2015 Result:
Conservative: 12900 (29%)
Labour: 3919 (8.8%)
Lib Dem: 1216 (2.7%)
SNP: 24130 (54.2%)
Green: 965 (2.2%)
UKIP: 1355 (3%)
MAJORITY: 11230 (25.2%)

Category: Very safe SNP seat

Geography: Scotland, North East. The whole of the Angus council area.

Main population centres: Forfar,Kirriemuir, Brechin, Montrose, Arbroath.

Profile: A large Scottish rural constituency stretching from the sparsely populated hill farming areas of the Angus Glens in the Grampians, across the largely agricultural Strathmore valley to more built up areas to the North of Dundee. The main towns in the constituency are the market towns of Forfar and Kirriemuir, Brechin and the ports of Montrose and Arbroath (known for both Arbroath smokies and the 1320 declaration of Scottish independence). Industry is mainly agriculture and forestry, though there is also a pharmaceutical industry at Montrose.

Politics: This was once a Conservative seat but with the party`s relentless decline in Scotland it has been held by the SNP since 1987.

Current MP
MICHAEL WEIR (Scottish National Party) Born 1957, Arbroath. Educated at Arbroath High School and Aberdeen University. Former solicitor. Angus councillor 1984-1988. First elected as MP for Angus in 2001.
Past Results
Con: 11738 (31%)
Lab: 6535 (17%)
LDem: 4090 (11%)
SNP: 15020 (40%)
Oth: 577 (2%)
MAJ: 3282 (9%)
Con: 11239 (29%)
Lab: 6850 (18%)
LDem: 6660 (17%)
SNP: 12840 (34%)
Oth: 556 (1%)
MAJ: 1601 (4%)
Con: 8736 (25%)
Lab: 8183 (23%)
LDem: 5015 (14%)
SNP: 12347 (35%)
Oth: 732 (2%)
MAJ: 3611 (10%)
Con: 10603 (25%)
Lab: 6733 (16%)
LDem: 4065 (9%)
SNP: 20792 (48%)
Oth: 883 (2%)
MAJ: 10189 (24%)

2015 Candidates
DEREK WANN (Conservative) Educated at Aberdeen Grammar School. Businessman.
GERARD MCMAHON (Labour) Born 1986, Bellshill. Educated at Glasgow University. Political assistant.
SANJAY SAMANI (Liberal Democrat) Educated at Loughborough Grammar School and Cambridge University. Project manager. Contested Angus 2010, Angus North and Mearns 2011.
CALUM WALKER (UKIP) Born Dundee. Educated at Dundee High School and Abertay University.
DAVID MUMFORD (Green) Episcopal minister.
Comments - 121 Responses on “Angus”
  1. The Tories dropped the ball by not selecting a local candidate last time round. This time I think the SNP will be comfortable.

  2. “relentless decline” sums it up very well.

    Cons are down to their core loyal vote in Scotland and so will only lose a small proportion of their vote. They aren’t going to pick up much anywhere. If they hold the percentage of the poll on a similar turnout, they should judge that a success.


    Peter Fraser MP for Angus South 1979 – 1983 and Angus East 1983 – 1987 has passed away.

    He defeated Andrew Welsh in 1979 and was then defeated by Andrew Welsh in 1987.

  4. Andrew Welsh’s electoral record in South Angus, East Angus and Angus-
    1. October 1974- 17, 073 (43.83%, +7.19%, 1, 824 (4.68%) majority)
    2. 1979- 19, 066 (41.51%, -2.32%)
    3. 1983- 15, 691 (36.0%, N/A)
    4. 1987- 19, 536 (42.4%, +6.4%, 1, 544 (3.4%) majority)
    5. 1992- 19, 006 (40.1%, -2.3%, 954 (2.0%) majority)
    6. 1997- 20, 792 (48.3%, N/A, 10, 189 (23.7%) majority)

  5. have the tories picked a candidate yet

  6. I don’t know.

    I get the feeling though that their chances here aren’t great, this is after all a strong nationalist area of North East Scotland and their result here last time was a bit of a step backwards despite the increase in the vote. Weir should be looking for an increased majority.

  7. I agree with TheResults. I don’t see any hope in the short term for the Tories here even though the seat was still marginal a short time ago.

  8. It should be one that the SNP hold onto long term barring some type of mega Tory revival in Scotland in the near future.

  9. A closer look at the result in South Angus in October 1974-
    Welsh (SNP)- 17, 073 (43.83%, +7.19%)
    Bruce-Gardyne (Conservative)- 15, 249 (39.15%, -10.39%)
    Geaughan (Labour)- 4, 103 (10.53%, -3.28%)
    Will (Liberal)- 2, 529 (6.49%, N/A)

    Majority- 1, 824 (4.68%)
    Swing- +8.79% From Con to SNP.

  10. SNP: 48%
    CON: 25%
    LAB: 20%
    UKIP: 5%
    LD: 3%

  11. Thankfully, the tories have actually picked up here reasonably well (for Scotland) since 1997.

    If the SNP implode enormously following the inevitable No vote, its not beyond the edge of possibility as a gain. Very unlikely though.

  12. Joe R, as much as I would like to agree I think that we have no chance of wining here in 2015. I don’t think that the popularity of the SNP is focused on their campaign for Scottish Independence. It is Salmond’s ability to draw voters towards his party that is driving them.

  13. This is the kind of seat that a centre-right party would hope to win comfortably. However, as regards Scotland, this is simply not possible as long as the union continues. Up until independence I reckon the SNP will hold here. It also does seem like quite a Nationalist area of the country, and so the Scottish Tories, with their wilfully ignorant attitude to the concept of Scottishness, don’t really stand a chance.

  14. In an independent Scotland I imagine this would probably be a fairly safe seat for the main centre-right party, as Calum implies.

  15. Labour are looking for a new candidate after a twitter post has forced Kathy Wiles to stand down. Full details here:

  16. If posters are so categorically ruling out a Tory win here – not just saying it’s ‘unlikely’ – then presumably no-one believes there can possibly be any swing from SNP to Tories in Scotland.

    Given that Scotland does such widely varying swings at each election, this is incredible – but I don’t know this region so I won’t disagree, rather I will remain puzzled for now.

  17. SNP hold, majority 7,000.

  18. Can’t see the majority going as high as that – most of the SNP’s rise is coming in the Central Belt, and they are unlikely to go forward much in the seats they currently hold (except perhaps in Dundee). I prefer to think in percentages rather than absolute numbers – so I’m going with:

    SNP Majority – 12% over Con

  19. The local Tory candidate (Darek Wann) seems really active here, the A90 is lined with banners of “Vote Darek Wann” & “Unionists Must Unite”: at first I thought that it was possibly the work of United Against Separation but I realise now that it’s because the Tories want tactical votes from the other unionist parties where they are first/second place. It’s pretty fruitless in my view, I haven’t seen any Tory banners in East Renfrewshire or Aberdeenshire West & Kincardine, where they stand something of a chance.

  20. Beg to differ, NTY. Wann is the least active Tory Westminster candidate since 2001. The posters – less than 10 per cent of those littering the countryside during the doomed efforts of his hyperactive predecessor, the flitted-to-South-Leicestershire Alberto Costa – appeared at the end of last week. They are very coy about the party he is aligned with, and appear to be a substitute for an actual campaign. I live in Forfar. The only thing I have had from the Tories was the Royal Mail-delivered election address, which arrived last Wednesday, along with those from the Lib Dems and the Greens. I have yet to receive anything from Labour. I have had four leaflets from the SNP, which also has large teams of canvassers patrolling the town – no doubt the reason it is the only party with posters displayed in houses in the town.

    Wann gives Forfar a wide berth, presumably as a result of being the director of a building company in the burgh that failed, chucking 20 people out of a job. I did briefly see him a couple of weeks ago with Jackson Carlaw MSP and a couple of hangers-on. This led to a Facebook entry claiming that Forfar was all for them. This was amusing, as none of those in the photo were from Forfar, and their local intelligence was so woeful that they managed to time their visit to coincide with half-day closing, so they had tumbleweed for company.

    It’s plain as a pikestaff that the Tories have given up on this seat, and all local effort is being channelled into next door West Aberdeen & Kincardine, which had visits last week from Gove and Osborne. That they very conspicuously failed to come to Angus tells its own story.

  21. Half day closing is quaint. Is it still common in Scotland?

    It still exists in a small part of Liverpool and Southport.

  22. Still observed in small market towns, in places like Angus, Lancs Observer. Forfar (like the other Angus burghs) still has a very traditional feel with lots of independent shops. The chains don’t seem to set the prevailing tone and culture on the High Street the way they do in bigger towns, though Asda has a store two minutes’ walk from the Hiigh Streets and there is a Tesco, Aldi and l
    Lidl within a mile. I’d kill for an M&S, though!

  23. SNP Hold

  24. Similar to Moray, the Tories would have won Angus with that kind of vote in 2001 and 2005.

  25. One more reason why it’s a good thing that more people are voting nowadays.

  26. The reaction to the report that the SNP had retained Angus South on the BBC 1979 General Election coverage was hilarious.

    The Oct 1974 result…..

    SNP 17073
    Con 15249
    Lab 4103
    Lib 2529

    SNP maj 1824


    SNP 19066
    Lab 4623
    Lib 2218
    Con 2029

    SNP maj 14443

    David Butler was astounded at this result following the Glasgow Govan result which saw a tight Lab/ SNP marginal reverting back into an ultra safe Labour seat.

    It then became evident that the Tory vote was actually 20029 and not 2029.

  27. I think this is indicative of a trend in North East Scotland…

  28. Another encouraging swing; Tories maybe finally making a comeback in Scotland and positioned reasonably if the sheen comes off the SNP

  29. Arbroath East and Lunan by-election on Monday, should be a very straightforward SNP hold: this is a deprived area in the north of Scotland which voted in favour of Scottish independence back in 2014. It might have voted Leave at the EU referendum.

    The SNP might not win on the First Preference vote: they should comfortably though.

  30. Monday – that’s unusual for a byelection

  31. Arbroath and East Lunan count is 10am tomorrow morning.

  32. Arbroath East and Lunan by-election result: SNP gain from IND with 919 votes on the First Preference (around 35% of the vote).

    Quite a poor showing for the SNP here though perhaps the Independent vote broke heavily for them.

  33. Have you got full results by party, NTY?

  34. First Preference vote shares –

    Scottish National: 35.0% (-8.8)
    Independent: 29.0% (+3.2)
    Conservative: 27.0% (+12.2)
    Labour: 6.7% (-6.0)
    Liberal Democrat: 2.3% (-0.6)

    Votes –
    Brenda Durno (SNP) 919
    Derek Wann (Con) 709
    Lois Elizabeth Speed (Ind) 452
    Kevin Smith (Ind) 309
    John Ruddy (Lab) 177
    Richard Stanley Moore (LD) 60

  35. Now that is a remarkable result for the Conservatives. As you can see the Independent vote is as strong as ever: a sign that they could retain control of Argyll, Highland and Moray (perhaps?)

    This is supposed to be the SNP’s strongest ward in Angus. This is a real indicator that the Conservatives could become the largest party in Angus come 2017 (depending on how many candidates they stand obviously!)

    With the new local council boundaries this result would produce 1 SNP 1 Con 1 Ind in normal circumstances!

  36. Thanks NTY

    Your % figures (showing Ind ahead of Cons) don’t tie up with your numerical figures (showing Cons miles ahead of Ind) though, can you check again please?

    And do you have 2nd / 3rd round etc?

  37. Splitting the Independent vote Lois Elizabeth Speed took 17.2% of the vote and Keven Smith took 11.8%.

    I don’t have any transfer data although the SNP didn’t win until the sixth count!

  38. “Ruth Davidson really has resurrected the Scottish Conservatives. In hindsight the referendum was a boon for them because it gave them a reason to exist – to oppose any repeat of the referendum.”

    I’m starting to suspect that the EU referendum has benefited the party in Scotland even more, particularly in areas where the Leave side performed better in.

  39. I don’t think that they will stand enough candidates in Angus, East Dunbartonshire, East Lothian and maybe even Stirling to form the largest party.

    I’m not certain that they’ll take the largest share of Councillors in East Dunbartonshire and East Lothian regardless…

  40. No clue but in Aberdeen they’re only standing 11 and in Scottish Borders 16.

  41. The vagaries of STV presumably. Stand too many candidates and you can end up winning fewer seats than your part’s true level of support merits. Stand too few in the other hand and you can end up missing out on seats you could have won.

    It’s the main reason why the almost evangelical enthusiasm some supporters of PR have for STV is somewhat misplaced.

    That said it’s still probably a better system than FPTP.

  42. I prefer FPTP although that is true, the Conservatives would have been non-existent outside of Dumfries & Gallowayl, East Renfrewshire, Scottish Borders and South Ayrshire without STV.

  43. I think the biggest problem with FPTP is that you end up with too many councils which are effectively one party states. I think the role of PR in ending Labour dominance in much of central Scotland tends to be significantly underrated.

  44. Labour’s dominance in the Central Belt was ended by the Scottish Parliament and nailed shut with the 2014 referendum. Most people tend to look more indifferently towards local council elections, and honestly I don’t think they have had any significant impact on Scotland’s political landscape. It’s rather ironic that Labour’s existence in Scotland will now be dependent (mostly) on PR though.

    At the moment it looks to me as though the Conservatives are recovering in their former heartlands, making in roads into some constituencies which are traditionally more inclined towards the Liberal Democrats (Edinburgh Central, Edinburgh South, Gordon etc.) and even areas which are traditionally better for the SNP (Angus and Moray perhaps?) Labour has been supplanted by the SNP in the Central Belt who are now, unquestionably, the party of the Central Belt. The SNP vote also seems to be holding up around some heartlands (particularly Banff & Buchan and the Western Isles?) and in the Highlands. An odd new direction in Scotland’s political landscape with the SNP dominating the Central Belt and Highlands, Conservatives doing better around their traditional heartlands and in more affluent areas which had big No votes back in 2014.

  45. I’m unconvinced that Labour’s dominance would have been eroded without PR in the Scottish Parliament. It should be noted that in a straight FPTP election, the SNP wouldn’t even have been the main opposition until 2007.

    In any case, there is something deeply healthy about having political opposition which FPTP doesn’t always allow for. I know how much Labour didn’t like having SNP list MSPs active in what they saw was their own turf post 1999. In some areas, it was the first time they had had any real opposition in decades.

  46. “I’m unconvinced that Labour’s dominance would have been eroded without PR in the Scottish Parliament.”

    Yes that is true – I did not refute that though.

  47. NTY

    Thanks for your further response on by-election, and apologies that I overlooked there were two independents in that % total, separately listed when you gave the hard numbers.

  48. Of course it is equally the case that if a proportional/semi-proportional system was used at Westminster Labour’s wipe-out would not have been so total. So swings and roundabouts.

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