Stirling

2015 Result:
Conservative: 12051 (23.1%)
Labour: 13303 (25.5%)
Lib Dem: 1392 (2.7%)
SNP: 23783 (45.6%)
Green: 1606 (3.1%)
MAJORITY: 10480 (20.1%)

Category: Safe SNP seat

Geography: Scotland, Mid Scotland and Fife. The whole of the Stirling council area.

Main population centres: Stirling, Dunblane, Bridge of Allan, Bannockburn, Doune, Callander, Aberfoyle, Drymen, Killearn, Inverardran.

Profile: Consists of the small city of Stirling and the neighbouring towns and villages, the fertile agricultural land around it and a wide expanse of desolate mountains stretching to the north west. This is a affluent area and a popular commuter area, it also contains the University of Stirling. Tourism is important for the local economy given the important historical associations of the area, the National Wallace monument is in the seat and the Battle of Bannockburn occured in the large village of the same name just to the south of Stirling itself. The seat also contains Dunblane, the site of an infamous school massacre in 1996.

Politics: This was once a Conservative seat, held narrowly in 1987 and 1992 by Michael Forsyth, later to become Scottish Secretary. He was one of the Conservative cabinet ministers who lost their seats on election night 1997 and the Conservatives are even further behind now than their were then. In the similar Scottish Parliament constituency the SNP have comprehensively overtaken the Conservatives as the challenger to Labour and now hold the seat, in 2015 they took the Westminster seat too.


Current MP
STEVEN PATERSON (SNP) Born Stirling. Educated at Stirling High School and Stirling University. Stirling councillor since 2007. First elected as MP for Stirling in 2015.
Past Results
2010
Con: 11254 (24%)
Lab: 19558 (42%)
LDem: 6797 (15%)
SNP: 8091 (17%)
Oth: 1141 (2%)
MAJ: 8304 (18%)
2005
Con: 10962 (25%)
Lab: 15729 (36%)
LDem: 9052 (21%)
SNP: 5503 (13%)
Oth: 2445 (6%)
MAJ: 4767 (11%)
2001*
Con: 8901 (25%)
Lab: 15175 (42%)
LDem: 4208 (12%)
SNP: 5877 (16%)
Oth: 1769 (5%)
MAJ: 6274 (17%)
1997
Con: 13971 (33%)
Lab: 20382 (48%)
LDem: 2675 (6%)
SNP: 5752 (13%)
MAJ: 6411 (15%)

2015 Candidates
STEPHEN KERR (Conservative)
JOHANNA BOYD (Labour) Born Falkirk. Barrister. Stirling councillor since 2012, Leader of Stirling council since 2013.
ELISABETH WILSON (Liberal Democrat)
MARK RUSKELL (Green) Born 1972. Stirling councillor since 2012. Contested Stirling 2001, 2010. MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife 2003-2007.
STEVEN PATERSON (SNP) Born Stirling. Educated at Stirling High School and Stirling University. Stirling councillor since 2007.
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Comments - 108 Responses on “Stirling”
  1. East Dunbartonshire is interesting because before the multi member STV wards the Conservatives had nothing in the 10 Bearsden & Milngavie single member wards that was completely Lib Dem.

    The Conservatives became stronger in the former Strathkelvin part of the council area (parts of Bishopbriggs and Lenzie) than in the former Bearsden & Milngavie.

  2. So for the time being Argyll & Bute and East Dunbartonshire are out of reach for the Conservatives in my opinion. I also believe (without much research which I will look into nearer the time) that the SNP will take the most seats in Angus and that Independents take the most councillors in Moray. Stirling is a difficult one: although I’ve said that the Conservatives will take the most councillors here, it’s very possible that the SNP will take more.

  3. Here is my current guestimate for Scotland (largest party in brackets):
    Aberdeen City……………………….NOC (Scottish National)
    Aberdeenshire………………………NOC (Conservative)
    Angus……………………………………NOC (Scottish National)
    Argyll and Bute……………………..NOC (Independent)
    City of Edinburgh………………….NOC (Conservative)
    Clackmannanshire……………….NOC (Scottish National)
    Dumfries and Galloway………..NOC (Conservative)
    Dundee City………………………….Scottish National
    East Ayrshire………………………..NOC (Scottish National)
    East Dunbartonshire…………….NOC (Scottish National)
    East Lothian………………………….NOC (Scottish National)
    East Renfrewshire…………………NOC (Conservative)
    Falkirk……………………………………NOC (Scottish National)
    Fife………………………………………..NOC (Scottish National)
    Glasgow City…………………………Scottish National
    Highland……………………………….NOC (Independent)
    Inverclyde……………………………..NOC (Scottish National)
    Midlothian……………………………..Scottish National
    Moray…………………………………….NOC (Independent)
    Na h-Eileanan Siar………………..Independent
    North Ayrshire……………………….NOC (Scottish National)
    North Lanarkshire…………………NOC (Scottish National)
    Orkney……………………………………Independent
    Perth and Kinross………………….NOC (Conservative)
    Renfrewshire…………………………NOC (Scottish National)
    Scottish Borders……………………NOC (Conservative)
    Shetland………………………………..Independent
    South Ayrshire………………………NOC (Conservative)
    South Lanarkshire…………………NOC (Scottish National)
    Stirling……………………………………NOC (Conservative)
    West Dunbartonshire…………….NOC (Scottish National)
    West Lothian………………………….NOC (Scottish National)

    It’s tricky and not perfect but there you go.

    Here are the changes:
    NOC +3
    SNP +1
    Lab -4
    Ind =

    I could see the SNP taking overall control in some traditional Labour heartlands such as Inverclyde, North Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire and West Dunbartonshire to be honest.

    Change in largest party:
    SNP +9
    Con +6
    Ind +1
    Lab -16 (all)

    Most of Labour’s traditional heartlands flip over to the SNP, and conversely most of the SNP’s northern heartlands flip over to the Tories.

  4. I was watching the 1979 on YouTube and the impression that I got is that Labour effectively defeated the SNP as the main party being perceived as standing up for Scotland from a soft Scottish nationalist perspective and the SNP never really got back to their late 1970’s position in Westminster terms until the period between the 2014 Indyref and the 2015 General Election.

    Effectively Labour took the soft nationalist vote and it is not until this century that the concept emerged that these people had returned to the SNP at Holyrood elections but voted Labour at Westminster (this period being 2007 to 2015).

    Scotland started moving to Labour in 1959 but this was down to the higher proportion of industrial constituencies in Scotland and the seats that the Conservatives were losing from 1959 to the mid 70’s to Labour were the kinds of seats that they lost in the industrial North of England.

    1979 was quite different. Labour emerged as the Scottish party rather than previously being the party of the urban Scottish working class. The remained in that position at Westminster ever since but that came to an end in 2015.

    Here are the Conservative loses and failure to regain previously safe and bell weather seats from 1959 to 1979.

    1959

    Labour Gains Ayrshire Central, Glasgow Craigton, Glasgow Scotstoun and Lanark.

    1970

    Labour Gains Hamilton and Glasgow Pollok and Holds former bell weather marginals of Berwickshire & East Lothian, Glasgow Kelvingrove, Glasgow Woodside, Renfrewshire West and Rutherglen. The only Labour loss was Donald Dewar’s defeat in Aberdeen South (which had been as safe Conservative seat until 1966).

    1979

    Labour Gains Glasgow Cathcart, Clackmannan & East Stirlingshire and East Dunbartonshire (SNP Gain from Con in Oct 1974). Constituencies like Edinburgh North, Edinburgh Pentlands and Edinburgh South and Glasgow Hillhead become key Labour target seats for the next election for the first time.

    Here is a list of all the constituencies the Conservatives have ever gained or regained from Labour from 1959 onwards.

    1967
    Glasgow Pollok By Election

    1970
    Aberdeen South

    Feb 1974
    Berwickshire & East Lothian and *Dunbartonshire East (though the creation of DunbartonshireCentral may have meant that the new boundaries were notionally Tory).
    1983
    Cunningham North and Renfrew West & Inverclyde

    1992
    Aberdeen South

    2000
    Ayr Scottish Parliament By Election

    2003
    Edinburgh Pentlands (Scottish Parliament)

    2005
    Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale & Tweeddale

    2016
    Dumfriesshire and Eastwood (Scottish Parliament).

  5. These were Conservative Gains from the SNP.

    I was listing Conservative Gains from Labour.

    The Conservatives also in this period re-gained a cluster of former Tory seats gained by the SNP in Feb or Oct 1974 in 1979 and Galloway & Upper Nithsdale (Westminster and Holyrood)

  6. For the time being it’s extremely unlikely that the Conservatives will be gaining an MP in Glasgow: some of the more suburban wards around the city did vote against Scottish independence (wards such as Baillieston, Hillhead, Langside and Pollokshields) however the vote in such areas tended to be around the Scottish average of 55% No, with the only real exception being Partick West (where I believe the No side took over 60% of the vote).

    The more unionist/affluent parts of the city tend to be disjointed and surrounded by deprived areas and the only reasonably “unionist” constituency that can be created in Glasgow would be one based in East Dunbartonshire, slipping down Temple to cover Partick West.

  7. Technically you could also join Rutherglen South or Cambuslang West up with East Kilbride West and Eastwood to form a decent Conservative constituency, which is probably the closest thing the Conservatives can get to a viable target in Rutherglen.

  8. As for Cunninghame North/Renfrewshire West:

    There’s still a decent Tory vote in parts of Inverclyde, North Ayrshire and Renfrewshire – though it’s pretty much impossible to join them together. The SNP strongholds of Greenock, Port Glasgow and Johnstone block out the Tory bits of North Ayrshire from the Tory bits of Renfrewshire, and today it’s impossible to recreate the Cunninghame North and Renfrewshire West constituencies of old due to a reduction in the number of constituencies covered across Scotland.

  9. If in 1983 Glasgow Cathcart had been composed of different wards so that it only included Aikenhead, Newlands and Kings Park and Pollokshaws, Linn Park and Castlemilk were all excluded and instead Pollokshields, Shawlands and Queens Park (Strathbungo, Langside and Battlefield) wards had been included the Conservatives would have won in 1983.

    On these boundaries, the Conservatives may also have outpolled Labour in Glasgow Cathcart last May….obviously still miles behind the SNP.

  10. Liverpool Mosley Hill had a notional Conservative 1979 majority of over 9000 and Liverpool Broad Green had a 1979 notional Conservative majority of over 300. Liverpool Garston on the other hand became a notional Labour seat.

    In the even…both Mosley Hill and Broad Green were lost by over 3000. The Conservatives then went massively behind in these seats in 1987.

    Given there was a large swing to the Conservatives in 1983 the relative swing to Labour in Liverpool was massive.

  11. There was a big drop in population in Liverpool between 1979 and 1983 and also 1987. It’s likely the vast majority of the people moving out to the countryside at that time were Tory voters.

  12. Regarding the Boundary Review:

    As expected there was a big outcry at the proposed “Kinross-shire and Cowdenbeath” constituency. A good majority of public responses support the counter-proposal to join the rural south of Perth & Kinross up with the rural north of Stirling. Having reviewed this carefully I believe that there is a chance that these proposals could go through.

    Here is my proposed boundaries for the area in question (Clackmannanshire; Dumfries & Galloway; Falkirk; Fife; North Lanarkshire; Perth & Kinross; Scottish Borders and South Lanarkshire council areas):

    Map- http://i.imgur.com/w4EFqhr.jpg

    These proposals would resolve two major areas of response from the public consultation period, that is the division of Airdrie between two constituencies and the joining of southern Perth and Kinross up with Fife. It would also allow for the town of Motherwell and for the town of Hamilton to fit within a single constituency (rather than being split between two constituencies as was previously suggested).

    At the 2016 Scottish Parliament election the proposed Stirling North & South Perthshire and Dumfries & Galloway constituencies likely voted Conservative, with Clydesdale & Eskdale narrowly voting SNP.

  13. To clarify these boundaries avoid Hamilton being split in two and also avoid Motherwell being split in two: under the proposals they form two different constituencies (Hamilton & Carluke for Hamilton and Motherwell & Shotts for Motherwell).

  14. Stirling North & South Perthshire sketchy notionals.

    2014 independence referendum:
    66% NO
    34% YES

    2016 Scottish Parliament election:
    Con 39%
    SNP 39%
    Lab 15%
    Lib 6%
    Ind 1%

  15. NTY UK,

    Those boundaries make sense to me, but the boundaries for “Stirling North & South Perthshire” and “Clackmannanshire & West Fife” both go against the tradition of linking up rural areas around the Central Belt with urban areas, usually under the rationale that people from the rural areas shop in the urban areas.

    The proposed boundaries seem to be the best way of keeping up that tradition that I could see, short of doing something like putting South Perthshire in with Glenrothes, which would cause just as much outcry.

    The cynic in me thinks that there’s just not enough solid SNP/ex-Labour areas to go round in the Central Belt to maintain traditional Scottish democracy…

  16. The “Clydesdale & Eksdale” boundaries also suffer from the same flaw. Can’t you find some way to put Hamilton or Motherwell in there? Or, even better, 1/4 of Hamilton, 1/4 of Motherwell, and 1/4 of Coatbridge?

  17. Maybe 1/10th of Cumbernauld, to reflect the commuting that some people in Lanark might do there?

  18. @ Bill Patrick – oh that would be horrendous! My preference is to avoid splitting up towns which could otherwise fit into a single constituency. Clydesdale is a large rural area where the main town could be described as Hamilton or East Kilbride, the numbers mean that the area has to join Annandale in Dumfries & Galloway.

  19. Depending on how the boundaries are arranged we could be looking at up to 10 Conservative targets in Scotland:
    1. Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk
    2. Dumfries and Galloway
    3. Edinburgh South
    4. Stirling North and South Perthshire
    5. Clydesdale and Eskdale
    6. Ayr and Carrick
    7. Gordon and Deeside
    8. Eastwood and Loudoun
    9. Kincardine and North Angus
    10. Aberdeen South

    You may notice that I’ve changed the order around a bit: it’s because there has been a significant outcry at the division of Banchory from the rest of Deeside (Banchory moving into Angus East & Kincardine and the rest of Deeside moving into Gordon & Deeside). Based on this I believe that the Boundary Commission will move the town and it’s surrounding areas into Gordon & Deeside which will mean adjusting the boundaries in Angus East & Kincardine to meet the quota, moving Arbroath in with Dundee East and Forfar and Kirriemuir in with Kincardine, Montrose and Brechin. These changes make sense as their are better road links between Kirriemuir and Kincardine, with a more argiculture, whereas Broughty Ferry, Monifieth, Carnoustie and Arbroath are all coastal resorts well-linked by the A92, with strong ties between Carnoustie and Arbroath. This would also align the boundaries more better with the existing Scottish Parliamentary boundaries in the area, which is a consideration for the Boundary Commission in Scotland.

    Here’s a map of how I think they’ll do it (where black lines represent ward splits): http://i.imgur.com/6MylnMF.jpg

    The political repursussons of this move are significant as Banchory was the best area for the No campaign in the North East of Scotland outside of Aberdeen’s West End: the town has a solid Conservative vote, when moved into Gordon and Deeside this makes the constituency a very likely Conservative gain not unlike the existing West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine constituency. In the Kincardine & North Angus seat the removal of Banchory is off-set by the removal of Abroath, which is a solid SNP area which voted Yes back in 2014. Adding the rural communities of Forfar and Kirriemuir then brings the total No vote in the constituency to around 61-62% (an improvement on the previous 60% No vote on the other boundaries). This again makes this constituency a much better prospect for the Conservatives to gain.

    I’ve renamed Edinburgh South West and Central to Edinburgh South as I firmly believe Ian Murray’s counter-proposal to move Southside/Newington into Edinburgh South West & Central and City Centre into Edinburgh South East will pass. This constituency would become completely suburban, with virtually no deprivation and a significant 70% No vote in 2014. Based no the 2016 Holyrood election this seat would actually be a Conservative-Labour marginal (not SNP)!

  20. NTY UK,

    My comments above should be read as if they’re in the bitter tones of someone who is projecting his problems with the fairer sex onto politics! 😀

    I think that your boundaries make a lot of sense. I actually like the idea of separating rural and urban areas, especially if this means keeping big towns together.

    Your boundaries for “North Stirling & South Perthshire” are those that I’ve long felt make sense (I’ve spent most of my life in that area) but I couldn’t see a way to make them work with the other surrounding areas, given the continguous boundaries constraint. However, you’ve found a way to make it work, as far as I can tell.

  21. On a personal note, it’s very ironic that Scottish politics shifted towards the SNP and the Tories (the two parties I’ve voted for the most over the years) exactly during the period that I started living in England…

  22. Yes the only problem with the proposed constituency is that the Castle ward would be in a different constituency from Stirling West and Stirling East. At this point a split in Stirling is inevitable, so from my perspective this is the most logical way of going about it.

    My proposed Stirling North & South Perthshire constituency was not of my own making, it was created in response to the substantial response from members of the public during the consultation period of the interim boundaries which clearly expressed a desire for Dunblane and the rural parts of Stirlingshire to be in the same constituency as southern Perth and Kinross over moving the south of Perth and Kinross in with parts of Fife.

    I hope that the Boundary Commission adopt similar boundaries to the ones I have proposed, but I have little faith in their incompetence and lack of properly engaging with members of the public.

  23. Also that’s interesting: if you don’t mind me asking where are you from in Perthshire/Stirling?

  24. “On a personal note, it’s very ironic that Scottish politics shifted towards the SNP and the Tories (the two parties I’ve voted for the most over the years) exactly during the period that I started living in England…”

    😛 You should move back and vote for the right one 😉

  25. The Trossachs and Teith ward, but I know the whole area (and a lot of the Central Belt!) well from school sports. The Stirling constituency is like a montage of the different bits of Scotland:

    Rural commuter (Strathendrick, T&T to a lesser extent)

    Non-industrial rural communities (T&T, except Deanston)

    Suburban (Dunblane and Bridge of Allan)

    Richer urban (Parts of Stirling, particularly in the west around Holy Trinity Church etc.)

    Poorer urban (Traditionally the Raploch, but now far mainly the Top of the Town, Braehead, and St. Ninians)

    Rural post-industrial (Cowie, Fallin etc.)

    It’s no surprise to me that the SNP, Labour, and Tories all poll over 20% here. It’s too heterogenous an area for one party to totally dominate.

    Clackmannshire is a similar mix, but Alloa is much less of a self-contained city than Stirling.

  26. Deanston is a distillery town, so it’s not your typical rural industrial area. And it’s not post-industrial, so it’s very different from somewhere like Plean or Tillicoultry. It just stands out a bit in the Trossachs e.g. from the fact that there’s a big factory in the middle of it and just about the only shops are a Post Office & Co-Op. Even that’s partly because it’s within walking distance of Doune…

  27. Interesting analogy there Bill, thank you very much!

    Yes Stirling has some interesting contrasts which almost perfectly align with the M9 and the River Forth.

    It’s not unlike Perth and Kinross in that respect with some deprivation in the urban south-west of Stirling (in particular around Raploch, southern Stirling and the adjacent villages of Cowie, Fallin and Plean), and more affluence out in the rural parts of the council and the outer suburbs of Bridge of Allan and Dunblane.

    Do you feel that the rural parts of the council have more in common with the city of Stirling or rural Perthshire?

    It’s funny because in my area the opposite is true, with more post-industrial deprivation out in the more rural areas and more affluence in the suburban parts of Ayr, Prestwick and Troon. A lot of people I know think that Ayr, Prestwick and Troon is identifiably different to the rest of the council and that this justifies having our own separate council area from the rural parts of South Ayrshire, I was wondering if there’s a similar sentiment in your area given the apparent demographic divide.

  28. South-east* of Stirling sorry.

  29. I think that the rural/urban distinction in the Stirling council area is fading as the rural areas are in relative decline and more middle-class public sector commuters move into rural areas who aren’t very different from those in somewhere like Riverside or Dunblane.

    The difference was more stark when I was growing up and it would have been VERY stark in 1983. Similarly, somewhere like Comrie and somewhere like Doune would have had more in common in 1983 than in 2017.

    However, if you go out of the rural villages and into the countryside, then you will find a lot more similarities between the Trossachs/Strathendrick and South Perthshire. Similarly, places like Strathyre or Crianlarich really aren’t that different from some of the (relatively!) poorer bits of North Perthshire.

    I should also add that my familiarity with places like Comrie and Crieff is about 20 years out of date. I remember them as extremely prosperous and self-contained, without a sense of being commuter towns at all, but they might have more of a dorm-town feel now. And there were some areas e.g. Dunning which seemed to be dissolving as communities even back in the 1990s…

    Additionally, there’s nowhere in Strathendrick/the Trossachs to compare to somewhere like Braehead or Fallin. So, overall, I’d say that there is a closer fit between South Pertshire and North Stirling.

  30. Thank you Bill, your contributors are absolutely fantastic!

    Yes I would say Crieff is still quite isolated from the City of Perth, although a commuter culture is slowly developing in the area.

    There does seem to be a significant amount of commuting between Perth and Dundee oddly enough. Similarly I would say that there are a lot of commuters travelling from Stirling and its surrounding suburbs to Edinburgh and Glasgow.

  31. Dalek – that’s untrue re Lpool. The large swings to Labour actually occurred in 1987 onwards, not 1983. Indeed in the seat you mention, Labour MP Eddie Loyden achieved a lower % of the vote in 1983 – in a better seat for him – than he managed in in Oct ’74. All he managed in 1983 was to almost cancel out the 5% swing to the Tories in his seat which took place in 1979.

    Con Est – JJB has posted previously in detail on this. He created a Tory seat in Lpool until 1987 (just by putting Woolton, Allerton, Childwall etc in the same ward and taking out Speke). From memory it was even possible to create a marginal Lab/Con seat up until 1992 but that would have involved adding Roby from Knowsley [although not unthinkable given the now Lpool/Knowsley seat of G&H.]

    The 9% swing to the Cons in Huyton in 1979 is the one that stands out from that era and County though.

  32. ‘The large swings to Labour actually occurred in 1987 onwards, not 1983. Indeed in the seat you mention, ‘

    Whilst that may well be true, Liverpool’s drift away from the Tories definitely started in 1983, as demonstrated by the fact they managed to lose Garston to Labour (albeit on ever so modestly revised boundaries) in an election in which they almost wiped Labour off the map

    Many of my Liverpool-supporting Scouse friends joke that they wished Thatcher was still in power, being that their golden era (they were without question the best tream in the country throughout her 11 years in charge) coincided with her premiership. As soon as she went, they ceased being the best team in England and despite a fair share of false dawns haven’t really come close ever since

  33. NTY UK,

    On Comrie and Crieff: I have very fond memories of these areas. I remember that an outdoor centre near Comrie was just about the best place in the world when I was about 4/5 years old. Loch Earn is also a little paradise: a quieter, cuter, and less spoilt version of Loch Lomond.

    In fact, Stirling council is full of great tourist areas that are superior and cheaper substitutes for other parts of Scotland, IMO. Stirling has a great castle and museum (the Wallace Monument) but at a better price than Edinburgh. The Trossachs is akin to Loch Lomond, but cheaper and quieter. The backpacking culture is similar to around Fort William, but again everything is quieter and cheaper. And every village west of Dunblane has at least a few hours of things to do. The relative decline of this area is sad, in some respects, but for those in the know, it’s a bit of a hidden treasure.

    There also hidden treasures up west of Fort William e.g. Arisaig, Mallaig, and Glenfinnan. I’m also a big fan of the Lochinver area: Achiltibuie, Culkein, Handa Island etc. Little paradises that I seem to value far more than most of the people in the world, so they’re all very cheap for the pleasure I get.

    Anyway, I sound like an overexcited travel agent… 😀

    On Perth and Dundee: I get a sense that they almost form a kind of city in themselves, given how easy it is to travel from one to the other.

    For my father’s generation, the history of Dundee has made a big political impression. He grew up in Dundee in the 1950s and 1960s, and its relative decline since then pushed him from being a Tory/Labour voter to a very solid SNP voter.

    “Similarly I would say that there are a lot of commuters travelling from Stirling and its surrounding suburbs to Edinburgh and Glasgow.”

    Absolutely. One of Stirling’s key attractions is that it’s not only an economically vibrant city in itself, but it also has great commuting links to both big cities. This is one reason that you see a lot of professional couples in Stirling.

    The main downside is that (at least when I was growing up) the state schools had an extremely bad reputation, and so a lot of middle-class families end up sending their kids to Dollar Academy or one of the other private schools. Or moving for a while into one of the Dunblane/Balfron/McLaren catchment areas, depending on what’s most affordable.

    In contrast, Balfron and McLaren are classic rural Scottish state schools: big catchment areas, extreme social diversity (I knew the children of millionares and aristocrats, as well as an orphan who had heroin scars on his arms from the age of 12 and always wore long jumpers even in the middle of summer) a mix of the prescriptive bits of left-wing and right-wing ideologies, and an extremely strong sense of social conformity. Good times, bad times…

  34. Tim Jones – it did not (Tories decline, “definitely started in 1983”).

    The decline in Liverpool occurred both before (in the ’60s and ’70s in particular with the decline of the Orange Tory vote reducing the Tories from the majority of MPs in Lpool to a minority) and in the late ’80s and 1990s in particular with depopulaton.

    In 1979 there was a swing to the Tories in Liverpool, with over 100,000 voting Conservative. In 1983, 80,000 voted Tory in Lpool. Not much of a drop at all taking account of those who died and left the city. Indeed in 1983, Lpool still had a Tory MEP and over 20 City Cllrs. Throughout Merseyside there wasn’t a huge decline in the Tory vote until 4-6 years later – with Tory majorities increasing in Crosby etc – it was largely that the SLD vote declined and went to Labour.

  35. Indeed an often over looked fact is that the Labour vote did not increase in Liverpool in 1983. 127,000 voted Labour in 1979 and did so again in 1983.

    I think people just assume it did because of the notional gain.

    This surprised me given the decline in the Labour vote in 1979 from 1974 in the city in both numbers and swing. But its just further evidence of the decline in population of the city at the time (and the decline in turnout in ’83).

  36. Predicting the SNP will hold this seat based on the Scottish polling averages.

    Prediction (as of 25th April 2017)

    SNP: 41% (-5)
    Con: 37.1% (+14.1)
    Lab: 16.7% (-9.3)
    LD: 0.7% (-2)
    Green: 3.9% (+0.9)

    Predicted Maj of 3.9% (-17%)

    *This is based on predicted national vote shares of 29% Con, 45% SNP, 15% Lab, 5.5% LDem, 2.25% Green.

    So if these averages change, so would my prediction accordingly.

  37. I think the Conservatives have a realistic chance of taking this seat.

  38. If the Tories aren’t doing well in many other seats due to tactical voting (Edinburgh South, NE Fife etc.) or pure unpopularity (Glasgow etc.) then this is the sort of seat where they might be getting significantly more then UNS.

  39. [email protected] the conservatives could equally pile up votes in Lanarkshire in hopeless seats. They won three list seats in the Central Scotland Region (Lanarkshire and Falkirk) last May. In 1979 the Conservatives achieved huge swings in East London in ultra safe Labour seats that only resulted in them becoming safe Labour seats.

  40. This seat had a big Remain vote and has a fairly resilient SNP vote so I would expect an average swing at best to the Tories here relative to elsewhere in Scotland.

    Picking up on Dalek’s point it looks like the Conservatives will be experiencing their strongest swings in the North East of Scotland: which should be relatively good for them as they have a number of target seats in that region based on the 2016 Holyrood election results (Aberdeen South, Angus, Gordon, Moray and West Aberdeenshire & Kincardine). After that the Borders and Ayrshire should return good swings for the party based on the EU referendum results: if the party are up enough in the polls then they have a slim chance of gaining Ayr, Carrick & Cumnock and Central Ayrshire, which might suit them. There was also a decent Leave vote in Clackmannanshire which is situated in Ochil & South Perthshire, a constituency roughly comparable to Stirling. Certainly their vote could go up in places like Caithness, Western Isles, Falkirk, Livingston and Glenrothes where there was a decent Leave vote but no chance of a Conservative gain, but it does look as though they’ll mostly do better than universal swing in the places where it counts (Ayrshire, the Borders, the North East and Perthshire).

    Two less predictable regions are East Renfrewshire and Edinburgh, which both house some Conservative targets (East Renfrewshire, Edinburgh South West and Edinburgh South at a push) but had a massive Remain vote.

  41. NTY,

    Central Ayrshire? I assume that is a mistake as SNP are 1/100 to retain that seat.
    Strictly there is no evidence that suggests where the largest swings would occur to the Conservatives. I think this remain/leave route is overplayed and after all the Conservatives leader Ruth Davidson is a fervent remainer.
    On the leave front, I voted leave as did some of my friends and family. Are we going to vote Conservative? No, we are voting SNP. Oh and by the way I stay in Central Ayrshire.

  42. @ Scottyboy –
    2016 notional for Central Ayrshire:
    SNP 46
    CON 31
    LAB 21
    LD 2

    Based on the polls the Conservatives are guaranteed to poll quite comfortably ahead in Prestwick and Troon and tie with the SNP in Kyle. Irvine had a very good Leave vote relative to the rest of Scotland, and Labour have held up their reasonably relative to the rest of Ayrshire. If the Conservatives can move up enough in Irvine then there is a chance of a gain here, although it is very slim.

    Where are you from in Central Ayrshire? I’m from Ayr 🙂

  43. NTY UK,

    I’m not sure how important Brexit will be in June in Scotland.

    Additionally, if there’s strong tactical voting against the SNP in seats like Edinburgh South and NE Fife, then why not the Central Belt, where Labour are the only possible challengers to the SNP? Why would Tories only stop voting tactically in the seats where they have >15% of the vote?

  44. I don’t think that anyone is sure of that one Bill. I don’t understand what you’re saying??

  45. My basic point is that I suspect that there will be more Labour-to-Tory switchers here than elsewhere.

    I actually doubt that it would be enough for the Tories to win, because I also suspect that Labour-to-SNP switching since 2015 will be strong here, and the SNP has mopped up a substantial ABT vote.

  46. According to John Curtice over half of Leave voters from 2016 in Scotland intend to vote Conservative.

    As I’ve suggested Labour voters, Leave voters and Unionist voters will be the main targets of the Conservatives in this election campaign in Scotland.

  47. I am from Irvine, went to the same school as Nicola Sturgeon though a good bit before her!
    Scotland voted 62-38 remain, so 19% of that leave total intend to vote Conservative plus who knows from the remain part. Is there a great significance to this and is it likely to have a direct seat changing bearing on June 8th? About a third of SNP supporters allegedly voted leave. Are they all going to vote Conservative?

    Tactical unionist votes as you suggest and I strongly agree with will be route one for the Tories but opinion polls in the last few days suggest Labour voters may be harder to budge.

  48. I meant half of that leave total intend to vote Conservative not 19%.

  49. It looks like the Conservatives are now the principal opposition in the Constituency.

    Last week, out of the seven wards in the District, Conservative Candidates topped the poll of first preferences in five of them and were a respectable second in East Ward and Bannockburn.

    In Trossachs & Teith, Forth and Endrick, and Dunblane & Bridge of Allan, each elected Conservative Candidates.

    Taking account of the fact that the Local Government Register with its EU voters is marginally more favourable to the SNP and Lib Dems than the Parliamentary Register.the seat could go Blue again on June 8th

  50. “Taking account of the fact that the Local Government Register with its EU voters…”

    And, in Scotland, 16- and 17-year-olds.

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