Paisley & Renfrewshire North

2015 Result:
Conservative: 6183 (12.3%)
Labour: 16525 (32.7%)
Lib Dem: 1055 (2.1%)
SNP: 25601 (50.7%)
Green: 703 (1.4%)
TUSC: 193 (0.4%)
Others: 202 (0.4%)
MAJORITY: 9076 (18%)

Category: Semi-marginal SNP seat


Main population centres:



Current MP
GAVIN NEWLANDS (SNP) First elected as MP for Paisley & Renfrewshire North in 2015.
Past Results
Con: 6381 (15%)
Lab: 23613 (54%)
LDem: 4597 (11%)
SNP: 8333 (19%)
Oth: 783 (2%)
MAJ: 15280 (35%)
Con: 5566 (14%)
Lab: 18697 (46%)
LDem: 7464 (18%)
SNP: 7696 (19%)
Oth: 1462 (4%)
MAJ: 11001 (27%)
Con: 2404 (9%)
Lab: 15058 (55%)
LDem: 2709 (10%)
SNP: 5737 (21%)
Oth: 1245 (5%)
MAJ: 9321 (34%)
Con: 3267 (10%)
Lab: 20295 (59%)
LDem: 2365 (7%)
SNP: 7481 (22%)
Oth: 727 (2%)
MAJ: 12814 (38%)

2015 Candidates
JOHN ANDERSON (Conservative) Educated at Glasgow University.
JIM SHERIDAN (Labour) Born 1952, Glasgow. Educated at St Pius Secondary School. Printer and shipyard worker. Renfrewshire councillor 1999-2003. MP for Renfrewshire West 2001 to 2015. PPS to defence ministers 2005-2006. Resigned as a PPS in protest over the governments response to the Israeli-Lebanon conflict.
JAMES SPEIRS (Liberal Democrat)
RYAN MORRISON (Green) Educated at Castlehead High School and Strathclyde University.
Comments - 34 Responses on “Paisley & Renfrewshire North”
  1. I fail to see why Renfrewshire Council was divided into two very odd constituencies?

    The wards that cover Paisley have an electorate of 61877 and the small towns and suburban areas outside Paisley come to 67238.

    Assuming that Inverclyde is West Renfrewshire then the constituencies here should have been divided as ‘Paisley’ and ‘Renfrewshire Central’ or ‘Renfrewshire Mid’.

  2. I suspect it has a lot to do with Inverclyde rejecting the West Renfrewshire label. With Renfrewshire thus shrunk, it makes more sense to label the constituencies North and South than it would to designated them ‘Paisley’ and ‘Mid Renfrewshire’. Then again, the Boundary Commission for Scotland do make some very strange decisions, so perhaps I shouldn’t be so keen to defend them.

  3. Will behave similar to the south constituency, except the SNP vote won’t be as high, because the yes vote was a few % lower.

    SNP: 45%
    Lab: 38%
    Con: 12%
    Lib: 3%
    Other: 2%

  4. Narrow Labour Hold

  5. The SNP overturned the huge Labour majority of 25,280 and won the seat last May at the General Election.

    Does anyone who has knowledge of this area know why it’s predecessor (the seat of ”West Renfrewshire”) was won by relatively small majorities by Labour in the General Election landslides of 1997 and 2001 (Labour won by a majority of 7979 in the 1997 General Election and 8575 in the 2001 General Election)?

    I expected the majority to be much larger for those General Elections. Considering the voting nature of the seat at the time!

  6. @ Christian –

    Renfrewshire West was a diverse constituency covering a set of affluent rural villages in the Strathgryffe region alongside the traditional Labour heartlands of Port Glasgow, Erskine and Inchinnan.

    Strathgryffe has a long-standing conservative history, being a strong Conservative area as part of the old Renfrew West & Inverclyde constituency (which covered Gourock, rural Inverclyde, Strathgryffe and Erskine/Inchinnan) – a seat which went Tory in 1987. Labour’s relatively ‘poor’ performance in the constituency can mostly be placed to the vote in Strathgryffe: an area which likely had a considerably higher Conservative/SNP vote in comparison to the remaining parts of the constituency.

    In 2005 “Strathgryffe” was split into three constituencies. Kilmacolm went to Inverclyde; Bridge of Weir, Houston and Bishopton went to Paisley & Renfrewshire North and Lochwinnoch, Kilbarchan and Howwood went to Paisley & Renfrewshire South.

  7. That, and that they had Tommy Graham as their candidate, which didn’t help.

  8. West Renfrewshire’s Labour MP Norman Buchan switched to the new Paisley South in 1983 so Labour lost their incumbency.

    The SDP also put up the Greenock & Port Glasgow MP who was well know in the locality. The boundary changes removed Renfrew and Johnston.

  9. @NTY UK
    Renfrewshire West and Inverclyde went Tory in 1983, not 1987. The story goes that the Gourock Liberals had been trying to get rid of Mabon for 20-odd years and voted accordingly.
    Tommy Graham won the seat in 1987 and 1992 and a re-drawn Renfrewshire West in 1997.
    I live here – in 1992 I voted in the same constituency as Wemyss Bay, next month I shall be voting in the same constituency as Barrhead – and I haven’t moved!

  10. [email protected] was never part of Greenock & Port Glasgow. It was part of Renfrewshire West. It’s part of the Greenock/Port Glasgow conurbation but was always in a separate constituency before the creation of Greenock & Inverclyde in 1997.

  11. Labour came third behind the Tories here in the Scottish Parliamentary seat of Renfrewshire North and West (The SNP came first)!

    When the Tories beat Labour in territory like this, you have to ask are Labour finished as a political force forever or the just for a generation?

  12. Well done on your Scottish predictions Max

  13. That Labour came third in Renfrewshire North and West is somewhat surprising, but keep in mind the Holyrood constituency contains some of the most affluent areas of Renfrewshire, and also includes Kilmacolm from the Inverclyde council area, which is the most affluent village in Scotland and likely overwhelmingly Conservative voting. Excluding Kilmacolm Labour would certainly have come second here.

  14. By-election due in Renfrew South & Gallowhill on the 11 August. This should be an easy SNP pick-up as all signs point to this ward having voted in favour independence by a good margin. It would be a very poor result for the SNP if they fail to win on the first round.

    There’s also a by-election in Irvine West which Nicola Sturgeon’s father is contesting. This ward voted narrowly for independence. Winning on the first round would be a similar result for the SNP as 2016, although we might see something of a personal vote for Nicola Sturgeon’s father here.

  15. Have to say that booking plane tickets to and from London hardly seems to be inappropriate behaviour for an MP

  16. It adds up pretty quickly when you need a return flight to London every week, and when the flight that you need to get frequently changes at short notice.

  17. @Max Travel expenses are only a relatively small portion of MP expenses – something like 15k isn’t that large compared with the costs of employing two or three staff members, renting an office, somewhere to stay in London and so on – so there are many other reasons why Carmichael might not be #1 on the list.

  18. Carmichael’s expenses:!/mp/289

    As you’ll see, there are lots of large payments to British Airways, and the total travel bill is substantially in excess of the £15k you are complaining about for central belt MPs.

  19. Certainly, when I used to work for an MP, it was pretty much standard to get things like “going to try and get an earlier flight because they don’t need me for the vote tonight”, “going to have to stay in London – can you cancel the surgery on Friday”, “crap, I’m probably going to miss the plane I was aiming for”, “probably better be around to vote on the fox hunting bill after all” and so on. I mean we could probably save a small amount of money by insisting that MPs get set flights, but it would actually impact significantly on Parliamentary business, result in them sitting around doing nothing useful, and getting themselves stuck in London on a regular basis.

  20. We could be a barrier to protect you lot from the evil influence of Europe.

  21. On another site I someone comparing the SNP to the previous 50 Lab/ Lib incumbents.

    The poster failed to take account that the Lab/ Lib did not cover the whole year, only the one month period from the beginning of April to the beginning of May when they all lost their seats.

  22. Derek MacKay has passed a budget, where, for the first time, the Scottish Parliament has had the power to set its own taxation rates. He’s raised the top rate of income tax.

    I wonder how many wealthy Scots will start moving down south…

  23. Curious choice of constituency if you want to make a point about wealthy Scots! Although your point is valid.

  24. @ Tristan – Derek MacKay’s constituency in the Scottish Parliament is Renfrewshire North & West, most of which is covered by Paisley & Renfrewshire North.

  25. In fairness, I have gone on for a long time about how the SNP is not as left-wing in practice as it pretends to be in rhetoric. I feel a bit silly now.

  26. You shouldn’t feel silly simply raising top rated of tax don’t make you left wing. Political alignment is determined by the reasoning for making that decision. The wealthiest paid 96 shillings in the pound while Churchill was PM doesn’t make him left wing.

  27. 96 shillings in the pound?? There were only 20 to the pound

  28. Sorry I meant 9

  29. The Tories are now just a 5% swing from the SNP away from taking this seat…


  30. Ex-MP Jim Sheridan has been suspended from the Party for his anti-Semitic comments about a Blairite Jewish plot.

  31. The Scottish Sun has printed a transcript of the hundreds of messages the (just resigned) Scottish Finance Minister bombarded a 16-year-old schoolboy with.

    The offer of paying for trains and dinner potentially falls under the grooming law.

    It would also have been an offence if he had been his teacher.

  32. Well not quite – it would have been more of a story had they splashed with it without informing Sturgeon the night before and supplying her with the messages.

    Police Scotland have now said they’ll investigate, as it may fall under stalking or malicious comms, even if grooming can’t be proven.

    The MSP hasn’t said he did anything wrong – merely that he was, “foolish.” To get caught presumably.

    Incidentally the ex-MP I mentioned that the NCA are investigating did something not dissimilar, although I understand images were involved.

    Sadly it’s all too common. I know of an ex-Cheshire Tory Cllr and ex-teacher (not Sephton) who was sending lewd messages to teenage pupils via social media. All that happened was he resigned from the school under an NDA, accepted a caution and is now a barrister! He was also on the Cons Candidates’ List!

    You may ask who vets them – well the chairman of the Cons Candidates committee is gay and from the North West. David Jones is the guy that I mentioned on the Southport thread: the Anglo Catholic who was part of the clique that bullied
    their vicar out of the parish after he complained about the ‘drinking culture’ at the church.

    It’s no wonder this ex-Cllr, Sephton, Menzies, Wragge all ended up on the list in the NW. Tories now have more gay MPs than all other Parties’ combined, although the SNP have the highest %.

  33. Assuming that there’s a by-election in Renfrewshire North & West it should be a fairly comfortable SNP hold with the Conservatives in second place.

    The Conservatives are strong in the commuter suburbs of Kilmacolm, Bridge of Weir, Bishopton, Houston and Crosslee in the more rural western portion of the constituency.

    In the east, the SNP is strongest in the main town of Renfrew which is a very working-class area that merges into Paisley and the City of Glasgow. Erskine and Inchinnan sit on the estuary of the River Clyde in the middle of the constituency. These towns tend to be marginally contested between the SNP and the Labour Party, followed by the Conservatives in third.

    For the Conservatives to win this constituency they would have to rely on a high Labour vote in Renfrew, Erskine and Inchinnan at the expense of the SNP, or for a low turnout amongst SNP voters.

    For Labour to win this constituency they would need to dominate the vote in Renfrew, Erskine and Inchinnan and hope for a good result in Crosslees and Houston as well – this currently seems close to impossible.

  34. The boundary of the Scottish Parliament seat of Renfrewshire North & West is quite different to Paisley & Renfrewshire North.

    The Scottish seat excludes Linwood and the northern half of Paisley, where the SNP does well and the Conservatives do poorly.

    It also stretches into the south-east of Inverclyde to cover the affluent village of Kilmacolm; a Tory stronghold (by Scottish standards at least).

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