East Renfrewshire

2015 Result:
Conservative: 12465 (22%)
Labour: 19295 (34%)
Lib Dem: 1069 (1.9%)
SNP: 23013 (40.6%)
UKIP: 888 (1.6%)
MAJORITY: 3718 (6.6%)

Category: Marginal SNP seat

Geography: Scotland, West. The whole of the East Renfrewshire council area.

Main population centres: Barrhead, Clarkston, Busby, Eaglesham, Giffnock, Newton Mearns.

Profile: A outer suburbs of the Glasgow conurbanation and the rural hinterland to the south-west of Glasgow. This is an affluent, middle-class commuter area with a high proportion of owner-occupiers and professionals. Clarkston used to be a dry area until planning permission for the first pub in the area was given in 2006. Renfrewshire East has the largest Jewish population of any seat in Scotland, with almost half of Scotland`s Jewish population living in the area.

Politics: Anywhere outside Scotland this would probably be a safe Conservative seat, and up until 1997 it was one of the safest Conservative seats in Scotland. Scotland is no country for Conservatives though, it fell to Labour in 1997 under Jim Murphy. Murphy rose to the Labour cabinet and in opposition took on the doomed role of Scottish Labour leader following the 2014 referendum, losing his own seat in the subsequent SNP landslide.


Current MP
KIRSTEN OSWALD (SNP) Educated at Glasgow University. Former HR professional. First elected as MP for Renfrewshire East in 2015.
Past Results
2010
Con: 15567 (30%)
Lab: 25987 (51%)
LDem: 4720 (9%)
SNP: 4535 (9%)
Oth: 372 (1%)
MAJ: 10420 (20%)
2005
Con: 14158 (30%)
Lab: 20815 (44%)
LDem: 8659 (18%)
SNP: 3245 (7%)
Oth: 528 (1%)
MAJ: 6657 (14%)
2001*
Con: 13895 (29%)
Lab: 23036 (48%)
LDem: 6239 (13%)
SNP: 4137 (9%)
Oth: 1061 (2%)
MAJ: 9141 (19%)
1997
Con: 17530 (34%)
Lab: 20766 (40%)
LDem: 6110 (12%)
SNP: 6826 (13%)
Oth: 1003 (2%)
MAJ: 3236 (6%)

2015 Candidates
DAVID MONTGOMERY (Conservative) Educated at Bearsden Academy and Glasgow University. Medical Director and surgeon.
JIM MURPHY (Labour) Born 1967, Glasgow. Educated at Milnerton High School, South Africa and Strathclyde University. President of the NUS. MP for Eastwood 1997 to 2015. PPS to Helen Liddell 2001-02, Government Whip 2002-2005, Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office 2005-06, Minister of State for Employment and Welfare Reform 2006-07, Minister of State for Europe 2007-08, Secretary of State for Scotland 2008-10. Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland 2010, Shadow Defence Secretary 2010-2013. Shadow International Development Secretary 2013-2014. Leader of the Scottish Labour party 2015.
GRAEME COWIE (Liberal Democrat)
ROBERT MALYN (UKIP)
KIRSTEN OSWALD (SNP) Educated at Glasgow University. HR professional.
Links
Comments - 689 Responses on “Renfrewshire East”
  1. What seems reasonably clear is that the SNP will be on around 35%. The question is whether that’s enough to take the seat.

    Definitely Tories vs SNP for the win. If the Labour vote does collapse then it’ll go predominantly Tory and they’ll take it with a defensible majority. But given the candidate Labour have selected the size of plunge needed to flip this seat blue is merely “reasonably likely”, rather than a nailed-on certainty.

    This seems like a seat where the sensible thing to do is predict late, which is what I’ll do.

  2. @ Exiled Voter – unlikely, East Renfrewshire was 37% Yes and had a big Remain vote, so the SNP should take 37% of the vote at the minimum!

  3. Fair play to Labour for going all-out on this one but I do think the Tories are the better-placed unionist party.

    Big Jewish population here, which could be a problem for Labour.

  4. NTY UK: you could be right, and I note that we’re effectively quibbling over 2%. As that 2% could however determine this seat, here’s my reasoning:

    There is clearly a very strong correlation between 2014 preference and the parties a voter would consider, but it’s not absolute. There will be those whose political preference is one party but the party closest to them on the most issues is another. They’re a small proportion but they’re unquestionably there. Given that this is unlikely to be seen as the election which gives the SNP the leverage necessary for another referendum (next Holyrood election seems more likely), such people can be considered floating voters, and in a constituency such as this will IMO float slightly more Tory than SNP.

    The other consideration is that in the referendum pretty much everyone who would consider voting did so, whereas in 2015 there was differential turnout in favour of the Yes side due to the momentum the SNP maintained. While it’s clear that they remain comfortably the most popular party in Scotland, they do not have the momentum, and therefore the question is whether their (amazing) 2014 and 2015 GOTV operations will be as effective.

  5. (by “political preference” I of course meant “constitutional preference”)

  6. This is an SNP hold for me. There is every chance that many Labour voters are just as likely to vote SNP as vote Conservative. The dual fight for remaining non nationalist votes suits the incumbent perfectly.

  7. The big Remain vote seems likely to suppress Tory support here, no? – or will it be too split?

  8. Leaning towards SNP hold until I see more polls showing Tories on 30%+ in Scotland. This is probably the bellwether seat in terms of SNP/Conservative contests, with the three border seats and West Aberdeenshire being fairly comfortable Tory victories.

  9. If you throw the LibDems into the equation, it’s also helpful to the SNP as an outlet for Labour switchers. The LibDems used to poll reasonably well here before being swept away in the 2015 landslide. The next nearest seat geographically they have any chance in is East Dunbartonshire.

  10. POLLTROLL
    Leaning towards SNP hold until I see more polls showing Tories on 30%+ in Scotland. This is probably the bellwether seat in terms of SNP/Conservative contests, with the three border seats and West Aberdeenshire being fairly comfortable Tory victories.
    April 27th, 2017 at 7:52 pm

    Sure, they might all be Tory victories but they won’t all be comfortable.

  11. I think the stronger performance of the Scottish Tories will intrenched the SNP at up to 45% and 45 MP’s.

    The greatest threat to the SNP was a Labour recovery. Now Scottish Labour at 13% are finished. I think the Scottish Tories do have a ceiling and unlike Scottish Labour could not break into the Cental Belt other than a couple of Edinburgh seats and East Renfrewshire.

  12. SNP. 21000
    Con. 19000
    Lab. 13000
    LD. 2000

  13. How much influence does the Rangers-supporting vote have in this seat? (and other seats such as Glasgow South). In 1999, when I was studying politics, I saw a report in the Politics Review which said 32% of Rangers supporters voted Conservative in 1992 (versus 33% for Labour) and that this percentage had only fallen to 30% in 1997. No supporters of any other club voted Conservative in such high numbers.

    However, it didn’t seem to have much effect in Glasgow South in 2015, as it went solidly SNP, and had previously been safely Labour. Tory support in Glasgow South West, where Ibrox Park is, is even weaker. I did see a report which stated that support for the parties among Rangers supporters in 2015 was SNP 32%, Labour 30%, and Tories 23%, but surely Rangers supporters, who are by and large solidly Unionist, are not likely to give their support to the SNP. Maybe posters in Scotland can help me with more information.

  14. As Rangers play in Glasgow and the SNP hold all the Glasgow seats I feel I would be safe saying that your info is guff.

  15. I suspect that a lot of Rangers fans don’t vote, but Scotty Boy is correct. I know plenty of SNP-supporting Rangers fans.

  16. Labour have selected the organiser of The Better Together Campaign Blair McDougal. Their Twitter and Facebook pages ignore the result in the Holyrood constituency last May and the polls that show a swings from Lab to Con of 10 – 14% since the last general election and insist that this is an SNP / Lab contest only.

    Could McDougals candidacy make it difficult for Labour to recover YES voters and also split the unionist vote stopping the Conservatives win here?

  17. I would have thought so. But in the short term the imperative for Labour is to try to hang on to second in seats like this.

    Labour won’t recover YES voters until it is the governing party in Westminster. Don’t forget, at the time of the indyref most Scots thought they would only have to put up with the Tories for one more year.

  18. Hard to make a good prediction here.
    I think Dalek’s prediction on 27th April could be about right, and it’s as yet unclear how big the Tory surge is as I think some of the Scotland figures were sub samples.

    If there is a substantial rise, I think this seat would be in range.
    A credible possibility
    Con 35% +13
    SNP 33% -8
    Lab 29% -5
    LD 2%
    Oths 1%

  19. Labour hold their seat in Newton Mearns North & Neilston while the Conservatives gain a seat in Glasgow’s Shettleston ward.

  20. Labour had councillors in every ward in 2012. With 4 seats this can no longer be the case. Which wards have they been wipped out.

  21. Dalek – to answer your Q upthread, I’ve heard it rumoured that the FTP Act will be revoked – but await the Tory manifesto for confirmation.

  22. I think after this result, poor Blair McDougall’s 2015 bar chart he’s been trailing around him will look even more sad.

    Simply not tenable to claim he is the right anti-SNP vote here. I mean it wasn’t before these results, but it certainly isn’t after. If the Tories are picking up decent first preference support in Barrhead they’ll be able to leverage off that over the next few weeks.

    If Labour agree to extend their coalition with the SNP here that will undermine him further.

    Looking at the results the Tories will be feeling a bit sad not to have nicked another seat or 2, they were very, very close to a second in Clarkston, Netherlee and Williamwood.

    I still think this is tight between the SNP and the Tories on the night in a general, but I’m leaning marginally more Tory after today.

  23. First preference votes in the constituency today (2012 in brackets)
    Con 38% (30%)
    SNP 24% (20%)
    Lab 17% (31%)
    Ind 16% (15%)
    All Others 4% (4%)

  24. I think this result will cause Labour to ease off here and focus on seats like East Lothian or Ayrshire Central.

    Glasgow City is interesting because in some wards the SNP are clearly well ahead of Labour but in other wards they are only marginally ahead.

    I wonder if Labour might try and target a couple of the Glasgow City seats?

  25. I think that the Labour vote will slump here now that Murphy and Mackintosh has lost. Its pointless Labour using bar charts from 2015 or 2016 as these both included the defeated MPs/ MSPs incumbency.

  26. It was pointless for the Lib Dems to use 2010 bar charts in 2015 to demonstrate that they were still competitive.

    It still happened.

  27. Labours bar charts could still be sufficient to fool 1000s of unionist votes and allow the SNP to hold onto this unionist constituency but taking sufficient numbers of unionist votes that may have gone to the Conservatives.

  28. I see from Twitter that to try and counter this problem the Cons have giant bar charts of what I think is the 2016 Eastwood result https://twitter.com/PM4EastRen/status/863059405012697088

    My hunch is the Cons should just about pull this off, even if Lab’s vote doesn’t decline too much thanks to them targeting the seat too.

  29. Conservatives certain to hold Dumfriesshire and gain Aberdeenshire West, Berwickshire and Dumfries & Galloway.

    In all I think the Scottish Conservatives will return 6 MP’s. There are 4 or 5 seats that could be the other two seats but this one is the most likely.

  30. The 4 of 5 seats are –

    East Renfrewshire
    Moray
    Perth & North Perthshire
    Ochil & South Perthshire
    Stirling

  31. @ Dalek

    Eminently plausible.

    It will be more difficult for Con to win seats from the SNP where they were in 3rd place in GE2015. Non-politically savvy pro-Unionist voters may be confused as to which pro-Unionist candidate to support.

    One factor that may help the Cons in this seat is the toxicity of the current Labour party (compared to 2015) to the seat’s significant Jewish population. However, Labour have put forward a high profile candidate in Blair Dougall.

  32. @ Plopwellian Tory

    I only think that there is a >50% probability of a Tory gain in the first 4 on your list:
    Dumfriesshire
    Berwickshire & Roxburgh
    Aberdeenshire West
    Dumfries & Galloway

    I hope that the SNP retain Moray, because Angus Robertson is such an effective contributor to the HoC.

    The more seats that the SNP retain, the better for Scotland.

    The Unionists merely maintain branch offices north of the border.

  33. Con gain

  34. One of the most amusing moments of the night, during the declaration here somebody can clearly be heard off camera exclaiming “Bloody hell!” when the Tory vote number is read out.

  35. What is extraordinary is that both Ayr and here the Conservatives outperformed the Holyrood result last May despite the Westminster boundaries being much more challenging.

  36. Barrhead was uncharacteristically strong for the Conservatives apparently.

  37. Aberdeen South is safer and has a larger Conservative vote share than this seat…

  38. The Conservatives 12 gains include –

    6 pre-2015 Labour seats

    Aberdeen South
    Ayr Carrick & Cumnock
    Dumfries & Galloway
    East Renfrewshire
    Ochil & South Perthshire
    Stirling

    3 pre-2015 Lib Dem seats

    Aberdeenshire West & Kincardine
    Berwickshire, Roxburgh & Selkirk
    Gordon

    3 pre-2015 SNP seats

    Angus
    Banff & Buchan
    Moray

    The Conservatives have quite clear leads over Labour in the 6 former Labour seats which would give them some protection in a future collapse in the SNP vote to Labour as per 1979.

    The Conservative advance included the three constituencies held by the SNP between 1987 and 1997.

  39. Considering their performance here at June’s General Election, are Labour toast in this seat for the foreseeable future?

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