Aberdeen North

2015 Result:
Conservative: 5304 (12.1%)
Labour: 11397 (25.9%)
Lib Dem: 2050 (4.7%)
SNP: 24793 (56.4%)
TUSC: 206 (0.5%)
Others: 186 (0.4%)
MAJORITY: 13396 (30.5%)

Category: Safe SNP seat

Geography: Scotland, North East. Part of the Aberdeen City council area.

Main population centres: Aberdeen.

Profile: Aberdeen North contains most of the historic centre of Aberdeen, including the University and Aberdeen Harbour, which serves much of the North Sea Oil industry. The majority of the Scottish Parliamentary constituency of Aberdeen Central falls within this seat, and it is more urban than the old pre-2005 Aberdeen North having lost suburban areas like Dyce, Danestone and Bridge of Don.

Politics: The seat had been held by Labour since 1935, but fell to the SNP in their 2015 landslide.

Current MP
KIRSTY BLACKMAN (SNP) Aberdeen councillor since 2007. First elected as MP for Aberdeen North in 2015.
Past Results
Con: 4666 (12%)
Lab: 16746 (44%)
LDem: 7001 (19%)
SNP: 8385 (22%)
Oth: 903 (2%)
MAJ: 8361 (22%)
Con: 3456 (9%)
Lab: 15557 (42%)
LDem: 8762 (24%)
SNP: 8168 (22%)
Oth: 691 (2%)
MAJ: 6795 (19%)
Con: 3761 (14%)
Lab: 12025 (45%)
LDem: 4547 (17%)
SNP: 5379 (20%)
Oth: 717 (3%)
MAJ: 6646 (25%)
Con: 6944 (19%)
Lab: 17745 (50%)
LDem: 4714 (13%)
SNP: 5767 (16%)
Oth: 446 (1%)
MAJ: 10801 (30%)

2015 Candidates
SANJOY SEN (Conservative) Oil engineer.
RICHARD BAKER (Labour) Born 1974, Edinburgh. Educated at St Bees School and Aberdeen University. Contested MSP for North East Scotland since 2003.
EUAN DAVIDSON (Liberal Democrat) Educated at Aberdeen University.
KIRSTY BLACKMAN (SNP) Aberdeen councillor since 2007.
Comments - 153 Responses on “Aberdeen North”
  1. Brian Adam, Scottish Nationalist MSP for Aberdeen Donside has died age 64.

  2. The By-Election has been set for Thursday 20 June – Labour have selected City Councillor Willie Young, while North East Regional MSP Mark McDonald is seeking the SNP nomination.

    If he is selected, he’ll need to step down from his current post, and Christian Allard, the sixth name on the SNP’s North East list, will take his place…

  3. I thought list MSPs had to resign before they could contest constituency by-elections. As in the case of Moray for the Conservatives (or indeed why Phil Gallie didn’t stand in Ayr)

  4. I’m guessing the by-election will be a pretty straight forward SNP hold.

    Anyone think there’s a chance of a Labour gain?

  5. Robberbutton – you’re right, Mark will have to resign to stand as a candidate… but that’ll only be an issue if he’s selected by the local party. And even if he is, I suppose he’ll have until his nomination papers are handed in to do so.

    Still, I’d imagine that it’s nigh on certain that he will be selected, so he’ll surely be following the precedent of Richard Lochhead and Mary Scanlon.

    Also, it seems UKIP are planning on fielding a candidate, so it’ll be interesting to see what happens to them. So far, they’ve not had the traction in Scotland that they’re enjoying in England, but with the current coverage and gains, it’ll be interesting to see how things turn out for them…

  6. Ahh, I misread you, thinking he already was the candidate. I am a big silly billy.

  7. In fairness, i’d imagine that he’s as good as the candidate – certainly all the noises are for him, so unless something unexpected happens, I’d say it’s a matter of when and not if he resigns to contest the poll. 🙂

    The Tories have selected Cllr Ross Thomson, by the way, so with Willie Young going forward for Labour, that’s two members of the City Council’s Coalition up against one another.

  8. The Aberdeen Donside by election should be a comportable SNP hold. Labour would have stood a better chance in a Glasgow or Edinburgh ultra SNP marginal.

    No UKIP breakthrough here. Lost deposit and a real prospect of the Lib Dems outpolling UKIP.

    Order must be – SNP, Lab, Con, Lib Dem, Green (if standing), UKIP

  9. I think the SNP might hold on here but it will be very close.

    As for UKIP, I think Mr Farage was told in no uncertain terms yesterday what the Scots think of him and his party. Launching the by-election camapign in Edinburgh show how little understanding he has of Scottish politics.

    I also find it a bit ironic that the Nats who were present were calling him racist scum and then telling him to F*** off back to England. Pots and kettles spring to mind.

  10. Calling Farage ‘racist’ (a word these rent a mobs love) and then telling Farage to go back to England.

    How liberal and democratic of them.

  11. Completely agree with L Bernard on this – it’s interesting how supposedly liberal-minded students, espousing equality and tolerance, demonstrate such traits by refusing to let anyone else speak.

  12. Aberdeen Donside By Election

    SNP 8,191
    Lab 3,982
    Con 887
    Green 677
    Lib Dem 514
    UKIP 287
    NF 67

  13. Could you be more specific please Peter? lol

  14. In theory this should be quite an exciting byelection if you consider the local results here in 2012 – where most areas were rather close between SNP and Labour

    At Dyce, Bucksburn and Danestone, the SNP lead Labour by 5% (on first preferences) at 42% v 37% – both parties got 2 councillors

    Bridge of Don was the biggest area for the SNP, leading Labour 37% to 19% – though 28% voted for an Independent. SNP got 2 councillors to 1 Labour, 1 Ind

    Northfield gave the SNP a 2.6% lead over Labour (48.1% v 45.5%) – though Labour got 2 councillors to 1 SNP

    Kingswells / Sheddocksley gave the SNP a 3.5% lead over Labour (35% v 31.5%). The Lib Dems got 21.5% – all 3 got 1 councillor each.

    Finally – Hilton / Stockethill is partially in here (split with Aberdeen Central) – and Labour lead the SNP by almost 10% (45% to 35.5%) – 2 Labour councillors to 1 SNP

    I reckon that overall that adds up to a SNP lead in 2012 of around 7% over Labour (about 40% to 33%?)

    The latest Yougov poll of Scottish Parliament voting intention gave the SNP a 3% lead over Labour on the first vote – that would suggest roughly a 16% SNP lead here if typical. But Im guessing this area is capable of voting Labour would have produced a Labour lead at the 2010 UK general election.

    What do folk think would genuinely would be a good SNP or good Labour result? I’d have thought for Labour a 5% swing would be the minimum, and aiming for a similar lead as in last year’s council election would be a fair performance – actually winning it would be a huge boost. A win for the SNP would be good in that they are defending a 6 year record in government and have lost a popular incumbent – but if it was really close would that cause any jitters?

    Also interesting to see if independence plays any or no role at all.

  15. I think Labour could take the ultra marginals in Glasgow, Edinburgh or Aberdeen Central but this constituency will be tougher.

    The is no history of large swings from SNP to Labour in by elections.

  16. “The is no history of large swings from SNP to Labour in by elections.”

    But the SNP are now seen as the establishment party in Scottish politics, so this by-election could sent a precedent.

    I’m predicting an SNP hold with a reduced majoirty.

  17. I thought Frank Doran has represented the whole of Aberdeen at some point….as being MP for Aberdeen South 1987 – 1992, Aberdeen Central 1997 – 2005 and Aberdeen North since 2005.

    Parts of South Outer Aberdeen were in Kincardine & Deeside till 1997.

  18. Didn’t that include a large council estate as well as owner-occupied suburbs? Possibly Nigg?

  19. Yes it did….including areas once represented by Donald Dewar and Iain Sproat before 1983.

  20. Bob.

    What is your prediction for the Aberdeen Donside Holyrood By Election on the 20th of June?

  21. “New analysis suggests Aberdeen Donside by-election may be close call

    Parties and pundits – both north and south of the border – are carefully watching the June 20 Aberdeen Donside Holyrood by-election amid signs that the outcome could be closer than expected.

    The poll, a key pointer of public opinion on the path to next year’s independence referendum, is also crucial to the SNP which would lose its overall Scottish Parliament majority if defeated in the constituency – next door to First Minister Alex Salmond’s Aberdeenshire East stronghold.

    At first glance this looks unlikely as Brian Adam, whose death caused the contest, had a 7,175 votes – 26.7% – lead over Labour in 2011. However a calculation based on the 2012 council polls suggests the fight is much closer.

    Totalling up the votes cast in Donside’s five Aberdeen City electoral areas gives a line-up of: SNP 8,490 (39.5%); Lab 7,367 (34.3%); Lib Dem 1,717 (8.0%); C 1,242 (5.8%); Others 2,680 (12.4%).

    The SNP margin may be slightly boosted by the fact that only part of Hilton/Stockethill – which had a Labour lead – is in the constituency.

    There have been more recent signs of further SNP slippage. Since the referendum agreement last year the party’s vote share has fallen in five out of seven council by-elections in Scotland.

    The main contenders are the SNP’s Mark McDonald, who has given up his Scotland North East regional proportional representation seat, and Labour Aberdeen City councillor Willie Young.

    Faced with a tight outcome between them, Liberal Democrats and Tories may find it hard to improve on their previous scores which were only just above the 5% lost deposit level.

    Ukip has a candidate but the party traditionally polls less strongly in Scotland than in the rest of the UK.

    The full line-up of runners is: Otto Inglis (Ukip), Christine Jardine (Lib Dem), Dave MacDonald (National Front), Mark McDonald (SNP), Tom Morrow (Scottish Christian Party), Rhonda Reekie (Green), Ross Thomson (Conservative), James Trolland (Scottish Democratic Alliance), Willie Young (Labour).”

    Aberdeen Donside 2011 Scottish Parliament election result: Adam (SNP) 14,790 (55.2%); Crockett (Lab) 7,615 (28.5%); Thomson (C) 2,166 (8.1%); McLeod (Lib Dem) 1,606 (6.0%); Henderson (Ind) 371 (1.4%); Willett (National Front) 213 (0.8%).

    Source: Glasgow Herald, Tuesday 4 June 2013

  22. The SNP should hold this seat, and for labour to gain any ‘marginals’ in Edinburgh or Glasgow will involve labour actually looking like they are worth electing-don’t see signs of that yet, or ever.

    am not sure where you get the idea that ‘nats’ told Nigel Farage where to go………but I suppose that it keeps some people happy using non evidence based rhetoric to defend right wing politicians who aren’ relevant to Scottish politics. This being proven by insulting us with his ‘let’s have a laugh and barney’ appearance on bbc question time where the debate was all about poor irrelevant him and reduced the quality of argument the 16 and 17 year olds living in Scotland deserved to hear.

  23. Angus – I’m not sure that that’s entirely fair. I’ll try and keep this as non-partisan as possible although I will concede that I have some sympathy with aspects of UKIP’s policies.

    You’re correct that Salmond didn’t tell Farage where to go – but he was definitely reticent to condemn the protestors, and I suspect he would have been quicker to condemn the action had it been an SNP member who had been treated in such a way.

    The point is that the protestors seemed to object to Farage because they were left wing and Farage was, to them, a xenophobic reactionary right-winger. And so, in the best traditions of left-wing tolerance, they decided that in their judgement he should not be allowed to speak.

    Whatever you think of UKIP’s views, and however small their presence in Scotland, they do have a right to speak like any other party/individual. The SNP seemed to ignore this and tacitly condone the actions of the students.

    And with reference to QT, the genuinely bizarre performance came from the female Scottish journalist. In one breath she was explaining her choice to vote ‘yes’ to independence, and equality in all forms was right at the top of her list for doing so. And then, when George Galloway suggested that the SNP was wrong to condone the actions of UKIP (however much he himself agreed with the protestors) the same journalist could clearly be heard saying they had no right to speak as they had ‘very little presence’.

    So her version of equality (and by the sounds of it yours) is that everyone’s equal as long as (some) on the left deem them to be worthy of such status.

  24. Clarification to above – second last paragraph, Galloway stated that he found UKIP repugnant but thought the SNP was wrong to tacitly condone those who had heckled Farage. The female journalist though the SNP were right as UKIP “weren’t significant”.

  25. It would be a major triumph for UKIP if they could save their deposit in such unpromising territory.

  26. @Angus

    never mind Farage the Chinese loved your opium

  27. SNP hold. Majority just over 2,000 over Labour. Swing was 10% to Labour. UKIP just failed to hold their deposit with 4.8%.

  28. Labour got a 10% swing, especially during a by-election where its turnout is always rather low – very good. If replicated in a General Election then that would be something.

  29. It isn’t a 10% swing from the general election though so that is meaningless. Compared with the General election it is a huge swing from Labour to SNP

  30. I agree with Pete. You can’t compaire a Holyrood result/ swing and just apply it to Westminster.

    Labour have a majority of 8361 (over 20%) in the Aberdeen North Westminster constituency,so would we be saying that Labour are on course for retaining Aberdeen North by 40% and a majority of nearly 17000?

    By the same logic could be argued that this was a swing of over 10% from Labour to SNP.

    Brian Adam would have been popular and SNP lead is almost as large as it was in 2007.

    All we can read into this result is that Labour should be confident of retaining Aberdeen North in 2015 and that the Gordon constituency will have a duel SNP/ Labour challenge that could allow the Lib Dems to hold on.

    The result also give a little comfort to the Lib Dems (who came third and almost doubled their vote, albiet on a disasterous low base in 2011).

    However, the closeness of the SNP/ Labour in the North Aberdeen suburbs and the modest recovery in the Lib Dem vote will be of some confort to them, as part of the Aberdeen Donside is in the Gordon Westminster constituency.

  31. Yes.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Labour lost a couple of seats to the SNP in 2015, although the referendum will have a big impact potentially.

  32. If the Lib Dems are doing so badly in this seat and there is a 10% swing from SNP to Labour, could Malcolm Bruce be on his way out.
    HH, the only seat the SNP could take off Labour is Falkirk, and that depends on a by-election before the independence referendum.

  33. Good result for UKIP in very unpromising territory.

  34. If the referendum results in a no vote (and that has to be the most likely outcome), then the following years could be difficult for the SNP judging by the recent history of the Quebec secessionist movement.

    Quebec only narrowly voted against secession in 1995, but the share of the vote won by the Parti Québécois fell in each of the three subsequent state elections. It has yet to recover to anywhere near the kind levels they achieved regularly in the 80s and 90s prior to the referendum.

    At federal level support for the Bloc Québécois until recently proved to be slightly more durable. They however suffered a disastrous reversal at the last federal election, polling their lowest ever share of the Quebec vote in a federal contest and failing to win enough seats to retain official party status.

  35. That was mostly because QuĂ©bĂ©c voters decided to give federal social democracy a try with the NDP. But I think most commentators agree that if the NDP fades into insignificance again the separatists will be back in business rather quickly. In other words they’re not fond of either the Conservatives or the federal Liberals.

  36. It’ll be interesting to see how UKIP does in next year’s Scottish Euro election. Maybe somewhere between 5 and 10% is a possibility.

  37. Few Scots as yet realise that independence would mean the country having to re-apply for EU membership as a new member. New EU members have no right to the opt-outs that the UK enjoys. That means Scotland would have to agree to join the euro, agree to join the border-free Schengen agreement, and would not benefit from the rebate that the UK has on its budget contributions.

    If Scotland becomes part of the Schengen zone then it will force England to put up immigration barriers at Gretna Green and Berwick-upon-Tweed.

    Scotland depends massively on an open border with England, both economically and for quality of life.

    This might seem over the top and that’s certainly what the SNP are trying to argue, but it’s been confirmed enough times by senior figures in the EU, most recently by the former Belgian prime minister.

    I expect a resounding no vote in the referendum, 70-30 at least.

  38. It amazes me that the SNP have thought none of this through. Or perhaps it doesn’t given the bigoted snearing victim mentality they have.

  39. Andy, that’s certainly an accurate summation of what happened at the last federal election. However, the separatist parties did suffer a decline in support at both federal and state level following the ’95 referendum. That decline was evident long before the NDP surge; the latter merely exacerbated it. I would be surprised if the same didn’t happen to the SNP following a referendum vote to remain in the UK.

  40. My guess is that Salmond’s ideal result would be a narrow rejection, say 51-49, enough to give him a mandate for some kind of devo max agreement.

    However I personally think it will be a landslide rejection which is bound to rebound on the SNP.

  41. Yes I think so, although I am toying with the idea somewhat emotively that perhaps it would be better if they left. It’ll never happen though – they know where the handouts come from – completely obvious in 2010. Logically the yes vote may be only a few points up on the SNP 2010 vote. But I am a unionist rreally

  42. I’m not sure SNP support will collapse afterwards though, like the Canadian example. The lib dems are in meltdown there ouutside a few rural seats and there is a very patriotic scottish tradition and rigjtly so – it is inevitable that some of that will go to the party advocatong independence. But I don’t expect them to actually do well ever again afterwards.

  43. Personally I think people should make their choice in the Scottish independence referendum according to positive criteria: ie — either they positively want Scotland to be independent or positively want to remain part of the UK. What I fear is that people in Scotland will vote against independence but mainly for negative reasons.

  44. Canadian politics is going through a realigning phase at the moment so it’s difficult to make any long term predictions. It’s too early to tell if the NDP have permanently replaced the Liberals as the main party of the left. I personally think they have and will probably form a majority government in the next 15 to 20 years.

    Has anyone got any idea of how the Harper government is dealing with the separatists being back in power in Quebec? Remember that the Tories won a landslide majority in 1984 through being able to build a coalition with Quebec sovereigntists. Could this possibly happen again?

  45. I was under the impression Conservative governments in Canada tend to deal with Quebec by saying and doing as little as possible in an effort not to upset them in any way.

  46. The failure of the devolution referendum in 1979 reversed the SNP into a position that they have never at a Westminster Level recovered from since.

    Technicality introduced by the then Labour member for Islington South & Finsbury (who later defected to the SDP) that the Yes vote would not only require a majority of votes cast but 40% of the entire electorate. 51.62% voted Yes in Scotland in 1979. Had this criteria been applied to Wales in 1999 then with a lesser 50.30% support, Wales would have rejected devolution.

    I don’t see support for the SNP at Holyrood being a support for Independence.

    In 1979 and 1983 there were other places the non-Labour vote could go other than voting SNP.

    I think that the SNP will maintain a base at Holyrood because the SNP are preceived as the only opposition to Labour in Scotland. In 1979 and 1983 all three other major parties made inroads into the former SNP vote that fell from 30% in Oct 1974 to 12% in 1983.

    I don’t see the SNP representation at Westminster changing dramatically whatever the result of the referendum.

    They may lose The Western Isles or Dundee East to Labour or they may gain Ochil & South Perthshire from Labour (all longshots either way).

    They may take one or two Lib Dem seats (Argyll & Bute and Caithness & Sutherland being most likely) or lose one of their 4 other seats to the Conservatives (Angus being the most lesser unlikely Con Gain from SNP).

    The SNP, either way, will end up with around half a dozen MP’s….same as Feb 1974, 1997, 2005 and 2010.

  47. I think that is about right yes.

  48. ‘Few Scots as yet realise that independence would mean the country having to re-apply for EU membership as a new member. New EU members have no right to the opt-outs that the UK enjoys. That means Scotland would have to agree to join the euro, agree to join the border-free Schengen agreement, and would not benefit from the rebate that the UK has on its budget contributions.
    If Scotland becomes part of the Schengen zone then it will force England to put up immigration barriers at Gretna Green and Berwick-upon-Tweed.
    Scotland depends massively on an open border with England, both economically and for quality of life.
    This might seem over the top and that’s certainly what the SNP are trying to argue, but it’s been confirmed enough times by senior figures in the EU, most recently by the former Belgian prime minister.
    I expect a resounding no vote in the referendum, 70-30 at least.’

    Yes, but when the referendum is lost it will be more because the SNP lost than that the unionists won.

    I certainly don’t agree with SNP policy of us re-entering the EU (yes, obviously as a new state we would have to reapply), without a referendum.

    However, I disagree that we would, having done that, have to join the Schengen agreement, or the Euro. Look at Poland – they’re still using the Zloty and public opinion dictates that is still the desired option for the future. How often are we just the goody two shoes who do whatever the EU wants us to, whilst the others easily get away with what they like?

    I am for independence now, but I recognise these concerns. I also don’t buy into the ignorant idea that just because we’d be rid of Cameron, there would somehow be ‘no more Tories’ or that we we would always be ‘fairer’.

    However, the referendum should not be lost just because of scare stories. What Salmond fails to grasp is that it’s not just up to Scotland whether or not we get independence, it’s also up to her EXACTLY what happens afterwards, and that includes whether we’re part of the EU or not, or for that matter, whether the SNP continues to govern or not – in which case most of their stories will become irrelevant anyway.

  49. “However, I disagree that we would, having done that, have to join the Schengen agreement, or the Euro. Look at Poland – they’re still using the Zloty and public opinion dictates that is still the desired option for the future.”

    What’s your point exactly?

    Poland is part of Schengen and is committed to joining the Euro at some point. Both were conditions of joining the EU and it will be the same for an independent Scotland.

  50. ‘I don’t see why Poland would have to if they really didn’t want to – what would the sanction be if they didn’t?’

    One option of course is that an independent Scotland could, shock horror, stay out of the EU – something I’d be perfectly happy about. The other countries might veto our accession blah blah, well so what, why couldn’t we join the EFTA with places like Norway, which Salmond is always going on about? It all depends who’d be in power anyway – as I said the SNP can at the moment only offer their VISION.

    But even if we did have to join, and did have to accept their dogma, we’d just have to adjust wouldn’t we? If sufficient self-determination among Scots ever exists, that wouldn’t be a problem. I think the scare stories, even if they are genuine reasons for concern, shouldn’t be enough to put would-be supporters off voting for independence.

    Speaking for myself, I do have a sense of self-determination. I think the best thing about an independent Scotland would be that it would surely be more politically balanced – I believe it would water down the power of the Labour Party both north and south of the border, which can only be good for many of us.

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