway in the FPTP seats of the Scottish Parliament.

  20. Douglas Ross confirmed as Conservative candidate. The controversy about the council has, actually, done him quite a lot of good locally.

  21. I wonder how much the Lab and LD vote will go down by here.

  22. A bit, but they’ve got less to lose here. I think that the SNP will hold seats like this with a smaller majority than some of the seats they gain (e.g. Dundee West).

    Also worth mentioning that there was a council by-election here in December (Elgin North).

    There is another by-election due on 26 March (Buckie).

  23. SNP Majority 18% over Con

  24. SNP won the by-election with an increased vote share. Comparisons are a bit difficult because there were only three candidates, one of which was an independent.

  25. A couple of friends who live in this seat recently said unkindly: “He may be a toilet brush heed, but he’s nae tae bad ken!” regarding Angus Robertson! I think he’ll hang on!

  26. Yeh Robertson will “hang on” with at least 55% of the vote!

  27. is there anywhere the SNP can breach 70%?

  28. SNP might get over 60% in Dundee, but 70% is incredibly hard to do. There were a couple of Labour seats on Merseyside that went over 70% last time.

    Of course the thing with FPTP is that you don’t really want to be winning 70% of the vote anywhere, because once you get above the high 40s you are wasting votes.

  29. @ James & John – really? I’d expect the SNP to remain pretty unchanged here. 70% is almost impossible given that the area voted against independence at 57%, meaning that around half of No voters would need to either not turnout to vote or vote SNP: I can’t really see this happening as those who voted No in the referendum are around as likely to turnout as those who voted Yes.

  30. I think some anti-Tory voting from centre-left unionists, plus the benefits of incumbency will probably take the SNP up to around half the vote in most of the North East seats that they already hold.

  31. SNP Hold

  32. The best Conservative result in Scotland. Share of vote up to 31% and actual vote up by 5,000. Lowest swing to SNP anywhere in the country.

  33. Tories would have won the constituency in 2001 and 2005 with a vote like that.

  34. The Conservative candidate Douglas Ross is a local man who has a very high reputation locally I think- he’s also a councillor in Moray.

  35. The local Conservative-led council proposed an 18% council tax rise. It was subsequently withdrawn but the SNP is going to do very well here IMHO.

  36. Ross is the lead list candidate in the Highlands and Islands for the Tories so he is almost certain to become an MSP in May. I suppose he will need to decide whether he would rather serve in Holyrood or Westminster, when 2020 comes along.

  37. Whilst the Tories are comfortably second here this is obviously a very safe SNP seat – in practice probably safer than many with larger majorities where there will have been many more first time, and so not yet reliable, SNP voters. The best Tory chance in the north is probably West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine where there is a LD vote to squeeze. All these calculations subject to boundary changes, of course.

  38. I think that’s a very valid comment, though it is perhaps also fair to say that this is the kind of SNP seat where the SNP hurtling leftwards is likely to disgruntle a lot of their long standing voters.

  39. I think that’s a rather faulty reading of Scottish politics at the moment TBH. The SNP are going out of their way to show to middle ground voters to show that their local and national taxes won’t go up.

    I wouldn’t therefore underestimate the SNPs ability to keep hold of centre/centre right voters at Holyrood on the constituency vote at Holyrood this May even if fewer of those voters will be prepared to vote for Sturgeon on the list compared with 2011.

    I think my main concern is how similar Labour and the LDs policies on taxation are though.

    I can see why it might make sense for Labour to move a bit to the left to try and drive a bit of a wedge between the Greens/assorted hard left groups and the SNP but it’s a rather riskier move for the LDs who will pilloried by both the SNP and the Tories (while being more reliant on anti SNP tactical votes).

  40. “I wouldn’t therefore underestimate the SNPs ability to keep hold of centre/centre right voters at Holyrood on the constituency vote at Holyrood this May”

    I’m not underestimating it

    My comment is more long-term than that

  41. I assume the SNP campaign in Scotland will have a somewhat less left-wing tone to it than their general approach at Westminster, at least as far as their own policy is concerned. They’ll be trying to present themselves as competent and effective at standing up for Scotland’s interests – whilst, of course, attacking LAB for what they will present as collusion in austerity. The main threat to the SNP is, I think, some of their more left-wing supporters thinking they’re safe to experiment with their list votes. They have realised this and ‘both votes SNP’ has been a prominent campaign slogan so far.

  42. @Hemmelig

    Fair enough, I would tend to agree that SNP long term prospects here, the Borders and are still fairly positive relatively speaking even if this doesn’t materialise at Holyrood in May or in 2020. .

    @Jack Sheldon

    Yes that would make sense although it’s kind of academic as the SNP will probably win a majority on FPTP seats anyway.

    I think the main danger will be for the Scottish Greens if that is the case, struggling to define themselves between a staunchly pro independence SNP and a UK led Corbynite Labour and could flatter to deceive outside of Edinburgh and Glasgow again.

  43. *Tory long term prospects* in Moray, W Aberdeenshire and the Borders are positive*

  44. I had meant that these sort of seats would be ripe for a right of centre party post-independence. I’ve no expectation that we will see a Tory MP here or anywhere outside the borders if Scotland remains in the UK.

  45. I think this is a seat where the Tories probably don’t have a high enough ceiling any more to seriously contend. It’s not as wealthy as some of the Perthshire and Aberdeenshire seats which ought to be right of centre if it wasn’t for the national question.

  46. Once upon a time, rural North-East Scotland was safe Conservative and Unionist territotyr, but the Tory party will have to change a lot for this to happen. Stranger things have happened, though.

    The time is going to come when people want a change from the SNP. “nature abhors a vacuum.”

  47. That time will come when Scotland becomes independent and has to raise all the money it spends itself. The SNP voter coalition will split in half, with the working class Glaswegians keen on high tax high spend policies, and the opposite in places like this. When that happens a right of centre party would dominate in this type of seat, but not before.

  48. *Edinburgh Pentlands would cover Meadows/Morningside

  49. According to YouGov Moray is the most Eurosceptic council area on mainland Scotland.

    Their unreliable (albeit rather interesting) study of 80,000 voters from across the UK found that the best-worst council areas for the pro-EU campaign (excluding Island council areas, Inverclyde and Clackmannanshire) are as follows:

    1) Aberdeen City
    2) Stirling
    3) West Dunbartonshire
    4) City of Edinburgh
    5) Glasgow City
    6) Perth and Kinross
    7) Argyll and Bute
    8) South Lanarkshire
    9) Midlothian
    10) East Renfrewshire
    11) Renfrewshire
    12) Highland
    13) Fife
    14) Dundee City
    15) West Lothian
    16) Falkirk
    17) South Ayrshire
    18) East Dunbartonshire
    19) Scottish Borders
    20) Aberdeenshire
    21) Angus
    22) North Ayrshire
    23) East Lothian
    24) Dumfries and Galloway
    25) North Lanarkshire
    26) East Ayrshire
    27) Moray

    Interestingly North Lanarkshire and East Ayrshire are among the most “europhobic” regions according to the poll.

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