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”
  1. Apparently they are only standing 9 in Scotland and none in the Highlands and Islands.

  2. Their demand for a spot at the Scottish leaders debate comes across as ludicrous now

  3. Robertson clearly worried judging by this desperate tweet:

    Seems to think voters will judge an MP combining his duties with reffereeing football matches as harshly as if he had some cushy directorship. I doubt whether that’s the case.

  4. I recall that Labour beat the Conservatives into third place and came a very close second in 1999 (Holyrood) and 2001 (Westminster).

  5. One difficulty here is the Tories have very few Unionist or right leaning Labour votes to squeeze and there’s almost nothing left out of the Lib Dems.
    All the swing will have to come from the SNP.
    It does look in range though.

  6. Between 2001 and 2005 Moray was a four way marginal as only14% separated the SNP and the fourth placed Lib Dems. The common definition of a marginal is a constituency with a majority of under 15%.

  7. I suspect a lot of “swing” will be differential turnout. In 2015 nationalists were more motivated than unionists to get to the ballot box, which is why we saw a 45% yes vote rise to 50% for the SNP plus a bit for the Scottish Greens. This time, I feel that unionists will be more motivated to turn out against the status quo of an SNP government in its third term. More generally, turnout in Scotland will probably be down substantially, as there are probably a lot of “Brenda from Bristol” folk in Scotland right now, who are just fed up of voting.

    However, despite all of the above I still think Angus will hold on here. But it’ll be close.

  8. A Green supporter/activist in Moray I was in touch with earlier today thinks Robertson could be TOAST based on the interactions he’s had with voters.

  9. Must say it would be a delicious spectacle if the Tories can actually get rid of the SNP leader (Westminster).
    I wonder what the SNP would do about it afterwards.

  10. What is interesting is that a lot of the SNP’s most prominent MPs are under threat – Robertson, Salmond, Wishart, Cherry, Gethins, Nicolson, Ahmed-Sheikh and at a stretch Whiteford and Whitford could all conceivably be defeated. If that happened it would look like a very bad result for the SNP, even if they still come out with around 40 MPs.

  11. JJB: In answer to your question, I was actually thinking who would be the SNP’s Westminster leader if the unthinkable happened and he lost his seat. I wonder whether Stuart Hosie would be allowed back into the SNP’s top team after his affair pushed him onto the backbenches.

  12. The SNP are likely to put a lot of effort into retaining this seat and hopefully the partisan Tory posters are proved wrong.

  13. @Polltroll

    I think Patrick Grady would be a strong contender. Or perhaps Tommy Sheppard, who ran against Robertson for deputy leader and is from the more radical wing of the party. I’d imagine quite a few would put their name forward.

  14. Another seat I would pay good money to see the incumbent lose. Along with Easter Ross, Ochil and S Perthshire, Edinburgh South West and of course Gordon.

  15. Agreed . I find Robertson priggish and pompous . He’s probably a nice enough fellow privately but his public persona is not good.

    This is an interesting contest. Number one Tory target in Scotland for symbolic reasons, surely?

  16. But Douglas Ross does not have a great public persona.

    I have seem him debate at Holyrood on the BBC parliament channel. The Conservative group has a number of very personable, witty and talented debaters but Ross is not one of them.

  17. @ Dalek – that’s simply untrue. Douglas Ross has been building up a recognisable personal vote in Moray since the 2015 UK general election, very similar to Ross Thomson in Aberdeen South. They were pushed at the front of the Scottish Conservative campaign in the North East of Scotland during the 2016 Scottish Parliament election and quite regularly appear on Scottish Conservative campaign material on social media and on television, as well as making regular contributions to high-profile debates at Holyrood.

  18. More personally voters who I know in Aberdeen South and Moray have a clear idea of who Douglas Ross and Ross Thomson are. This compares to relatively unknown Conservative candidates in Gordon, West Aberdeenshire & Kincardine and Perth & North Perthshire for example.

  19. Spent most of Tuesday doing a straw phone poll for this very large seat. The straw phone poll I have done still gives it to the SNP with the Tories coming a very good second place, with a just under 7% swing from SNP to CON. the results;
    SNP… 47%

    On a different note I have to go to N.ireland on Thursday to a funeral of someone I knew many years ago. They are from the Upper Bann seat. As they were from a mixed marriage it will be the ideal area to find out about how this seat will vote. If possible while there I will call at both a mainly Protestant shopping centre and a mainly Catholic shopping centre to do on the ground straw polls to add to the polling I will have done with extended family and neighbours of the deceased which will be a cross section due to the mixed marriage. I may have to put the Upper Bann results up here as there may not be a Upper Bann section in the UKPOLLING REPORT.

  20. Paul Way’s shock poll of 20 people gives this to the SNP?

    That makes me confident of a Conservative gain here.

    On a serious note i am going to call this as a Conservative gain: a big Leave vote of 50% and big No vote of 58%, alongside a strong Conservative vote at the local elections indicates that they are the clear favourites here based on current polling.

  21. The same current polling where the Conservatives have completely collapsed from a three-figure majority to too-close-to-call territory?

  22. I think we need to wait for some Scottish polls. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Con down and Lab up, as elsewhere in the UK, though that may not hurt Cons too much in seats like this where the Lab vote is negligible.

  23. What a curious coincidence…..

    Thanks for Reply. I have to go to a funeral in Belfast on Wednesday and while there I will try and do straw polls in the 4 Belfast seats with East and South Belfast very interesting indeed.
    April 6th, 2015 at 9:30 pm”

  24. I think NTY UK’s response was a partial cryptic joke.
    58+50% lol.
    I’d love to see a Tory gain here but I’m not sure they’ll go the whole way.

  25. Sorry I mis-read his post – I think it makes good sense, although not sure they’ll get it.

  26. As there is no UKPOLLING section for the N. Ireland seat of UPPER BANN I putting up the results of my on the ground straw poll I carried out last week. This really is one to watch for a shock result I cannot call it as my straw poll comes up with a 3-way dead heat, the result;
    ALLIANCE …6%
    This seat has a clear Unionist majority but because of heating scheme which will cost about half a billion pounds that the DUP started up, this has meant a lot of their voters are going to the other Unionist Party who have a very creditable candidate. On the other side Sinn Fein are getting stronger to the cost of the SDLP.
    So anyone of these, SF, ULSTER UNIONIST, DUP can win this seat. I can clearly predict that these 3 candidates with all be within 300 votes from the 1st to the 3rd.

  27. JAMES E
    What a curious coincidence…..
    Thanks for Reply. I have to go to a funeral in Belfast on Wednesday and while there I will try and do straw polls in the 4 Belfast seats with East and South Belfast very interesting indeed.
    April 6th, 2015 at 9:30 pm”
    May 27th, 2017 at 7:45 pm

    All his Irish relatives must be dreading another election in case it’s their turn next!

  28. I tend to think that the Tories will not only gain Moray, but all the seats in the north east shoulder of Scotland bar Gordon and Aberdeen North.

  29. Who doesn’t? Banff & Buchan voted yes to independence and did not sustain a strong enough Conservative vote in the locals (35%) to suggest that the Conservatives are favourites there on current polling.

    In contrast Gordon had a 62% No vote and a stronger Conservative vote in the locals (around 38%!) as I’ve said repeatedly I think it will be a Tory gain based on current polling.

  30. Let’s not forget as well that Gordon has consistently sustained one of (if not the) highest SNP-Conservative swings in the whole country- no signs that is s going away!

  31. The 1992 result in Gordon was interesting.

    The Conservatives cut the Lib Dem majority from 9519 to 274. That was against a Scottish backdrop of the Conservatives rising from 24 to 25% and the Lib Dems falling from 19% to around 12%.

    Personally, I think that the SNP vote will be well down in Gordon but Alex Salmond will be re-elected on a much more equal split of the unionist vote as the Conservatives gain support from the current 2nd placed Lib Dems.

  32. The Scottish Conservatives may have made a huge tactical error putting Douglas Ross up here. He has failed to win this constituency at Westminster and Holyrood several times and the comments on his campaign Facebook page draw attention to the fact he already has three jobs. MSP, Moray councillor and football coach. I don’t see how people would seem him having the time to be an MP here.

  33. Tories have won Moray

  34. With a big majority.

    It’s already a historic night for the Scottish Tories.

  35. Bit of a bunfight going on to find AR’s successor:

  36. One for the election junkies: I was staggered to find out that no winning candidate, for the Moray area has won the constituency with over 50% of the popular vote, since Gordon Campbell in 1964!

  37. The Conservatives have won the Elgin North By Election.

  38. Conservatives have just declared victory on their Facebook page but the result is not on the Web yet.

    The result in May was 32.9 Con, 32.7 SNP, 22.3 Ind and 11.9% Lab.

  39. @ Dalek – no that was the result last time. The result of the Elgin City North by-election was actually, in first preference vote terms:

    Con 40.0 (+2.5)
    SNP 38.8 (+1.6)
    Lab 15.8 (+3.9)
    Ind 5.4 (-16.9)

  40. Isnt that what he said?

  41. No. Could you not have just compared them yourself?

  42. Oh yeah sorry, I see what you mean

  43. The result is now officially in & it can be confirmed that the Tories have gained Elgin City N. It was the only seat to change hands in yesterday’s council by-elections.

  44. technically the seat in M&CE was an independent gain from independent

  45. Scotland Goes Pop believes that this is a relatively encouraging result for the SNP on the basis that the Conservatives were likely to win and there has been no further swing greater than a fraction of a percent from SNP to Conservative since May.

    The result does not seem that encouraging for Labour who would have hoped for a post general election bounce in a ward that they once held. Moray was once a tight SNP/ Labour marginal with the Conservatives in third place (Scottish GE – 1999 and Westminster GE – 2001).

    “It always looked fairly predictable that the Tories would win yesterday’s Elgin North by-election. They had won the popular vote in the ward in May, their tails were up after winning the Moray parliamentary constituency in June, the local SNP were presumably a tad demoralised, and of course we know from long and bitter experience that Tory supporters are more likely to make it to the polling stations in low turnout local by-elections than supporters of other parties. Given all of those disadvantages, it’s really quite striking just how close the SNP came to pulling it off…

    Elgin City North by-election result (first preference votes) :

    Conservatives 40.0% (+7.1)
    SNP 38.8% (+6.1)
    Labour 15.8% (+3.9)
    Independent – Monaghan 5.4% (n/a)

    We shouldn’t get carried away by the increase in the SNP’s vote, because like the other parties they benefited from the much reduced vote share for independent candidates. Nevertheless, the closeness of the result gives us a fair bit of reassurance that things have not worsened for the SNP since the general election in areas where the Tories are their main opponents. (For what it’s worth, there’s also no sign of any Tory bandwagon effect in the Scottish subsamples of opinion polls.) It remains to be seen what is happening in the SNP-Labour battleground areas.

    One of the fascinations of local elections conducted under STV is seeing how Labour voters transfer when faced with a choice between SNP and Tory. The answer in this case was pretty evenly : Conservatives 91, SNP 90. If the SNP suffer significantly from unionist tactical voting in the next general election, it’s unlikely to be in Tory-SNP marginals. I have my doubts as to whether it will happen very much even in Labour target seats, because Tory voters will surely feel increasingly conflicted about helping a left-wing Labour leadership into power.”

  46. Pretty clear that Labour have rebounded so far to any extent only in the central industrial belt, including Edinburgh. The party’s comeback hasn’t really started in the more rural traditionally Tory/SNP battleground yet.

  47. @ Dalek – Scotland goes Pop would say that because it’s a pro-independence blog which also predicted that the general election result would be “devasting” for Ruth Davidson and that the exit poll at the general election gave the SNP a “triple lock” mandate on independence (when unionists took 63% of the vote..!)

    It’s important to contextualise the result in Elgin City North: for a start their was a large independent vote in that area last May which collapsed mostly to Labour, but also to the Conservatives and SNP slightly in the by-election, as you would expect. Secondly, this area had a significant Yes vote in favour of Scottish independence back in 2014 relative to the rest of Moray at 56% No compared to a 58% No vote across Moray as a whole.

    Considering the SNP only managed 38.8% of the vote here in the by-election (when they would have taken upwards of 41% at the general election), this is hardly an exciting result for the party or for the Conservatives, who only managed 40% (compared to the 45% they would have taken in the general election). The Independent vote tends to be more Consevative-inclined than SNP, so with that in mind nothing has really changed since the general election.

  48. I really do have to take exception to Dalek’s description that “Moray was once a tight SNP/ Labour marginal” Lab have never been seriously competitive here, indeed the only times they have ever exceed 25% of the vote in either the Westminster seat or the Holyrood seat where the dates he mentioned (1999 Scottish elections and 2001 general election) and the 26.5% managed in 1999 was the best Lab have ever done yet despite that Lab was still 12 points behind the SNP in an election they won decisively and with the Tories less than 1 point behind in the seat. As for the 2001 election that was closer again but it was really down to a collapse in SNP support more than anything else since Lab only managed 25% of the vote. Its really unwise to look at results from seat that are split three ways and from when Lab was at its zenith and conclude they were once marginals, by the same metric seats like Bridgewater and Hexham were “once marginals”

    I don’t think anyone really ever anticipated Lab would or ever could win this seat, its profile is about as “un Labour” as it gets.

  49. My point was that close results for Labour in Ross Skype & Inverness West, Moray, Argyll & Bute and Tweeddale Ettrick & Lauderdale represented a high watermark for Labour in these normally winnable seats.

    Labour have never been able to replicate these results since.

    Surely by anybody book a 1700 SNP majority over Labour was a tight SNP/ Labour marginal?

  50. I’ve read that quite a lot of the Labour votes in Moray in 2001 came from RAF Kinloss, from voters who opposed the SNP’s unilateralist policies and preferred Blair’s anti-unilateralist stance. Firstly that wouldn’t happen now, and haven’t they closed RAF Kinloss since then anyway?

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