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
Con: 647 (4%)
Lab: 4838 (33%)
LDem: 1097 (7%)
SNP: 6723 (46%)
Oth: 1412 (10%)
MAJ: 1885 (13%)
Con: 610 (4%)
Lab: 4772 (34%)
LDem: 1096 (8%)
SNP: 6213 (45%)
Oth: 1145 (8%)
MAJ: 1441 (10%)
Con: 1250 (9%)
Lab: 5924 (45%)
LDem: 849 (6%)
SNP: 4850 (37%)
Oth: 286 (2%)
MAJ: 1074 (8%)
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)
JOHN CORMACK (Christian)
Comments - 623 Responses on “Na h-Eileanan an Iar (Western Isles)”
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  1. HH will you stop predicting election results now, also? 🙂

  2. You might as well ask that of almost everyone on here

  3. Silvers was less wrong than all the other models. At about the first projection at about 00:00 GMT, were giving TRUMP a 32% chance. Most of the others were like 85%, 90% CLINTON.

    I disagree mostly with JACK SHELDON – the betting exchanges set by thousands of people – BET FAIR was suggesting at 00:00GMT by it’s odds that the result was not over. The High street bookies were much longer on TRUMP at that time.

    Anyone tell me where I can get overall national turnout figures?

  4. Just because lots of other people are wrong doesn’t change much I’m afraid, HH. If you set yourself up as a pundit and especially if you deride other people’s views as well you had better get things right most of the time. Or even some of the time…

  5. Whose views have I derided on the US election, have hardly posted on it at all.

  6. @Deepthroat

    I am not saying ban betting markets. What I am saying is that they don’t have the predictive ability ascribed to them. At GE2015, EU ref and last night the betting following changes in the publicly available info (i.e. early results coming in, exit polls etc.) rather than the other way round. For people who aren’t interesting in betting I think they are best ignored.

  7. I should have trusted my gut but I went with my head which said Clinton. As much as I was wrong I can take some solace that I wasn’t as wrong as most. I knew it would be close and Clinton would at best limp over the line, turns out she couldn’t even manage that.

  8. Now looks likely that Clinton will carry New Hampshire and Minnesota, with Trump winning Michigan and Nebraska district 2. This would put the final tally at Trump 306 – Clinton 232.

  9. HH
    “This would put the final tally at Trump 306 – Clinton 232”
    Prior to the election most peeps seemed to be predicting that but reversed i.e Clinton 300 odd, Trump 230 odd.

    Yet again we have all demonstrated how inept we are at predictions…

  10. Though Trump was lucky to win so many states so narrowly. A minor swing in a couple of swing states could have flipped the result to the one you state.

  11. HH
    Indeed shows how stupid the electoral college is, an even more stupid version of FPTP.

  12. Really not sure of New Hamsphire, Clinton has won Minnesota and Trump should win Mishigan.

  13. Michigan is definitely Trump, his lead here is too strong and all remaining areas to be counted are Republican.

    The only result which I am uncertain of is New Hampshire, which seems to be leaning towards Hillary Clinton.

    This would put the final tally of electoral college votes at (as mentioned before):
    Trump: 306
    Clinton: 232

  14. If Trump takes New Hampshire it should go 310 Trump 228 Clinton.

  15. As for pollsters, neither Kellner nor that chubby guy who called it for Hillary 24 hours ago have been seen since.

    At last a retired US pollster did admit that those without landlines just aren’t polled and this could account for some of the failings.

  16. HH – it certainly was another failure by the fund managers and spread betters.

    I got 9/2 on Trump as recently as a fortnight ago.

    Paddy Power even paid out on a Clinton win over a month ago. So today had to payout on all bets taken on the result!

  17. I don’t think this is the end of polling. GE2015, Brexit, and now this – the pattern the pollsters missed was similar each time so it’s just a way of incorporating this new factor into the models.

    As for the electoral college – yes Hillary won the popular vote but it just shows that Donald’s campaigning was more effective than hers. In the crucial swing states there was a higher-than-average swing towards Republican. If it had been done by popular vote – well, the campaigns would have visited those other states too and Donald Trump would have probably picked up some more votes there.

  18. Is it true that in 2 States she lost she didn’t even visit them once since gained the Democratic nomination?!

    I find that extraordinary if true. I think she only visited another one of them this week after Trump had a few times.

    He made a lot of the ‘2nd home’ thing in Florida and having gone to some military academy in PA.

    I suppose she was just too physically in DC or New York (as well as being associated with their urban elites). Although she did put in the miles in the final weeks.

    I realise voters say this everywhere, but a guy in a foodbank queue in PA said they hadn’t seen anyone from the Democratic Party in years. So not only do pollsters rely on landlines, Parties staffed by young urban interns seemingly do as well.

  19. Well done Maxim on correctly predicting Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, etc. never should have doubted you. It made sense that the rust belt states would find Trumps anti NAFTA rhetoric appealing but the polling said otherwise, burnt once again.

    On Rubio, much like his other moderate comrades; Jeb, Kaisich and Chris Christie, he was absolutely humiliated by Trump. Trump has not only pulled the Republicans in a different direction but turned what were the once the future of the party into a laughing stock:

    Rubio ‘the boy’, was withering and turned him from a Time magazine saviour of the Republican Party into a weak and wet push over.

    For Jeb it was in the family but he never featured in the race at all and left after Super Tuesday leaving little to remember him by.

    Kaisich was never really taken seriously and only stayed in the race to win Ohio to stop Trump and the fact Trump won the nomination anyway only demonstrates how pointless an endeavour of a man who stayed in the race far too long.

    Chris Christie was close to the worst. Having dropped out and Trump going on to win Florida, he endorsed the man to stand behind him looking incredibly uncomfortable as Trump talks of opposing funding for planned parenthood. Chris Christie the hard man who speaks the working man was turned into Trumps lackey. His biggest moment was to add to Rubio’s misery by calling him out in a debate as an establishment stooge who knows very little about working people. This probably worked against him as I imagine he was probably told to step down after that and perhaps that’s why he went for Trump, and maybe Trump promised him VP if he stood there while Trump threw moderate out the widow.

  20. Christie & Rubio were name checked, of course.

    Though Rudy G was the biggest supporter (and hated by Hillary as her speech at the Catholic charity diner showed).

  21. I almost feel sorry for Kasich, the man openly admitted on the day he voted for Clinton and he had a big speech planned today (almost certainly to discuss the Republican parties future) which he has “mysteriously” cancelled…

    Wonder how long he can remain Ohio governor given its now a Trump heartland?

  22. Well done as well to Michael Moore who predicted Trump would win the Rust Belt states about six months ago.

  23. I liked Kasich and, had I been American and able to vote in the primaries, I’d certainly have backed him given that he came across as the only sane and competent candidate on either side in the selection process.

  24. “Well done as well to Michael Moore who predicted Trump would win the Rust Belt states about six months ago.”

    Pennsylvania being the most surprising. A good 60% of PA (in terms of population) isn’t rustbelt – Philadelphia isn’t and neither are its prosperous suburbs as far west as Lancaster and York. Clinton did well in the rich suburbs like Chester where Republicans have done well in the past, but seems to have suffered a lot of apathy in the inner city where most voters are black.

    True rustbelt is perhaps only 30% of the state around Pittsburgh and Erie, Trump clearly did well here, as well as in the highly conservative centre of the state which, with its Amish population, is quite similar to parts of the south.

  25. Andrew Neil just pointed out:

    White ‘Millennials’ voted for Trump.

    48% of 18-29 year olds chose Trump

    43% Clinton

    (Stein did best amongst this age group)

  26. Turnout was about 55%-56%. Shockingly low. It does seem DEM supporters didn’t get out and vote. Kinda similar to BREXIT where LEAVERS were more motivated and a there’s a small but significant difference between people voting for something (REPUBLICANs voting TRUMP) rather than against something (DEMS or swing voters voting AGAINST TRUMP).

    A few observations – Clinton was not liked so a small – but significant – number of people who do normally vote DEM and who voted OBAMA in 2012 didn’t vote for her. She seems particularly mistrusted amongst White working class women.

    If this was a two way contest and the other two – JOHNSON and STEIN were not on the ballot then CLINTON surely would have sneaked in. But this is a big assumption and one cannot be certain. How about some polling on this matter? Oh..OK maybe not.

    Johnson got 2% of the total vote in Florida, while Trump and Clinton received 49 and 48 percent respectively. Stein took 0.7%.of the vote in FLA.

    Nationally, third-party candidates did well in this election. Libertarian Johnson gained over 3% of the popular vote, and the Green party’s Jill Stein got 1%. Altogether, candidates who did not represent either of the two main parties got around 4.9% of the popular vote (in 2012, third-party candidates only managed 1.7%, and in 2008, 1.4%).

    This does to me seem a bit odd about Presidential elections. Someone who’s rich enough could stand as a candidate (with similar policies) and this could seriously scupper the chances of a DEM or REP candidate.

    Having said that and BTW i do NOT subscribe to the Ross Perot myth – even with his 18% vote share in 92.

  27. “Someone who’s rich enough could stand as a candidate (with similar policies) and this could seriously scupper the chances of a DEM or REP candidate.”

    Michael Bloomberg would have done this if it had been Sanders vs. Trump. Another reason that school of thought is flawed.

  28. People talk about voters being “angry with the establishment”. Well there must be a bunch of establishment people who are now “angry with the revolution” – I can’t be the only one! – and surely before too long we will see an counterrevolutionary anti-anti-establishment movement. Or is that wishful thinking?

  29. The establishment can be as angry as they like; if the masses are organised then there’s more of them than the elite so they get outvoted

  30. ‘Michael Bloomberg would have done this if it had been Sanders vs. Trump. Another reason that school of thought is flawed.’

    He should have done that anyhow – he would be a much better President than either Trump or Clinton but like most of us, never in his darkest nightmares would he have thought Trump would win

  31. Mike Bloomberg is of course smart enough not waste his considerable fortune on a contest he knows he would not have a chance of winning.

  32. Of course everyone is forgetting Kanye West is making a run for president in 2020…

    What’s worse if recent years have told us anything its that we shouldn’t write him off!!!

  33. The American way of life as it currently exists simply can’t function without illegal immigration. The dirt cheap cost of eating out, for example, which has become a sacred cow, as has buying things for nothing at Walmart. Trump’s election will force the nation to confront the trade offs between low prices and high imports/immigration, which thus far has been avoided.

  34. That’s the argument used here (it used to be a favourite of the late Communist leader of the RMT): “you realise you’d have to pay extra for your chicken tikka massala” he said a few times.

    If it’s cooked or served by illegals, I’d rather not have it any cheaper.

  35. The right wing way of thinking confuses me sometimes, I’ve often thought there are things more important than cost but generally the right claim cost is everything, if it can be attained cheaper that’s the way to go regardless of how many corners we cut, lives we endanger,, animals we torture, human rights we violate or holes we burn into the ozone, however brown people….that’s were we draw the line!!!

  36. I’d probably agree with you Lancs but millions wouldn’t, at least when confronted with the price rises and reduction in choice. The way we’re headed we will have to go back to the kind of Buy British and Buy American culture left behind in the early 80s. Will be very helpful reducing the deficits but we will have to accept some inflation and reduced living standards.

  37. I’m sorry, if you really think illegal immigration makes a significant difference to the general price level you are living in a fantasy world.

  38. Rivers10 – if you re-read the sentiment, you’ll see that it was in fact the Left who used the argument that it’s cheaper with illegals here (odd as I would have thought they’d want all workers to earn the at least the National Minimum Wage).

  39. Michael Moore is one of the few media commentators who prophesised a Trump victory, most notably predicting that he would do so by sweeping the rustbelt states.

    Moore wrote yesterday that he thinks Trump won’t last a full 4 years, with his presidency either ending by resignation or impeachment and VP Pence taking his place. It’s an interesting theory. Trump’s lack of restraint and disdain for protocol perhaps yields a better than usual chance of presidential impeachment over something or other. Plenty of Republicans in congress may well prefer a President Pence, who is a long standing conventional conservative rather than a populist-narcissist.

  40. Trump wittering on today about a ‘beautiful’ and ‘lovely’ letter he has received from Putin congratulating him…you couldn’t make this shit up.

    And my goodness the supposed ‘serious’ press writing article after article about the supposed ‘special relationship’. When are they going to get it into their thick skulls that the US couldn’t give a toss about it? Although I supppse for the right wing press to admit that at this moment would be rather bad timing, given that we’ve just told the EU to get lost too.

  41. Farage just met Trump, making him the first British Party Leader to do so.

  42. I thought Nutter was UKIP leader now

  43. I think their Leadership election is in a month’s time, but not heard.

    Nuttall is favourite with the bookies if you meant him.

  44. TRUMP leaving office thru impeachment or resignation is rated a 25% chance by bookies. Thru impeachment only is a 6/1 chance (15%).

  45. Many of those who predicted Trumps victory predicted that he won’t last four years

  46. Thought I would throw this up here as it seems to me a genuinely thoughtful analysis of the hypothetical Trump vs Sanders battle that has had so many people wondering over the last few days.

    There isn’t much of a conclusion (ultimately the truth is unknowable), but the analysis is at least deeper than the “he would have won because he isn’t the establishment” argument.

  47. The BBC have obtained a number of ward breakdowns from the EU referendum available here:

  48. Wards 1-6 in Aberdeenshire went 23,707 (61.4%) Leave, 14,918 (38.6%) Remain. According to the BBC the Leave vote was “clustered” around these wards so it looks like they all voted Leave. These wards are namely: Banff & District, Troup, Fraserburgh & District, Central Buchan, Peterhead North & Rattray and Peterhead South & Cruden. All of these wards are covered by the Banff and Buchan parliamentary constituency, which also voted Leave.

    An Taobh Siar agus Nis (Western Isles) voted to Leave: based on the pre-postal returns from the Western Isles it looks as though Steòrnabhagh a Tuath also might have voted to Leave. Whalsay and South Unst (Shetland) had a massive 81% Leave vote.

    I would also guess that Leave probably polled ahead in Abroath and Montrose (Angus), Thurso (Highland) and in Buckie, Fochabers Lhanbryde, Forres and Heldon & Laich (Moray).

  49. Will Angus McNeill’s personal issues dent his majority significantly in this small ‘c’ Conservative part of the world?

  50. Not sure anyone on here is really qualified to know what might happen in the Western Isles. But I suspect MacNeil will be fine.

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