NB- PLEASE SEE IMPORTANT UPDATE AT THE END OF THIS POST
I have finished running notional figures for the Scottish boundary commission’s initial proposals for new Parliamentary boundaries in Scotland. Unlike in England, the topline results in terms of seats lost, gained and overall partisan impact is pretty much identical to that suggested by the rough-and-ready approach of assuming a uniform distribution of the vote throughout seats that the FT provided straight after they were released.
Overall, the Conservatives notionally lose one seat (their only one in Scotland), Labour notionally lose 3 seats, the Lib Dems lose three seats, and the SNP’s total is unchanged. This brings the total partisan effect of the boundary changes in England and Scotland to the Conservatives losing 6 seats, Labour 21 seats, and the Liberal Democrats 10 seats, with only Wales still to go.
The current Conservative seat of Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale gaines Dumfries itself (losing rural areas), making into a Labour seat and losing the only Conservative seat in Scotland. Note, however, that by losing Dumfries, the current Dumfries & Galloway seat (which becomes Galloway & Carrick) becomes
substantially more Conservative, meaning Labour’s majority over the Tories there will be only 414. notionally Conservative: see correction at the end of the article.
The Liberal Democrats see two seats abolished – Gordon is divided up between Banff & Buchan and West Aberdeenshire (now renamed Deeside and Gordon), Charlie Kennedy’s Ross, Skye and Lochaber was almost a certainty to be abolished given its position and undersized electorate, and indeed it has been. The third loss is Jo Swinson’s East Dunbartonshire, which as East Dunbartonshire and Kilsyth becomes a notionally Labour seat.
Labour lose five seats (the notional gains from the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats giving them a net loss of three). The disappearing seats are Central Ayrshire (split between North Ayrshire & Arran and Kyle & Cumnock), Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East (split between Cumbernauld & Coatbridge North and East Dunbartonshire & Kilsyth), Edinburgh East (the new Edinburgh East seat contains more of Edinburgh South than Edinburgh East), Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath (Gordon Brown’s seat, which is merged into Glenrothes… though given Gordon Brown will likely stand down Lindsay Roy shouldn’t face many problems) and Glasgow North (the seat of Ann McKechin – shadow Scottish secretary until this month).
Below is an updated spreadsheet of notional results, now including England and Scotland. All the usual caveats about notional results apply – these are a best guess at who would have won seats in 2010 if people’s votes had been counted on the new boundaries. It is NOT an attempt to predict what would happen in an election now, nor is it an attempt to predict how people would have actually voted in an election in 2010 on these boundaries, as some people’s tactical voting decisions would have been different.
I should also point out that Scotland posed some particular problems because of the split wards, and more problematically, the lack of data on the existing split wards (for wards that are currently split between seats there are no easily available figures on what proportion of voters in the ward are in which existing seat). I’ve used what information I can to tackle the second problem, such as reviews of polling places and so on.
UPDATE: Many thanks to FrankG in the comments in a later post, who has spotted an error in my original calculations. I’ve uploaded a fresh spreadsheet that corrects the errors. The changes effect some wards that are currently in a single seat, but are divided in the proposed plans. Most of the changes are relatively minor, but an important change is that the corrected figures have Galloway & Carrick as a notionally Conservative seat, rather than a Labour seat. Hence the overall projected change for Scotland becomes Conservatives unchanged, Labour down 4, Lib Dems down 3 and SNP unchanged.