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
Con: 15567 (30%)
Lab: 25987 (51%)
LDem: 4720 (9%)
SNP: 4535 (9%)
Oth: 372 (1%)
MAJ: 10420 (20%)
Con: 14158 (30%)
Lab: 20815 (44%)
LDem: 8659 (18%)
SNP: 3245 (7%)
Oth: 528 (1%)
MAJ: 6657 (14%)
Con: 13895 (29%)
Lab: 23036 (48%)
LDem: 6239 (13%)
SNP: 4137 (9%)
Oth: 1061 (2%)
MAJ: 9141 (19%)
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)
KIRSTEN OSWALD (SNP) Educated at Glasgow University. HR professional.
Comments - 682 Responses on “Renfrewshire East”
  1. Odd….no part of “Cunningham East” was ever part of Cunningham District Council (now North Ayrshire).

    The removal of Barrhead and the addition of the two rural wards from Kilmarnock & Loudoun (that include Stewarton) appears to have made the successor to East Renfrewshire more Tory.

  2. @ Dalek- technically Loudoun was part of the old county of Cunninghame (which covered North Ayrshire, Kilmarnock and Loudoun) before the Cunninghame district was established. The name is still completely irrelevant: it should be called Eastwood and Loudoun.

  3. Cunninghame East notionals:

    SNP 42.0%
    LAB 31.0%
    CON 24.0%
    OTH 3.0%

    SNP 38.0%
    CON 30.5%
    LAB 29.0%
    OTH 2.5%
    (Might be being a bit gentle on the SNP and harsh on the Tories here!)

  4. 2016 notionals are the constituency figures

  5. Here are the SNP MP’s who will be without a seat –

    1) Ross, Skye & Lochaber – Ian Blackford’s constituency is clearly abolished. He will be 59 in 2020.

    2) Aberdeenshire West & Kincardine (SNP), Dundee East (SNP) and Angus (SNP) after two seats. I assume Chris Laws will be safe in the core Dundee seat. Much speculation in the media will be made of Alex Salmond’s seat disappearing but Gordon & Deeside will be mostly Gordon.

    3) Kirkcaldy (SNP) and Glenrothes (SNP) after one seat. I don’t think the Perthshire/ Fife draft proposals will survive. I think we will still see the partition of North East Fife to create a South Tay cross border Perthshire/ Fife constituency. Otherwise, Roger Mullin will be 72 in 2020 and may retire.

    4) Glasgow. None…….Natalie McGarry will free up a seat for the 6 SNP MP’s.

    5) Edinburgh South West (SNP) vs Edinburgh South (Lab).

    6) Ayrshire North & Arran (SNP) vs Ayrshire Central (SNP). Particia Gibson must be the favourite against Philippa Whitford here because of the Gibson are an SNP dynasty like the MacCormick, Ewings and Watts.

    I make this four SNP MP’s without a seat but Mullin is likely to retire and David Mundell’s constituency will become a notional SNP marginal. Its most likely that Ian Blackford and Philippa Whitford will both retire and Joanna Cherry (Edinburgh SW) will go head to head with Ian Murray.

    Technically, Edinburgh West frees up another seat but I think the SNP will see themselves as better placed to win the merged SW/ S than holding onto West.

  6. To be honest I can see Philippa Whitford retreating to Ayr and Carrick (the constituency where she’s from) dispelling less-popular Corridor Wilson.

  7. Eastwood & Loudoun as a name works much better than Cunninghame East. Both parts of the constituency are linked by the Ayr Road.

    Cunninghame West should just become Cunningham & Arran. It can’t really be called Ayrshire North or Ayrshire central. cunninghame works as a good generic name like Ochil or The Wrekin.

    I also note that all of the two Dunbartonshire council areas form the two new Dunbartonshire constituencies. I think they should continue as East and West despite Bearsden North and part of Milngavie being moved over. Dumbarton & Bearsden North ignores Clydebank and Milngavie & Kirkintilloch ignores South Bearsden, Bishopbriggs and Kirkintilloch.

    I would imagine that Nicholsons notional majority over Swanson will have more doubled…perhaps even tripled?

  8. Not sure yet though as I’ve said consistently against the grain I think they will win a plurality in City of Edinburgh. Based on the two by-elections in Banff and Inverurie Aberdeenshire is also shaping to have the Conservatives as the largest party – that would by extension suggest they could win in Perth and Kinross.

    I wouldn’t totally dismiss councils such as Angus, Morat, Stirling, East Dunbartonshire and East Lothian either given the strength of the Conservatice vote in the two Aberdeenshire by-elections…

  9. East Renfrewshire would have been one of the half dozen target seats for Labour in 2020 but the loss of Barrhead and the addition of Loudoun has extended the SNP majority from 3718 to 7428.

    The new boundaries have also reduced the gap between Labour and the third placed Conservatives from 7000 to 3000.

    The new boundaries have also hammered the Lib Dems in East Dunbartonshire and Fife NE by extending their largely middle class boundaries to include strongly SNP working class areas. The notional SNP majority in NE Fife is now 11920 making that seat much more difficult than the Holyrood constituency for the Lib Dems.

  10. This is more of a distant possibility for the Conservatives in comparison to gains in Ayr, Galloway and Edinburgh SW&C if I’m honest.

    If the Conservatives can gain this constituency in 2020 chances are they can also manage Gordon and Deeside (assuming that Alex Salmond’s personal vote doesn’t get in their way).

    There’s clear evidence to suggest that a significant proportion of the would-be Conservative voters from 2015 and 2016 voted tactically in favour of Labour in East Renfrewshire in opposition to the SNP. Swapping out Barrhead for Loudoun does benefit the Conservatives, though Loudoun is relatively good ground for the SNP: it’s not significant better for the Conservatives in comparison to the existing East Renfrewshire seat.

  11. In the immediate aftermath of 2015 I thought that Murphy would have had a good chance of regaining this seat in 2020 but with the boundary changes and Holyrood polls showing Labour at 15% and the Tories on 25% he would not have a hope in hell. Looks as if Labour will come third in Cunninghame East/ Eastwood & Loudoun in 2020.

  12. People compare the Ochil & South Perthshire Constituency to the old Clackmannanshire constituency but it is actually more like the old Perth & Kinross constituency with the City of Perth swapped for Clackmannanshire.

    Had Ochil & South Perthshire been created in 1983 it would have been won by the Conservatives in that year and 1987 and 1992 before being gained by Labour in 1997.

    In other parts of the UK the Conservative vote in South Perthshire would outpoll the Labour vote in Clackmannanshire. Indeed, Clackmannanshire itself was not completely Labour prior to 2015. The Conservatives were strong in Dollar.

  13. Yes I would say that it’s a slightly more working class version of the old 1997-2005 Perth constituency.

  14. Good grief, those sideburns.

  15. Coatbridge, Chryston & Bellshill; East Dunbartonshire; East Renfrewshire; Motherwell & Wishaw; Paisley & Renfrewshire South and Rutherglen & Hamilton West are all basically completely within the Greater Glasgow urban area.

  16. Apparently the Kensington constituency is considered a very rich constituency. While some parts of this constituency are extremely wealthy there is also considerable poverty in North Kensington, much of Notting Hill and Earls Court.

  17. Whilst there is some poverty around parts of Barrhead and Neilston the two are actually around/a bit below average.

  18. While Barrhead/ Neilston are deprived relative to Newton Mearns the don’t extreme poverty that exists in places like North Kensington.

  19. Is there a breakdown of how many are signing from Scotland compared to rUK?

  20. I checked and it’s over 70%. You can work it out if you add up the signatures from each Scottish constituency.

  21. The Conservatives are standing 18 candidates in Scottish Borders and 10 in East Renfrewshire, which is enough for Overall Control.

    In both cases it is unlikely that the party will manage it but there’s still a possibility of it in both cases.

  22. I’m guessing that’s a long way off a full slate. Do they not have enough people willing to stand? Under STV I can’t see an obvious advantage to fielding fewer candidates.

  23. @ Paul D – standing a full slate in any area splits the vote between multiple candidates which can make it more likely for your candidates to be knocked out and their vote will not to transfer over to each other 100%, which can actually make it more difficult to get candidates elected.

  24. “…standing a full slate in any area splits the vote between multiple candidates which can make it more likely for your candidates to be knocked out and their vote will not to transfer over to each other 100%, which can actually make it more difficult to get candidates elected”.

    Precisely. It’s the reason why STV doesn’t really deliver on the promise to provide voters with a choice of different candidates from the same party.

    The only situations where parties feel they can stand full slates is where party loyalty is so strong that parties can be certain that their voters will rank every one of their candidates ahead of those of any other party. This happens in Malta where party identification continues to be incredibly strong, even though the differences between the two major parties there are now (at least since the country decided to join the EU) pretty small.

  25. In terms of the Scottish Borders the Tories would need to get all elected to win Overall Control. Personally I’m not convinced that Lauderdale & Melrose was the right place to stand two candidates over, say, Hawick & Hermitage or Tweeddale East.

  26. Labour Cllr John Caldwell (Johnstone S) has resigned from the Labour Group to sit as an Independent.

  27. Johnstone is in Renfrewshire not East Renfrewshire!

  28. No that was Elderslie.

  29. Before 1955, Cardonald and what is now Greater Pollok was in this constituency before being transferred to Glasgow.

    Renfrew was transferred to Renfrewshire West in Feb 1974 and in 1983 Ralston which is between Paisley and Glasgow was transferred to the new Paisley North but was not aware Elderslie was also in this constituency.

  30. Has the 5 year parliament be reset for the first Thursday of May 2022?

    If so….will this mean that the Scottish Unitary Authorities will have to have their election cycle re-set from 2022 (perhaps by extending the term by a single year)?

  31. According to the BBC, Labour are still targeting East Renfrewshire –

    “Labour lost 40 Scottish seats to the SNP in 2015. In many cases the swing was so massive that they now look beyond reach.

    But they’ll be looking for any signs of the beginning of a fight back. Renfrewshire East, which used to be Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy’s seat, is their top target. Next down the list is Edinburgh North and Leith.”

    My view is that if Jim Murphy stands again he will split the unionist vote and allow the SNP to hold on….otherwise this would be a possible Conservative Gain.

  32. The Panelbase poll would suggest that East Renfrewshire would go –

    Con 39
    SNP 35
    Lab 21

    Survation would suggest –

    Con 35
    SNP 34
    Lab 27

  33. Keeping in mind the tactical unwind here as the Conservatives have gain Eastwood in the Scottish Parliament I would’ve put this down as a fairly comfortable Conservative gain based on those new polls.

  34. Tories will be confirming their candidate on Tuesday night.

    No word yet on Labour but not believed Murphy will run.

    The tactical pro-Murphy vote won’t be repeated. There was still elements of pro-Labour tactical voting in Eastwood from confused Tories, who can now comfortably ‘return home’ in June.

    The Tories doing very well in the locals here should cement their position as main challenge to the SNP.

  35. Prediction April 25th 2017:

    SNP 36% (-5)
    Con 36.1% (+14.1)
    Lab 24.7% (-9.3)
    LDem 2% (-)

    Tory gain, predicted majority 0.1%

    *Based on national vote shares SNP 45%, Con 29%, Labour 15%, LDem 5.5% Green 2.25%

  36. The former Chief Executive of Better Together, Blair MacDougall, has been selected as the Labour candidate.

    This throws a bit of a spanner in the works for the Tories I imagine. The leader of the Better Together campaign is pretty much as unionist as they come! And with a more limited amount of seats to focus on, Labour could be targeting this heavily. SNP could sneak through the middle again of course

  37. All of the candidates seem fairly generic.

  38. Blair was pretty prominent on TV shows during the referendum in 2014, I recall.

  39. 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.

  40. @ 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!

  41. 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.

  42. 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.

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

  44. 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.

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

  46. 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.

  47. 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.

    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.

  49. 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.

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

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