Na h-Eileanan an Iar (Western Isles)

2015 Result:
Conservative: 1215 (7.6%)
Labour: 4560 (28.6%)
Lib Dem: 456 (2.9%)
SNP: 8662 (54.3%)
Christian: 1045 (6.6%)
MAJORITY: 4102 (25.7%)

Category: Safe SNP seat

Geography: Scotland, Highlands and islands. The whole of the Comhairle nan Eilean Siar area.

Main population centres: Stornoway.

Profile: Na h-Eileanan an lar covers the Western Isles (the seat was called Western Isles until 2005). It covers the Outer Hebridies, the further reaches of the archipeligo off the coast of north-western Scotland, including the islands of Lewis and Harris, North Uist, South Uist, Barra, Benbecula, Scalpay, Great Bernera, Grimsay and the uninhabited St Kilda. The only town on the Outer Hebridies is the fishing port of Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis, from where ferries sail to the mainland. Stornoway also has an airport with services to the mainland. The seat is socially as well as geographically somewhat isolated: Gaelic is widely spoken, the Western Isles are the only area in Scotland were over 60% of people speak Gaelic. Sunday Observance is also still widely observed on the Islands, particularly in the Northern islands, with a widespread refusal to trade or travel on the Sabbath, due to the continuing strength of the Free Church and Free Presbyterian Church. In 2006 considerable controversey was caused with the opening of a ferry service to Lewis that operated on Sundays.

Politics: Na h-Eileanan an lar has the smallest electorate of any seat in the country with just over 20,000 voters, only a third of the size of most constituencies. Attempts to link the counstituency with others have always foundered on the geographical size of the area and problems of travel and communications for the MP. Politically the seat has been a marginal between the SNP and Labour since the war. In both 2005 and 2010 it was one of only a few seats where the Conservatives failed to retain their deposit. In the 1975 referendum on continued membership of the European Union, the Western Isles and Shetland Isles were the only areas to vote no.


Current MP
ANGUS MACNEIL (Scottish National Party) Born 1970, Barra. Educated at Nicholson Institute, Stornoway and Strathclyde University. Former teacher and BBC worker. Contested Inverness East, Nairn and Lochaber 2001. First elected as MP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar in 2005. A native speaker of Gaelic. MacNeil brough the original complaint that lead to the police investigation into "loans for peerages".
Past Results
2010
Con: 647 (4%)
Lab: 4838 (33%)
LDem: 1097 (7%)
SNP: 6723 (46%)
Oth: 1412 (10%)
MAJ: 1885 (13%)
2005
Con: 610 (4%)
Lab: 4772 (34%)
LDem: 1096 (8%)
SNP: 6213 (45%)
Oth: 1145 (8%)
MAJ: 1441 (10%)
2001*
Con: 1250 (9%)
Lab: 5924 (45%)
LDem: 849 (6%)
SNP: 4850 (37%)
Oth: 286 (2%)
MAJ: 1074 (8%)
1997
Con: 1071 (7%)
Lab: 8955 (56%)
LDem: 495 (3%)
SNP: 5379 (33%)
Oth: 206 (1%)
MAJ: 3576 (22%)

2015 Candidates
MARK BROWN (Conservative) Financial services manager.
ALASDAIR MORRISON (Labour) Born 1968, Stornoway. Educated at Nicolson Institute. Journalist. Contested MSP for Western Isles 1999-2007.
RUARAIDH FERGUSON (Liberal Democrat)
ANGUS MACNEIL (SNP) See above.
JOHN CORMACK (Christian)
Links
Comments - 369 Responses on “Na h-Eileanan an Iar (Western Isles)”
  1. FLORIDA….
    With 83% of the vote counted it’s
    HRC 49.1%
    DJT 47.3%

    Miami Dade still to count fully so I think it’s almost certain CLINTON WINS FLORIDA.

    TRUMP can’t win without FLA.
    Therefore, I’m calling it…. CLINTON IS NEXT PRESIDENT.

  2. The remaining areas to be counted in Florida are mostly solid Republican territories. Roughly 80% of the vote in Miami-Dade has been counted.

  3. Yes but MIAMI DADE much more populous than the rural north west in FLA still to be counted.

  4. And PALM BEACH and BROWARD counties still counting.all massive DEM

  5. The Telegraph’s live blog has Trump v slightly ahead in Florida with 85% counted.

  6. I think your calling Florida too soon, it really is down to the wire, if Trump loses though it’s a pretty early night

  7. @Deepthroat be careful with counties like Palm Beach, Miami Dade and Broward because the % left does not take into account the early vote which has already been counted so there is always a lot less vote out there than there appears to be at first glance.

  8. @Deepthroat go to about 9:30 on this video for a better explaination of the misleading % left totals.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VAa52DUJhtg

  9. True. Plus remember 2000.

    Aren’t those postals mainly armed forces?

    Although I’m hoping we don’t have to wait 2 weeks to count them.

  10. Bizarrely Virginia is looking promising for Trump!!!!!

  11. It;’s not looking great for Clinton. I mean Minnesota too close to call???!!! That state last went Republican in 1972.

  12. Come the end I think Clinton will still limll home in Virginia and Minnesota but that’s a shocking result for her that doesn’t bode well

  13. Limp rather

  14. New York Times and predictwise.com both currently make it a 50 / 50 contest.

  15. CNN News online is the best for updating the raw counting figures in each State.

  16. The bellwether county Ottawa County Ohio has mostly declared and Trump has a resounding 20 point lead. Don’t read too much into that though it’s typical small town rust belt and probably trending Republican

  17. Re Florida (and maybe Hispanics more generally), maybe the wrong assumption was how heavily they’d vote for Hillary. Most did, but..

    ie 30 – 35% voted Trump it seems (and within that a majority of Cubans did hence the Rubio win)

  18. @Rivers I looked up Ottawa County and it was last wrong in 1960 when it voted for Nixon over Kennedey being ‘correct’ 13 times in a row. So Vigo does have a longer streak (15 times) last being wrong in 1952 but both are traditional bellweather counties.

  19. It’s almost impossible for Clinton to recover in Florida. Michigan is also very likely to go Trump.

  20. Pepps
    Typical useless media.i saw dozens of reports saying it was the best bellwether.

  21. Ottawa might well be a larger county than Vigo and thus less prone to violent unpredictable swings which is why the media may have used it.

  22. “Less prone to violent unpredictable swings”
    Well they got that badly wrong 😉

  23. 98% of the vote is in in the Democrat stronghold of Broward, Trump leading in Florida by 1.5% of the vote. He’s won Florida.

    It looks as though Trump will win the presidency as he’s making some major in-roads across the Mid-West, which should be more than enough to win him the presidency.

  24. I’d still hold out for NC if Trump loses there it’s hard to see him winning and while he’s ahead at present it’s still close

  25. Something I hadn’t considered – re extra WWC voters turning out this time – was apparently 2% wouldn’t vote for Romney as a Mormon last time.

    A voter just mentioned it on C-Span on BBC Parliament as I was flicking through.

  26. Apparently NC, Ohio and Florida being called for Trump?!?!

  27. Ohio has I don’t think the other two have though. Virginia and Colorado for Clinton.

  28. Trump has the presidency.

    Florida, Ohio, New Hampshire and Michigan make the numbers for him.

    He’s also in the running to take Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin and Nevada.

  29. North Carolina for Trump

  30. What with OH, NC ….If he wins FLA & MI, and doesn’t lose any 2012 REP states then he wins and becomes President.

  31. More bad news for Clinton Wisconsin looks like it might go Trump. Trump has a 4 point lead and most of strongly Democratic Milwaukee is in and over half of Madison while the rural Republican wards have barely cracked 25 percent results in yet. On the face of it Trump will win Wisconsin!!!

  32. Trump wins Florida…

  33. Well I did guess Trump victory.

  34. Trump has won Iowa and Wisconsin, as long as he holds the Romney 2012 states (of which only Arizona is in any doubt) he’s won, he doesn’t need to pick up another swing state.

  35. Hindsight is a glorious thing I know, but Clinton’s camp should have spent more time in Georgia, Arizona (tbf they did work this one harder) and Texas, and listened to the numbers in Ohio and Iowa where their hard work just wasn’t swinging it.

    They were too conventional in their approach.

    Can’t knock them for the emphasis on N Carolina and Pennsylvania though, even though they lost them in the end. Hard to criticise them for Wisconsin, although there were late warning signs such as closer polls and the highly respected and very public Paul Ryan suddenly making passionate appeals to his state to vote Trump.

  36. Yes, even Reagan’s son voted Trump (he said a fortnight ago he wouldn’t).

    The Evangelical churches came out strongly too (perhaps more so than for Romney).

  37. Are the Bushes the only sane ‘pillar of the Republican party’ left?

  38. I think George W only left his ballot blank ‘cos Trump beat his little brother.

  39. Nah, I credit him with more sense than you do.

  40. I think this result has much to do with Obama having occupied the White House for 8 years. I think a lot of white Americans may have decided that Trump may be a ‘sonofa*****’, but he is their ‘sonofa*****’ as it were.

  41. Looks like Clinton may well edge the popular vote, as only 55% of California has counted so far (CNN). But Trump pretty certain to be above 300 ECVs now.

  42. Actually, “pretty certain” is perhaps a bit strong. Clinton may yet win Michigan where Trump is ahead only by 20,000. She’s ahead in Minnesota. Still, a clear lesson in the dangers of piling up votes in liberal blue states where they aren’t needed.

  43. Yet another polling disaster.

    Yet again we see non voters from previous elections not being treated properly ( maybe it’s not possible to gauge correctly ) and the “shy” factor when people are voting for the controversial, socially frowned upon option.

  44. Commiserations Deepthroat.

    Three epic polling fails in a row now – GE 2015, Brexit and now Trump. I wonder if this is the end of election polling as we have known it.

  45. Can’t see polling stopping or changing much. This result will be put down to a one off, volatile election – an outlier if you like!!

    As for my prediction I got 48 out 51 correct. I got NH, FLAT and WILL wrong. I got turnout correct. Hopefully it’ll go over 62% which is my big winner with the bookies.

    My prediction on page 5 yesterday :
    BATTLEGROUND / SWING
    Wisconsin DEM
    Virginia DEM
    Nevada DEM
    New Hampshire DEM
    Florida DEM
    Colorado DEM
    Nth Carolina REP win
    Arizona REP win
    Ohio REP win
    Michigan REP win

  46. “I got NH, FLAT and WILL wrong”

    Doesn’t seem like NH has been called yet, could still go either way. Trump won the election with PA, WI and (perhaps) MI. Though some suggested it I think very few really expected him to win those kind of states.

  47. I got this very wrong. Extraordinary result, which will clearly have drastic implications in the US and worldwide. Got to say I feel rather terrified about it all this morning.

  48. The votes are still coming in from California and it looks like Clinton is about to take the lead on the popular vote.

  49. I’m sure there will be the same sort of polling inquiries as over here, followed by method changes and then essentially business as usual. The appetite for information (however flawed) won’t just go away.

    What I really hope will now end is people citing betting markets as if they can tell you what’s happening. They’ve repeatedly been shown to be even worse at predicting electoral events than pundits and polls.

    In the US in particular, though they spread to the UK in 2015 in particular, there also seems to be a reliance on forecasting models like that on Nate Silver’s site. Whilst these are interesting experiments I think that their outputs can be a bit misleading. They are essentially (though some other factors are sometimes modelled in) based on poll averages. Recent experience suggests that it is better to look at the range of poll results than the average. Perhaps they just lucked out in getting it virtually spot on in 2012.

  50. “I’m sure there will be the same sort of polling inquiries as over here, followed by method changes and then essentially business as usual. The appetite for information (however flawed) won’t just go away.”

    But if people don’t believe the polls there is no point in the media paying for them to be done. I think we’ll see a big reduction in the number of polls done, as has indeed occurred here in UK since GE 2015.

    “there also seems to be a reliance on forecasting models like that on Nate Silver’s site. Whilst these are interesting experiments I think that their outputs can be a bit misleading.”

    Silver was always going to mess up big time one day. Those models are only as good as the polls which they are based on. I wonder if this will end his career.

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