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Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath

2010 Results:
Conservative: 4258 (9.3%)
Labour: 29559 (64.54%)
Liberal Democrat: 4269 (9.32%)
SNP: 6550 (14.3%)
UKIP: 760 (1.66%)
Independent: 349 (0.76%)
Others: 57 (0.12%)
Majority: 23009 (50.24%)

2005 Results:
Labour: 24278 (58.1%)
SNP: 6062 (14.5%)
Liberal Democrat: 5450 (13%)
Conservative: 4308 (10.3%)
Other: 1698 (4.1%)
Majority: 18216 (43.6%)

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

2001 Result
Conservative: 3013 (10.7%)
Labour: 15227 (54.1%)
Liberal Democrat: 2849 (10.1%)
SNP: 6264 (22.2%)
Other: 804 (2.9%)
Majority: 8963 (31.8%)

1997 Result
Conservative: 4779 (13.7%)
Labour: 18730 (53.6%)
Liberal Democrat: 3031 (8.7%)
SNP: 8020 (22.9%)
Referendum: 413 (1.2%)
Majority: 10710 (30.6%)

No Boundary Changes:

Profile:

portraitCurrent MP: Gordon Brown(Labour) born 1951, Giffnoch, the son of a Church of Scotland minister. Educated at Kirkcaldy High School and the University of Edinburgh. Elected Rector of Edinburgh University in 1972 while still a student. Worked as a lecturer and television journalist prior to his election as an MP. Contested Edinburgh South 1979. First elected as MP for Dunfermline East in 1983. Became a shadow spokesman on Trade and Industry in 1985, shadow chief secretary in 1987, shadow secretary of state for trade and industry in 1989 and shadow chancellor in 1992. Gordon Brown had been tipped as a potential future leader of the party prior to the death of John Smith. In the event Brown chose not to contest the leadership, reputed after an agreement with Tony Blair, sealed at the Granita restaurant, that only one of the two men should stand, and that in return Brown would receive control of economic policy. Brown became Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1997, he first act being to give the Bank of England independence. He initially followed Conservative spending commitments, a hangover from Labour`s period of opposition when they were keen to neutralise the reputation of being tax raisers, and later governing according to a `golden rule` of borrowing only to invest over the economic cycle. Opponents accused Brown of significantly raising taxes during his tenure as Chancellor, largely through `stealth` taxation. The rivalry between Brown and Blair was a defining feature of the Blair premiership, characterised by behind the scene briefings. Brown, with his public image of being a dour, prudent, uncharismatic Scotsman forever waiting for his chance at power, was famously described by an unnamed source – widely assumed to be Alistair Campbell – of being `psychologically flawed`. For many years the media speculated that those around Tony Blair wished to block Gordon Brown`s succession as Prime Minister, with such figures as Alan Milburn, John Reid and David Miliband being mooted as alternatives to Brown at various points. In the event Gordon Brown was the only candidate to secure enough nominations to stand, and he became Labour leader, and hence Prime Minister, without a contest in June 2007 (more information at They work for you)

2010 election candidates:
portraitLindsay Paterson (Conservative) Educated at St Andrews University. Editor for a publishing company. Contested Livingston 2003 Scottish election, Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill 2005.
portraitGordon Brown(Labour) born 1951, Giffnoch, the son of a Church of Scotland minister. Educated at Kirkcaldy High School and the University of Edinburgh. Elected Rector of Edinburgh University in 1972 while still a student. Worked as a lecturer and television journalist prior to his election as an MP. Contested Edinburgh South 1979. First elected as MP for Dunfermline East in 1983. Became a shadow spokesman on Trade and Industry in 1985, shadow chief secretary in 1987, shadow secretary of state for trade and industry in 1989 and shadow chancellor in 1992. Gordon Brown had been tipped as a potential future leader of the party prior to the death of John Smith. In the event Brown chose not to contest the leadership, reputed after an agreement with Tony Blair, sealed at the Granita restaurant, that only one of the two men should stand, and that in return Brown would receive control of economic policy. Brown became Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1997, he first act being to give the Bank of England independence. He initially followed Conservative spending commitments, a hangover from Labour`s period of opposition when they were keen to neutralise the reputation of being tax raisers, and later governing according to a `golden rule` of borrowing only to invest over the economic cycle. Opponents accused Brown of significantly raising taxes during his tenure as Chancellor, largely through `stealth` taxation. The rivalry between Brown and Blair was a defining feature of the Blair premiership, characterised by behind the scene briefings. Brown, with his public image of being a dour, prudent, uncharismatic Scotsman forever waiting for his chance at power, was famously described by an unnamed source – widely assumed to be Alistair Campbell – of being `psychologically flawed`. For many years the media speculated that those around Tony Blair wished to block Gordon Brown`s succession as Prime Minister, with such figures as Alan Milburn, John Reid and David Miliband being mooted as alternatives to Brown at various points. In the event Gordon Brown was the only candidate to secure enough nominations to stand, and he became Labour leader, and hence Prime Minister, without a contest in June 2007. Prime Minister between 2007-2010, a period dominated by economic crisis, he stepped down as PM and Labour leader following Labour`s defeat in the 2010 election (more information at They work for you)
portraitJohn Mainland (Liberal Democrat) Educated at Kirkcaldy High School and Dundee University. Local government housing officer. Contested Kirkcaldy 1997, 1999 Scottish elections, Dunfermline East 2001.
portraitDouglas Chapman (SNP) Fife councillor. Contested Dunfermline West 1999 Scottish election, Dunfermline and West Fife 2005.
portraitPeter Adams (UKIP) Retired army officer.
portraitDerek Leslie Jackson (Land is Power) Comedian
portraitDonald MacLaren of MacLaren (Independent) Chief of the clan MacLaren. Former British Ambassador to Georgia.
portraitSusan Archibald (Independent) Disability rights campaigner and former road sweeper.

2001 Census Demographics

Total 2001 Population: 93273
Male: 47.9%
Female: 52.1%
Under 18: 23.2%
Over 60: 22.5%
Born outside UK: 2.7%
White: 98.7%
Black: 0.2%
Asian: 0.7%
Mixed: 0.2%
Other: 0.3%
Christian: 57.4%
Graduates 16-74: 16.2%
No Qualifications 16-74: 35.1%
Owner-Occupied: 62%
Social Housing: 30.9% (Council: 29%, Housing Ass.: 1.9%)
Privately Rented: 3.2%
Homes without central heating and/or private bathroom: 2.3%

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

287 Responses to “Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath”

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  1. “Do any subscribers agree that we should have a 3 year Parliament like Australia?”

    Oh no, that would be a bad thing. You potentially end up with instability and governments unable to put forward their long-term plans due to the time constraints.

  2. Why do the Australians have a 3 year Parliament?

  3. I don’t know,
    but it’s too short.
    Too much electioneering and fear of long term decision making.
    5 is too long. People need a say earlier.
    I’d go for 4.

    A very good result for Gordon Brown here.

  4. Labour will do much better than in Kirkcaldy next year than 2007

    predition: Kirkcaldy 2011

    Labour 18000
    SNP 8600
    LD 2900
    Con 2500

  5. Prediction: Cowdenbeath 2011

    Lab 15500 (+9.5%)
    SNP 7500 (-3.1%)
    Con 3500 (-2.3%)
    LD 3000 (-4.0%)

  6. I’m still chuffed we got that many votes in 2007 in these seats to be honest!

  7. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe that the makeup of this constituency in terms of current wards is

    Buckhaven
    Burntisland
    Cowdenbeath
    Inverkeithing and Dalgety Bay
    Kinghorn and Western Kirkcaldy
    Kirkcaldy Central
    Kirkcaldy East
    Kirkcaldy North
    Lochgelly and Cardenden
    Methil and Wemyss Villages
    Rosyth (split between this seat & Dunfermline and Fife West?)
    The Lochs

  8. Which of those wards, if any, are not represented by Labour councillors?

  9. This seat contains the following wards.
    I have also included their councillor representation. These are multi-member STV wards,.

    Kirkcaldy East (2 Labour councillors, 1 SNP)
    Kirkcaldy North (2 Lab, 1 SNP)
    Kirkcaldy Central (1 Lab, 1 SNP, 1 LD)
    Burntisland, Kinghorn and Western Kirkcaldy (1 Lab, 1 SNP, 1 LD)
    and parts of
    Lochgelly and Cardenden (2 Lab, 1 SNP)
    The Lochs (1 Lab, 1 SNP, 1 Left Alliance)
    Cowdenbeath (1 Lab, 1 SNP, 1 Left Alliance)
    Inverkeithing and Dalgety Bay (1 Lab, 1 SNP, 1 Con, 1 LD)

  10. Seen so little of Gordon that when I turned the TV on yesterday I thought they were showing his speech last year at first.

  11. Is it fair to assume that ‘Inverkeithing and Dalgety Bay’ is the posh bit around here?

  12. Dalgety Bay is quite affluent, Inverkeithing less so, from what I remember of the area. Pre-2007, Dalgety Bay tended to be a three-way marginal locally between the three unionist parties, whilst Inverkeithing was a two-party (Lab/SNP) marginal.

  13. When I was a child Cowdenbeath had a hung council-5 Labour, 5 Communist!
    Or is it my memory?

  14. I don’t know but during the mid 1990s there were 2 declared Communists (who are now the Left Alliance councillors) on Fife council but no Conservatives.

  15. West Fife was Willie Gallagher’s constituency which he held for 15 years up to 1950, so there is a real history of communism in that area. Methilhill was once known as little Moscow and there have been many communist councillors in Fife.

  16. Now Ed Milliband has been elected leader would Gordon Brown still stay on as MP or resign around Christmas time?

  17. Within the next few weeks, appointments are to be made to the House of Lords. Could we see Lord Brown?

  18. Sunday Mirror has reported Gordon Brown is to remain as an MP until the next election devoting his duties to constituency and charity work. The same report also claims that he has apparently refused an offer of a peerage.

  19. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iHc2uqh4vyA

    The landless peasants guy is very amusing in the declaration.

  20. ‘Gordon Brown is to remain as an MP until the next election’

    That was what I’ve been expecting for some time (and I suspect quite a few other people as well)

    The 1983 makeup of the old Dunfermline East seat (Brown’s first one) consisted of the following wards of Dunfermline District Council

    Aberdour/Dalgety Bay/North Queensferry
    Ballingry/Lochore
    Cowdenbeath/Gray Park
    Dunfermline/Rosyth
    Hill of Beath/Crossgates/Cowdenbeath
    Inverkeithing/Rosyth
    Kelty/Lumphinnans
    Lochgelly

    It also included Auchterderran/Kinglassie ward of Kirkcaldy District Council

  21. Apparently it seems that Gordon Brown has a PPS. I thought this just applies to Ministers not MP’s?

  22. There is a rumour in Westminster that Brown is planning on speaking in response to the Budget.

    Can’t imagine Ed Miliband will be too pleased if he does.

  23. Haven’t heard much about Brown even in Scotland. I thought he was supposed to be hitting the Holyrood campaign trail?

  24. Guido Fawkes is reporting Gordon Brown is to resign as an MP by the end of the week. A by-election may be called for 5 May.

  25. Has Brown spoken in the Commons since the election?

  26. Who could forget his rant a couple of months ago re phone hacking and the media. There seemed to be a very rare consensus with Labour reluctant to use partisan points scoring. Then Brown spoke and blamed everybody but himself forgetting that he had links with Murdoch when he was both chancellor and Prime Minister. Naturally Speaker Bercow defended him, whilst daring to censure anybody who criticised Brown.

    I wonder if following the publication of Alistair Darling’s book which heavilly criticises Brown’s handling of the ‘financial crisis’ Brown will finally step down as an MP as he always seems to abroad at the moment. That said, I do think he is emulating Heath with ‘the longest sulk in history’ thus possibly staying on for another 25 years yet.

  27. Labour Party Managers would probably rather that Gordon Brown did nothing as an MP for the rest of this Parliament rather than resign and cause a by-election, particularly as a by-election campaign would rake up the history of the Labour Government under Brown, and Blair before him.

    I suppose Labour might want a by-election to parachute in a new MP, but who in this category would both meet Ed MIliband’s needs and be sufficiently important to Gordon Brown to induce him to resign his seat?

    After all, Thatcher and Major, amongst others, stayed as MPs until the General Election after they resigned as Prime Minister.

  28. No, this is one seat where Labour need not fear a by-election even in Scotland.

    I doubt any by-election here would be dominated by the record of the ‘Brown Years’. Brown’s retirment would present Labour with a much needed opportunity to move on.

    To be honest, Brown’s retirment seems like nothing but a win-win situation for Labour.

  29. Gordon Brown is obviously not going to resign his seat before the general election.

    As seen recently with the head of the IMF, plum international roles will elude him because of his bad reputation as prime minister, and because the current government will block/undermine his application.

    He would not forego his cushy salary and MP status for the less than plum roles he could realistically get.

    Nevertheless Shaun is right that a by-election in Kirkcaldy would be boring in the extreme and a landslide Labour win. Fredric’s suggestion that it would become some sort of car crash replay of 13 years of Labour government is completely ludicrous. Gordon Brown is worshipped like a god in this part of the world, as witnessed by his stonking majorities, even if the rest of the UK hates his guts.

  30. If there is a by-election this would still be solidly Labour. The worst thing for Labour is that they could get 10% shaved off their vote with the SNP picking that up. Even then they will hang on easily.

  31. “The worst thing for Labour is that they could get 10% shaved off their vote with the SNP picking that up”

    In a Scottish by-election, that’s par for the course for Labour and wouldn’t do any damage.

    But I doubt there will be a by-election – if Brown was going to go he’d have gone by now.

  32. I wouldn’t be so hasty – almost everyone wrote off the possibility of an SNP win in the Kirkcaldy constituency at Holyrood. The inclusion of Cowdenbeath in this seat means that notionally it was probably still just about labour even at holyrood but labour incumbents in the east of Scotland had hugely inflated majorities in 2010 as people came out to vote for Brown as a signal of their disapproval of the tories, though Brown himself did have some kind of positive incumbency in Fife also, perhaps because some of the negative press he was getting came across as being anti-Scottish.

  33. Calum, I might have had some sympathy for your view before Inverclyde, which like Kirkcaldy & Cowdenbeath would have been a knife-edge Lab-SNP result based on the 2011 Holyrood votes.

    Inverclyde showed clearly that the SNP’s remarkable ability to win in solid Labour constituencies at Holyrood does not extend to Westminster by-elections when Labour is in opposition.

  34. I agree that the Inverclyde result was rather disappointing overall, especially given that the SNP was very much on a high at that point in time also, and I’m not saying that the SNP would be favourites to win in a Kirkcaldy by-election, but given a stronger SNP campaign than in Inverclyde, an apparent decline in the number of people opposing independence and differing circumstances of the by election an SNP win is not implausible. However, there most likely won’t be a by election in Kirkcaldy so this will remain a hypothetical situation.

  35. There is evidence in the constituency of a very strong personal vote for Mr Brown. Look how Labour’s majority has grown since their last really low point in 1983, when the result was Lab 15,380, Con 10,049, SDP 9,274, SNP 3,452.
    The results since then show just how far the Tories and Liberals have fallen here, but I am not sure how easily Mr Brown’s vote would transfer, especially to an outsider brought into the seat.

  36. Gordon Brown’s seat is effectively abolished as follows:-
    Dunfermline East = 44%
    Kirkcaldy & Glenrothes = 43%
    Clackmannanshire & Dunfermline West = 13%

    I imagine Thomas Docherty would stand in Dunfermline East whilst Lindsay Roy would stand in the Kirkcaldy & Glenrothes seat. The only way that Gordon Brown could continue would be for Lindsay Roy to retire next time. If Brown does indeed decide to stand down, then it would make more sense for him to wait until 2015.

  37. I somehow have a feeling that Gordon will retire at the next election. Could the proposed redistribution result in SNP gains in Fife like they currently have at Holyrood?

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