Paisley & Renfrewshire South

2015 Result:
Conservative: 3526 (7.6%)
Labour: 17864 (38.6%)
Lib Dem: 1010 (2.2%)
SNP: 23548 (50.9%)
Others: 278 (0.6%)
MAJORITY: 5684 (12.3%)

Category: Semi-marginal SNP seat


Main population centres:



Current MP
MHAIRI BLACK (SNP) Born Paisley. Educated at Glasgow University. First elected as MP for Paisley & Renfrewshire South in 2015.
Past Results
Con: 3979 (10%)
Lab: 23842 (60%)
LDem: 3812 (10%)
SNP: 7228 (18%)
Oth: 1137 (3%)
MAJ: 16614 (42%)
Con: 3188 (8%)
Lab: 19904 (53%)
LDem: 6672 (18%)
SNP: 6653 (18%)
Oth: 1443 (4%)
MAJ: 13232 (35%)
Con: 2301 (8%)
Lab: 17830 (58%)
LDem: 3178 (10%)
SNP: 5920 (19%)
Oth: 1307 (4%)
MAJ: 11910 (39%)
Con: 3237 (9%)
Lab: 21482 (58%)
LDem: 3500 (9%)
SNP: 8732 (23%)
Oth: 400 (1%)
MAJ: 12750 (34%)

2015 Candidates
FRASER GALLOWAY (Conservative) Educated at Stewarts Melville College and Glasgow University. Trainee solicitor.
DOUGLAS ALEXANDER (Labour) Born 1967, Glasgow, son of a Church of Scotland minister. Educated at Park Mains High School and Edinburgh University. Solicitor. Contested Perth and Kinross 1995 by-election, Perth 1997. MP for Paisley South 1997 by-election to 2015. Minister of State at the DTI 2001-2002 and the Cabinet office 2002-2003. Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster 2003-4, Minister of State for Trade 2004-2005, Minister of State for Europe 2005-2006, Secretary of State for Scotland and Transport 2006-2007. Secretary of State for International Development 2007-2010. Shadow secretary of state for work and pensions 2010-2011, Shadow Foreign Secretary 2011-2015.
EILEEN MCCARTIN (Liberal Democrat)
MHAIRI BLACK (SNP) Born Paisley. Educated at Glasgow University. Student.
SANDRA WEBSTER (Scottish Socialist Party (SSP))
Comments - 245 Responses on “Paisley & Renfrewshire South”
  1. Have you been to Scotland yet?

  2. But you don’t understand its politics?

  3. I’d suggest that’s a mistake that English Tories have been making with the constitutional question in Scotland for the last 40-odd years.

  4. Under the present circumstances no, but it’s not something that should be idly dismissed either: it is possible.

  5. I think the degree of uncertainty about what will happen over the next few years is wider than most people will accept.

    What I would say is that Nicola Sturgeon is both deadly serious about holding another referendum, and that she thinks she can win it. Whether you like her or not, she isn’t daft, and is a lot more cautious than Salmond was. I’d also point out that, for what it’s worth, the bookies have Yes as clear favourites for a second referendum.

  6. Simon you were completely credible there until you brought up the bookies 😛 Bookies odds reflect what people THINK is going to happen and what they bet on: their methodology is in no sense related to psephology.

    I recall the bookies getting 2015 and 2016 wrong in Scotland, Brexit wrong, the US presidential election wrong, the Richmond Park by-election wrong.

  7. Simon “The bookies have Yes as clear favourites”

    They do not.

    Indeed the leading 5 firms don’t even have a market on the subject.

    Although Ladbrokes have now opened one on who the next First Minister of Scotland will be…

  8. But on whether Sturgeon thinks she can win a second vote on independence: I think that she knows that the present circumstances are the best possible circumstances for calling a second referendum on independence. If she fails this time (and more-over if she fails on a margin greater than say 4%) then it’s unlikely Scotland will ever vote for independence in the foreseeable future. So I would say it’s probably now or never for the SNP, especially as their vote appears to be waning slightly towards the Tories.

  9. “You don’t need to go to a place to understand its politics.”

    It is this sort of attitude that is the root of so much hatred of the Westminster establishment – not least north of the border.

  10. NTY UK

    The swing to the Conservatives in Scotland seems to be almost entirely a swing from Labour to the Conservatives.

  11. Almost entirely, but it does leave the SNP vulnerable in a number of seats, particularly if the boundary changes go through.

  12. Yes, there’s an overall Lab -> Con swing, and there will be some direct Lab -> Con switchers, but there will also be voters moving Lab -> SNP and SNP -> Con, rather than all of the swing coming from voters directly switching from one to the other.

  13. “For Mr Hemmelig who still appears to be making stuff up (or certainly without any referencing to sources):
    Per Elmer Brok MEP, Chair of the European Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs,
    “It will be easy negotiations” for Scotland to join the EU.
    “Commit to joining the Euro…… by a specific date”. More utter nonsense-when is Sweden’s “specific date” for joining the Euro as just one example?”

    Not sure why cybernats have to be so nasty in response to perfectly obvious realities.

    1. The view of an individual MEP will carry little weight. The decision will be made by the Commission and will need to be agreed unanimously by all 27 member states (perhaps 28 if UK is still a member). Several such states, not least Spain and Belgium, will be mindful of the separatist movements in their own countries.

    2. Herr Brok may well be right that it will be easy for Scotland to join the EU, but nowhere did he say that they won’t have to commit to Schengen and joining the Euro like other new members.

    3. Scotland being treated as a new member state will likely be insisted upon by Spain in order not to create a precedent whereby an independent Catalonia would be allowed to retain status as an existing member. As Paul D pointed out below me, new member state status means Schengen and Euro are compulsory by a certain date, and no hang over from the old UK rebate.

  14. @Lancs Observer

    Ladbrokes have Yes at 8/11 and No at 11/10 on the result of the next referendum (void if no referendum by 2020).

  15. Mr Hemmelig
    Your points in response to mine are your unevidenced personal opinion unsupported by any source.
    At least I have attempted to offer something a little bit more convincing than merely my personal opinion.

  16. @NTYUK To an extent you’re right re:bookies, but their price has to have some basis in reality or it’s too easy for punters to make money. And, of course they get it wrong sometimes, or everyone would just bet on the favourite always.

  17. Interestingly,or not, Paddy Power have Yes at 4/7 and No at 5/4.
    Don’t forget they paid out on a No victory before the vote last time

  18. I do have to say that I don’t really see why the bookies have Yes that short.

  19. Because odds are based on how people bet, and the bookies always make a profit on them.

  20. Bookies don’t always make a profit but they do most of the time. The internet has completely changed the bookmaking industry with multiple firms operating on increasingly tighter margins. As a keen punter I find by elections highly profitable as the odds can shift almost on a daily basis. You often find that you can bet all possible contenders and show a profit.

  21. “Paddy Power have Yes at 4/7 and No at 5/4.
    Don’t forget they paid out on a No victory before the vote last time”

    They paid out on Hillary Clinton becoming US president as well.

  22. TR – I suppose it depends who you mean by ‘Spain.’

    Several Spanish politicians have indeed said that very thing.

  23. TR – HH’s points appear to be neither “unevidenced” or without sources.

    Some things are just facts, of course, eg:

    1.6 million in Scotland voted to Remain in the EU, but

    over 2 million in Scotland voted to remain within the UK.

    How the SNP hope to gain Remainian votes without losing any of the 37% who voted Leave is a mystery.

    They lost by 10% last time. IMHO they’ll lose by more than 10% in any 2nd Ref.

  24. Lancs

    Which Spanish politicians have stated that they would veto an independent Scotland’s membership of the EU.

    I do hope you are not going to be as unevidenced as Mr H 🙂

  25. Here’s one…

    ‘Esteban Gonzalez Pons, who leads Spain’s biggest MEPs group, said Scotland would not automatically remain in the EU if it left the rest of the UK through a referendum before Brexit.

    He also repeated a previous warning that Scotland would not be allowed to secure a stand-alone deal which allows it to stay in the EU’s lucrative single market after Brexit as part of the UK.

    “If once the UK leaves, and Scotland decides to leave the UK, then you can join the queue after Montenegro, Serbia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Turkey to join the EU.

    “The rules are the rules – we can’t change the rules.”’

  26. Paul D-bad choice.

    He was the very man who said Catalonia and Spain are very very very different and he DID NOT claim that Spain would veto Scotland.

    Anyone else managed to find a Spanish politician who said Spain would veto an independent Scotland joining the EU?

  27. Should have said Catalonia and Scotland are very very very different

  28. We don’t need to ‘find’ any.

    Even John Swinney admitted almost every Spanish Minister opposed the SNP plan – he merely stated that he hoped to change their mind over time.

    Even academics in Scotland don’t believe her plan has any merit.

  29. Lancs
    Your comment is absolutely irrelevant to whether or not Spain would veto an independent Scotland’s EU membership

    I can only hope that you realise that

  30. Every Spanish Minister’s position is irrelevant because you hope a future one might agree with Sturgeon? Good luck with that one.

    I thought the Scots Nats only want EFTA now anyway?

    After realising a third of their supporters voted Leave.

  31. @Lancs You’re being deliberately obtuse about the difference between Spanish politicians saying they are in favour of the UK remaining united (which many of them have said) and that they would veto the application of an independent Scotland to join the EU (which none of them have said).

  32. The only clearly stated situation in which Spain would veto admission, is if Scotland didn’t follow ‘agreed constitutional procedures’, e.g. went for a UDI after an unrecognised referendum.

    Other than that, the statements have simply been that Spain wouldn’t be helping Scotland have any unique or special fasttrack deal to gain membership. – It’d be judged as any other fresh application would.

    On both these points I believe this would be their actual actions should those situations come about.

  33. I know nats who voted leave and they will still vote yes

  34. “what about all those Nats who voted ‘Yes’ and ‘Leave’?”

    They’ll almost certainly still vote Yes.

    But if they win, Sturgeon can’t assume that there will be majority support for re-entering the EU on new member terms.

    Nearly 40% voted to Leave in 2016 plus there will be Remainers from 2016 who will not want to rejoin if it means joining the Euro, Schengen and a hard border with England. Plausibly a majority may be against re-entry on those terms and under those circumstances she’d almost certainly need a referendum before rejoining.

  35. It’s not as simple as that. You’ve still got movement in both directions which largely cancels itself out.

  36. “It’s not as simple as that. You’ve still got movement in both directions which largely cancels itself out.”

    I think the number of Leave voters from 2016 who would vote to rejoin the EU with Schengen, Euro membership and a hard border with England would be almost nil. Unless there is some kind of mega economic crisis.

    You’re right though that there might be some churn in terms of Yes/No voters from 2014.

    I certainly don’t see this as simple at all, and it is easy to see either side winning.

  37. Simon – they have.

    Whether TR and yourself choose not to believe it is another matter.

    TR is the only person being obtuse on here.

    Whatever facts I or HH cite, he states they’re neither facts nor relevant!

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