Rutherglen & Hamilton West

2015 Result:
Conservative: 4350 (7.6%)
Labour: 20304 (35.2%)
Lib Dem: 1045 (1.8%)
SNP: 30279 (52.6%)
UKIP: 1301 (2.3%)
Others: 336 (0.6%)
MAJORITY: 9975 (17.3%)

Category: Semi-marginal SNP seat

Geography: Scotland, Central. Part of the South Lanarkshire council area.

Main population centres: Rutherglen, Hamilton, Blantyre, Cambuslang.

Profile: Rutherglen is a former heavy industrial town, once a centre for coal mining and the chemicals industry but now largely a dormitory suburb for Glasgow (a city it was administratively part of from 1975 to 1996. Neighbouring Cambuslang was once a steel working town and the site of Hoover`s factory, but that is now closed although the town still has some limited steel works. To the south the constituency curls around East Kilbride to include the western part of Hamilton.

Politics: Until 1964 this was a Conservative seat - the idea that the Conservatives would be able to win a heavy industrial seat in Scotland on the outskirts of Glasgow seems absurd to modern politics - and indeed, in 2015 they finished in a poor third place. For the next fifty years it was a safe Labour seat, but like many others fell to the SNP in 2015.

Current MP
MARGARET FERRIER (SNP) Born Glasgow. Former commercial sales manager. First elected as MP for Rutherglen & Hamilton West in 2015.
Past Results
Con: 4540 (10%)
Lab: 28566 (61%)
LDem: 5636 (12%)
SNP: 7564 (16%)
Oth: 675 (1%)
MAJ: 21002 (45%)
Con: 3621 (8%)
Lab: 24054 (56%)
LDem: 7942 (18%)
SNP: 6023 (14%)
Oth: 1621 (4%)
MAJ: 16112 (37%)
Con: 3301 (11%)
Lab: 16760 (57%)
LDem: 3689 (13%)
SNP: 4135 (14%)
Oth: 1328 (5%)
MAJ: 12625 (43%)
Con: 3288 (9%)
Lab: 20430 (58%)
LDem: 5167 (15%)
SNP: 5423 (15%)
Oth: 1213 (3%)
MAJ: 15007 (42%)

2015 Candidates
TAYLOR MUIR (Conservative) Educated at University of Strathclyde. Student.
TOM GREATREX (Labour) Born 1974, Ashford. Educated at Judd School and the LSE. Political researcher, council officer and trade union officer. MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West 2010 to 2015. Shadow energy minister since 2011.
TONY HUGHES (Liberal Democrat)
JANICE MACKAY (UKIP) Contested Hamilton South 2001, Rutherglen and Hamilton West 2005, 2010.
MARGARET FERRIER (SNP) Born Glasgow. Commercial sales manager.
Comments - 54 Responses on “Rutherglen & Hamilton West”
  1. Is this the only 2015 seat profile with no comments?

    Surely Labour can’t lose this one, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Lib Dems lost their deposit here.

  2. Not any more it’s not!

    I doubt Labour will win this. Even with the SNP surge they’ll still old on, perhaps with a majority of around 10% though.

  3. *I doubt Labour will LOSE this. Sorry.

  4. No SNP candidate yet? LOL

  5. The SNP have candidates in all 59 seats. The last one was chosen yesterday in Orkney & Shetland. See my candidates list.

  6. Err, there is an SNP candidate, I think. At least, it says so in the Other 2015 candidates section.

    On the seat, the Rutherglen counting area was almost exactly 50-50 in the referendum, while Hamilton was around 45% Yes, so there’s no real reason that the SNP couldn’t contend here. I guess it’s one that Labour will feel more confident about but I wouldn’t like to call it one way or another. I’d be shocked if the Lib Dems keep their deposit here, or in most other seats in West central Scotland.

  7. I was actually joking believe it or not. Didn’t sound like it did it?

  8. Was being ironic because the SNP are tipped to win in a massive swathe of seats right across Scotland LOL.

  9. All respect to you, The Results, but are you high right now?

  10. Well i’m quite happy yes but I’m not on anything LOL. Granted the SNP will do very well anywhere north of Hadrian’s Wall but for me to say they will win loads of seats might be over-doing it a bit…

  11. Well, this won’t be the shortest comments section for long.

  12. Rutherglen has traditionally been one of the Lib Dem’s best seats in this general area. I guess they’re hoping to just get over the 5% mark, something which won’t happen in most of the neighbouring constituencies.

  13. It won’t LOL. Plenty to talk about really- The SNP look like doing well in places where once upon a time they wouldn’t have had a hope in the month of Sundays, and although they most likely won’t win here, there could be some very surprising results in places one might not think likely.

  14. The one possible pitfall for Labour which hasn’t been mentioned yet is that Tom Greatrex is English, and is one of only 2 English MPs in Scottish constituencies who is standing for re-election (the other is Gordon Banks in Ochil & S Perthshire, on paper Labour’s most vulnerable seat to the SNP) – Malcolm Bruce who is a Scouser by birth despite his name is not standing as we know. An English Labour candidate will be targetted by the SNP to some extent; however, I do still make Labour favourites to hold on here. Remember, Hamilton has elected an SNP MP before, albeit only in a by-election in 1967 (Winnie Ewing being the successful candidate), and Rutherglen does traditionally have a bit of a residual anti-Labour vote too. But Lab Hold for me unless clear evidence to the contrary emerges.

  15. There is the odd seat in the west that the Lib Dems still occasionally pick up a respectable vote. I’d imagine that this time round this isn’t going to happen, and most of these voters will go SNP. We saw this in the Ashcroft poll in Glasgow North, where the Lib Dems went from about 30% in 2010, to having a good chance of losing their deposit this year.

  16. Yes that’s all true- The fact that Greatrex is English completely escaped my mind to tell the truth. It’s not altogether impossible that the SNP could take this, but it would be extremely close, can’t stress that enough, they’d need a MASSIVE swing- one in the order of 22%, but if they have a good candidate they might just do it, however Plopwellian that sounds. I must admit to sympathising with the SNP, even though I am myself English- but if I was Scottish I would definitely vote for them, wonder if anyone is surprised to hear that?

  17. Simon- you’re dead right. If old Lib Dem voters know their vote’s being wasted, they will without a shadow of a doubt go across en masse to the Nationalists to get out Labour or in rarer cases still the Tories.

  18. I think it’s unfair to suggest that an English Labour MP would be particularly targeted by the SNP. Certainly, in my experience, they’ve never made an additional effort in seats where the MP wasn’t born in Scotland, and they tend to come down pretty hard on anti-English sentiment internally.

  19. I think actually as a general guide, look at how incredibly badly the Lib Dems did in LOADS of seats in the Scottish Parliament Election in 2011- Lost deposits aplenty. Not saying it will happen on the same scale for Westminster, but they’ll still have a dreadful night in Scotland I think.

  20. Wasn’t suggesting that Simon. Just saying it might be relevant to the result.

  21. I was replying to Barnaby’s comment. I also doubt that the fact that Greatrex is English will be relevant to the result here – it didn’t seem to hurt him much in 2010.

  22. If they hear him speak it might.

  23. And if he did lose here, it would be in spite of him being English I agree with that.

  24. Got to be honest, if I was a candidate in Scotland I’d expect a rough time from some- I may be fairly Scouse but that wouldn’t necessarily protect me!

  25. I think that Labour will narrowly hold on here but lose a majority of the Glasgow seats.

  26. Agreed completely. This is not going to be as easy for Labour as some might think, I actually believe Greatrex has a real fight on his hands here to save his parliamentary career. It’s going to be marginal whatever happens the result here, and if Greatrex does hold, all credit to him- He’ll need to do the campaigning I think.

  27. I think Labour are likely to lose Glasgow C, E & S. I am almost certain NE will be held, and believe that NW & SW are more likely than not to be held. North looks like a close one but I suspect Labour will scrape home in the end. In the remainder of Lanarkshire, the SNP seem to me to be likely to win E Kilbride & Airdrie/Shotts, but unlikely to win Motherwell or Lanark/E Hamilton. I also think Labour will end up winning here & in Coatbridge. What do others reckon?

  28. It is difficult to predict, as the safest Labour seats in the west of Scotland tend to be those that rebelled the party line by voting ‘Yes’.

    However, here are my hunches…

    Re. Glasgow. North East will be held, simply because of the enormity of Labour’s majority there. Ditto North West. However, South will I think be held instead of North. Areas such as Cathcart, Kings Park and Newlands will be a mix of public sector middle class and, less significantly, the last vestiges of the Glasgow Tory Vote. Therefore, Labour ought to hold out there, given those groups’ opposition to independence. I agree that Central and East will be lost, but with the addition of North and South West. This area has been known for political radicalism in the past – Tommy Sheridan has done well here in a few Holyrood elections and areas like the sprawling Pollok estate will have voted ‘Yes’.

    In Lanarkshire, I have Airdrie & Shotts, East Kilbride, and Lanark & Hamilton East down as SNP gains

    I think Coatbridge may have a residual Catholic Labour vote that will stick, preventing a gain here for the SNP. I think it will be close here either way though.

  29. This is an easy Labour win….there is more probability that Cameron will lose Witney than Labour losing here – !!!

  30. that’s not actually true, but the consensus seems to be that Labour will survive here.

  31. Labour Hold

  32. “This is an easy Labour win….there is more probability that Cameron will lose Witney than Labour losing here – !!!”

    one of the funnier predictions…loads of us got egg on our faces last month. I freely confess that.

  33. It may be the single worst one-seat prediction, if we ignore all of Teddy’s efforts.

  34. ” the consensus seems to be that Labour will survive here”

    ‘Consensus’ and “Conventional Wisdom” told us jack all at the last election.

  35. It’s easy to confuse ‘the wisdom of crowds’ with groupthink. The ‘consensus’ in politics is created by a small number of people generating polls and others obsessing about them.

  36. SNP gain from Labour on a 9% swing.

  37. Breakdown?

  38. Labour gain! Excellent result for the Labour party here.

  39. Labour vote increased by 2% and Conservative vote increases by 12%. SNP down 15%.

    At first sight it looks like a direct swing from SNP to Conservative but I would not be surprised if much of the Conservative Gain was Labour unionist and Labour inturn regained Red Nat votes.

  40. Labour and Lib Dems surge in Rutherglen Central & North while Tories and the SNP surge in Perth South.

    Labour achieve around a 10% swing from SNP in Rutherglen but fall back in Perth where the SNP advance by over 6%.

    Labour seem to be outperforming Scottish polls in by election s in traditional Labour areas.

    What is oddest is the drop in the Lib Dem vote in Perth against a very strong performance an Rutherglen beating the Conservatives into third place and taking 18% in a ward that was perceived as a close contest between Labour and the SNP.

  41. The Lib Dems were only 30 votes away from beating the Tories in Stage 4 of the Perth by-election. Had they been ahead at that stage they would have gone on to win the seat.

  42. “What is oddest is the drop in the Lib Dem vote in Perth”

    The 2017 LD vote in Perth South may be inflated by personal vote of their long standing sitting Cllr in the ward?

  43. ” the SNP surge in Perth South.”

    This is not accurate. Perth City South had a decent SNP majority at the general election. There’s no disputing that this (alongside results from Elgin City North and Inverurie & District) is a very good result for the Conservatives in Scotland bearing in mind their apparent position in the opinion polls.

    SNP 32.1 (+6.4)
    Con 31.2 (+6.0)
    LD 28.8 (-5.9)
    Lab 5.7 (-0.7)
    Grn 1.8 (-1.3)

    Turnout: 43.1%

    Con win on 6th stage

    Keep in mind Perth & North Perthshire voted Conservative by a fair margin at the 2017 local council election and SNP by just 21 votes at the general election: this result would suggest the Conservatives are competitive here.

    Having initially been cynical of any further Conservative gains on the 2017 general election, recent by-election results in key marginals would indicate that the party are on track to match or even surpass their performance at the 2017 general election in the next Scottish Parliament election (potentially being competitive in Scottish Parliamentary constituencies which voted SNP at the general election such as Stirling, Clackmannanshire & Dunblane, Aberdeen Central and Edinburgh Pentlands).

  44. Also, keep in mind the Greens didn’t stand here at the general election, so factoring that in this would probably be a swing from SNP to Conservative on the GE result!

  45. What’s interesting is that Labour are performing better in Scottish local government by elections than opinion polls that have generally indicated a Labour peak at the General Election. All Scottish polls (Westminster and Holyrood) since the general election have indicated an SNP lead, as have 22 of the 24 subsamples of UK polls, yet local by elections would suggest a Labour lead.

    Either the polls are under estimating the Labour vote or Labour could be polling stronger in Lanarkshire and Glasgow. This would be consistent with the pattern at the general election where Labour increased from 25 to 27% but increased their vote share significantly in seats in Lanarkshire and Glasgow while their vote fell back in the constituencies covering Ayrshire and Clackmannanshire.

  46. @ Dalek – you’re going to trust the 10% margin of error with those subsamples for Labour? That’s totally nuts and unreliable!

  47. And the lack of weighting etc. etc. We’ve been through why subsamples are useless before.

  48. Labour have all but given up hope of holding here.

  49. Margaret Ferrier suspended from the whip after she used public transport and appeared in the HoC chamber after a positive Covid test.

    Correct decision, made quickly by the SNP. I’m just stunned that anyone would be that keen on travelling the length of the country to go to work, to be honest.

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