The UKPollingReport election guide for 2010 has now been archived and all comments will shortly be closed. The new Election Guide for the 2015 election is now online at http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/2015guide. The old site is archived at the UK Web Archive.
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Falkirk

2010 Results:
Conservative: 5698 (11.22%)
Labour: 23207 (45.7%)
Liberal Democrat: 5225 (10.29%)
SNP: 15364 (30.26%)
UKIP: 1283 (2.53%)
Majority: 7843 (15.44%)

2005 Results:
Labour: 23264 (50.9%)
SNP: 9789 (21.4%)
Liberal Democrat: 7321 (16%)
Conservative: 4538 (9.9%)
Other: 838 (1.8%)
Majority: 13475 (29.5%)

Boundary changes prior to 2005 election: Name of seat changed from Falkirk West.

2001 Result
Conservative: 2321 (7.5%)
Labour: 16022 (51.9%)
Liberal Democrat: 2203 (7.1%)
SNP: 7490 (24.2%)
Other: 2855 (9.2%)
Majority: 8532 (27.6%)

1997 Result
Conservative: 4639 (12.1%)
Labour: 22772 (59.3%)
Liberal Democrat: 1970 (5.1%)
SNP: 8989 (23.4%)
Majority: 13783 (35.9%)

No Boundary Changes:

Profile:

portraitCurrent MP: Eric Joyce(Labour) (more information at They work for you)

2010 election candidates:
portraitKatie Mackie (Conservative)
portraitEric Joyce(Labour) (more information at They work for you)
portraitKieran Leach (Liberal Democrat)
portraitJohn McNally (SNP) Falkirk councillor since 2005.
portraitBrian Goldie (UKIP)

2001 Census Demographics

Total 2001 Population: 101178
Male: 48.4%
Female: 51.6%
Under 18: 23.3%
Over 60: 20.2%
Born outside UK: 2.1%
White: 98.9%
Asian: 0.7%
Other: 0.2%
Christian: 65.8%
Muslim: 0.6%
Graduates 16-74: 15.3%
No Qualifications 16-74: 32.9%
Owner-Occupied: 61.2%
Social Housing: 32.1% (Council: 29.2%, Housing Ass.: 2.9%)
Privately Rented: 3.1%
Homes without central heating and/or private bathroom: 2.8%

NB - The constituency guide is now archived and is no longer being updated. The new guide is at http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/2015guide

178 Responses to “Falkirk”

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  1. But surely any Labour candidate will do better than Joyce , who has been costing them votes, unless they run their campaign really atrociously?

    Bit like the ‘anti-Thatcher’ unwind in Scotland in 1992 when Tories actually gained seats (if you ignore what happened later!).

  2. ‘but on the other hand there’s more than sufficient evidence that Joyce has been holding down the Labour vote for a long time.’

    On the face of it Joyce would seem like an ideal Labour candidate with his military background bring him a certain gravitas that many of their colleagues lack

    I do think people are going a little over the top with their condemnation of Joyce

    Compared to MP’s in the last Parliament, about half of whom fleeced the taxpayer at every given opportunity (and many of whom are still in the House – Hazel Blears for example), wacking a couple of Tories during a late-night (tax-payer subsidised of course) p*ss-up in the Commons seems like pretty small beer – no pun intended

  3. Tim – Joyce was one of those MPs who fleeced the taxpayer.

    I mind him rhetorically asking a journalist “Do you want us to shop in pound shops?” when challenged over, I think, a very expensive alarm clock. I wonder how many folk in Falkirk shop in pound shops because they can’t find jobs. It was a truly repellent thing to say.

  4. “Compared to MP’s in the last Parliament, about half of whom fleeced the taxpayer at every given opportunity (and many of whom are still in the House – Hazel Blears for example), ”

    Or Eric Joyce, for example

  5. Parliament is a better place without this man. For a man who has served in the Armed Forces he should be a fantastic MP but since the expenses scandal my opinion of him has got a great deal worse. Labour can do much better.

  6. “…wacking a couple of Tories during a late-night (tax-payer subsidised of course) p*ss-up in the Commons seems like pretty small beer…”

    He assaulted four people for God’s sake!

    The judge has said he will NOT impose a custodial sentence.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-17310549

  7. Sentence: £3,000 fine; 4 month curfew; barred from entering any bar for 12 months; £1,400 compensation. He’s continuing as an MP til 2015.

  8. A very lenient sentence I think which an ordinary member of the public would probably not have got away with.

  9. I assumed that Mr Joyce was to receive his resignation letter in the post some time soon, written by whoever has the Malcolm Tucker role within Labour at the moment.

  10. Its intresting that the bars are tax payer subsidised, they cant be very efficent, the prices in their are hardly cheap.

  11. I suspect that’s already happened. Labour were well aware he was guilty, because Phil Wilson was one of the ones assaulted, and you do not want that headline, so he must have been pressured to do the decent thing.

    I think Joyce just ignored this pressure. He’s not a team player and won’t be stepping into a new job outside parliament easily, so staying in and holding on to the money makes sense for him.

    Expect Labour to be the local party that attacks him most strongly, because now that he’s not associated with us there will be some spleen to vent, I should imagine.

  12. Being found guilty of a criminal offence should result in a automatic by-election. Kind of unfair on the people of Falkirk to have this guy for the next 3 years.

  13. I make Edward right, the local Labour group will be his strongest critics and rightly so.

  14. It will be interesting to see what happens in 2015, whether the poor soul who becomes the next Labour candidate takes the electoral punishment or not.

  15. Be brave Tim. Have the courage to say what you want to say.

    Although if being attacked by Sir Geoffrey Howe was “like being savaged by a dead sheep”, I can only imagine what being savaged by a Liberal Democrat would be like :-)

  16. It probably won’t be much of an issue by the time of the next election.

  17. It won’t be an issue at all by then. Even if Joyce were to stand again, which he won’t, he would still get elected.

    In 2015 Labour voters will ultimately want to get the Tories out, just as Tory voters will want to get the Tories in. Relatively small matters such as this one won’t mean a thing by then as most people don’t vote on those terms.

    Although it wasn’t a harsh sentence I don’t think it was a particularly lenient sentence either. A guilty plea knocks time off, he had previous good character (as an MP, that is generally assumed), first offence involving violence, remorse, personal problems/promise to tackle them etc etc. If I were to go out tonight and start a fight I seriously doubt I would end up in prison either to be honest.

  18. I am still very unhappy about an ordinary court judging any MPs actions in the precincts of Westminster. This case in my mind sets a very unhappy constitutional precedent, and as Mr. Joyce has pleaded guilty the issues will unfortuately go untested.

    And two specific points: –
    1. It is totally unacceptable for any court to impose a curfew if it prevents an MP from pursuing his elected duties. This would apply in particular to any attendance in the House of Commons itself (e.g. if there is an all-night sitting, fortunately rare these days) and also to any Committee meetings. I presume the sentence is worded to take such considerations into account, but I am less than confident without having seen the details.
    2. Whilst I think it would be unwise of Eric Joyce to go into any bar at present, in his own reported medical intersts, what if there is Commons business, formal or informal, in a bar in the House.

    I agree with Runeymede about the sentence. If the matter had been dealt with by the House of Commons, I trust their sentence would have been much more severe. For instance, if he had been suspended for a lengthy period, Joyce would have been docked a lot of money in pay, and indeed expenses.

    Is it now open for the House of Commons to act aginst Joyce for bringing the House into disrepute?

    Could I also make a separate point, returning to the issue of alcohol in workplaces, which the Commons is in effect? Having alcohol readily available in bars makes it very much harder to address the problems of somebody identified as alcoholic, The Commons should now seriously consider its position on the sale of alcohol at the Palace of Westminster.

    I don’t think this case will be much of an issue at the next General Election, if Joyce is not a candidate. And even if he were to stand I doubt whether he would now get a large number of votes.

  19. The curfew is from Friday to Sunday.

    And regarding the sentence, are there any examples of where a member of the public, or previous good character and no similar previous convictions, pleads guilty, shows remorse and gets a harsher sentence than this?

    The idea of a court not having power over MPs’ actions in Westminster have been tested in the past, which was why we have seen MPs charged and jailed over expenses fraud.

    Parliamentary privilege doesn’t generally extend to criminal matters, and the police have powers in most areas of the Westminster estate. The areas where they are not allowed are areas such as the Chambers themselves.

  20. I’m sorry Frederic but I consider all of what you have said to be over-legalistic & pompous. I don’t see why the constitution should make it possible for MPs to act in an illegal manner in the Palace of Westminster, and the idea that a bar in a location where almost everyone is an adult shouldn’t serve alcohol is totally ridiculous to me.

  21. We all know that a lot of informal business in organizations, including parliament, is done in their social areas. Restricitng Privilege to the Chamber itself is in my view unduly restrictive.

    I may sound pompous, but letting the judiciary and executive exercise power over MPs at Westminster gives potential for political abuse undermining democracy.

    Saying that MPs in the Palace of Westminster should have privilege certainly does not mean that they should be able to act illegally there. On the contrary, the House of Commons should itself have powers as a court, with its own proper judicial processes.

    A lot of political acitvities, including MPs’ surgeries, take place at weekends.

    Of course bars where adults meet normally sell alcohol. But the House of Commons no more needs bars than other workplaces, which mostly do without them. Even if you disagree to the extent that the House of Commons should have entertainment facilities, for instance sedate restaurants, the current provision appears to be excessive.

    The psephological consequence is to reduce ordinary voters’ respect for politicians, which is not at present as high as people caring for democracy wish.

  22. “I may sound pompous, but letting the judiciary and executive exercise power over MPs at Westminster gives potential for political abuse undermining democracy.
    Saying that MPs in the Palace of Westminster should have privilege certainly does not mean that they should be able to act illegally there. On the contrary, the House of Commons should itself have powers as a court, with its own proper judicial processes”

    I should have thought the potential for political abuse would be greater if the House of Commons had the powers of a court.

  23. Good riddance I say. Perhaps it might have been fractionally better for Labour if it could be seen to expel him, though I am not a fan of expulsions in general.

  24. “A lot of political acitvities, including MPs’ surgeries, take place at weekends.”

    Yes, but what are the details of the curfew? All weekend or just the evenings?

    I’m sure he can arrange his work around this for four months!

  25. Council Prediction 2012

    SNP 15 (+2)
    Lab 12 (-2)
    Ind 3 (-)
    Con 2 (-)

  26. Council result

    First preferences

    SNP 40% (+5%)
    Lab 38% (+2%)
    Con 11% (-2%)
    Oth 11% (-5%)

    Seats

    Lab 14 (-)
    SNP 13 (-)
    Oth 3 (-)
    Con 2 (-)

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