Banff & Buchan

2015 Result:
Conservative: 13148 (28.8%)
Labour: 2647 (5.8%)
Lib Dem: 2347 (5.1%)
SNP: 27487 (60.2%)
MAJORITY: 14339 (31.4%)

Category: Very safe SNP seat

Geography: Scotland, North East. Part of Aberdeenshire council area.

Main population centres: Peterhead, Fraserburgh, Rosehearty, Banff, Turriff, Macduff, Portsoy, Aberchirder,.

Profile: A largely coastal seat in the north of Aberdeenshire. Peterhead and Fraserburgh are major fishing ports.

Politics: Banff and Buchan was most associated with Alex Salmond, its MP for 23 years between 1987 and 2010. Under Salmond the seat was eventually built into an extremely safe SNP stronghold. Salmond himself returned as the MP for neighbouring Gordon in 2015.

Current MP
EILIDH WHITEFORD (Scottish National Party) Born 1969, Aberdeen. Educated at Banff Academy and Glasgow University. Former campaigns manager. First elected as MP for Banff and Buchan in 2010.
Past Results
Con: 11841 (31%)
Lab: 5382 (14%)
LDem: 4365 (11%)
SNP: 15868 (41%)
Oth: 1010 (3%)
MAJ: 4027 (10%)
Con: 7207 (19%)
Lab: 4476 (12%)
LDem: 4952 (13%)
SNP: 19044 (51%)
Oth: 1537 (4%)
MAJ: 11837 (32%)
Con: 6207 (20%)
Lab: 4363 (14%)
LDem: 2769 (9%)
SNP: 16710 (54%)
Oth: 757 (2%)
MAJ: 10503 (34%)
Con: 9564 (24%)
Lab: 4747 (12%)
LDem: 2398 (6%)
SNP: 22409 (56%)
Oth: 1060 (3%)
MAJ: 12845 (32%)

2015 Candidates
ALEX JOHNSTONE (Conservative) Born 1961, Kincardineshire. Educated at Mackie Academy. Former dairy farmer. Contested West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine 2005, 2010. MSP for North East Scotland since 1999.
SUMON HOQUE (Labour) Born 1982. Educated at Aberdeen University. Businessman.
DAVID EVANS (Liberal Democrat)
Comments - 197 Responses on “Banff & Buchan”
  1. As someone who grew up in a similar former Tory, semi-rural Scottish constituency, I’m not sure there will be much of a move away from the SNP to the Conservatives (I’ve seen this theory stated on a few of these constituency pages)…after all, if you live in the sort of seat where a centre-right party does well and have centre-right values then you vote for that centre-right party.

    Of course this cuts the other way too and as I remember from my younger days, the SNP vote was always at heart based around the centre-left vote, and I can’t see why they would suddenly go to voting Conservative.

    I guess we’ll find out soon enough!

  2. Not that it will make much difference here, but the Labour candidate appeared in court (charged with several driving offences).

  3. Labour have ‘suspended him from representing the party’. Not quite sure what this means practically, given that he wouldn’t have been receiving much (if any) support and he will still appear on the ballot as the Labour candidate.

  4. A similar thing happened in 2010 with the Tory candidate for one of the Ayrshire constituencies.

  5. Eilidh Whiteford deserves to get re-elected here. She is an excellent constituency MP regardless of party affiliation. One of the few politicians who is in the job to help people rather than to achieve “power”. it is worth noting that the constituency went against the trend in Aberdeenshire and voted yes in the referendum.

  6. After the New Deer hustings I reccon Eilidh has little to fear.
    Johnstone is only a list MSP who couldn’t get elected anywhere.
    Evans is a patronising supercilious wet blanket who also will never get elected anywhere.
    The labour candidate was posted missing after his wee run in with the law.
    The left wing vote will only add to Eilidhs’ majority.

  7. SNP Hold

  8. Surprised the SNP managed to get 60%+ here.

  9. I’m not sure that 60% is such a big surprise here; Whiteford was a first time incumbent and I think the Tory share was unusually high last time due to having a popular local candidate. Salmond usually polled in the 50s here even when the SNP weren’t doing nearly so well nationally.

  10. SNP on 60% in this seat and although it’s regarded as a SNP heartland this area did vote no in the referendum last year so it shows the SNP are appealing to Yes and No voters.

  11. The Ten safest SNP seats:

    1. Dundee East: 59.7% SNP, 39.8% majority (Yes)
    2. Dundee West: 61.9% SNP, 38.2% majority (Yes)
    3. Glasgow South West 57.2% SNP, 33.4% majority (Yes)
    4. Falkirk: 57.7% SNP, 32.6% majority (Likely No)
    5. Banff and Buchan: 60.2% SNP, 31.4% majority (unknown)
    6. Aberdeen North: 56.4% SNP, 30.5% majority (unknown)
    7. Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East: 59.9% SNP, 29.9% majority (Likely Yes)
    8. Livingston: 56.9% SNP, 29.3% majority (Likely No)
    9. Glenrothes: 59.8% SNP, 29.2% majority (Likely Yes)
    10. Dunbartonshire West: 59% SNP, 27.7% majority (Yes)

    * 6 had/likely had a Yes vote in the referendum
    * 2 had/likely had a No vote in the referendum

    Buchan and Banff was the only non-former Labour Heartlands seat to hit the top 10.

  12. Local MP stated that Banff and Buchan had a majority Yes vote at last year’s referendum, probably nearing the 50% mark.

    Aberdeen North looks to have vote against independence with a vote share of between 52-54% No

  13. What’s interesting is that in a typical Clydeside constituency (in this case Glasgow South West) the Labour vote did not actually fall as much as the swing from Lab to SNP would imply –

    19863 to 13438 (down by 6225)….down by a third….
    5192 to 23388 (up by 18196)….up by 450%.

    The huge swing from Labour to SNP seems to have more to do with the massive increase in turnout and voter registration that people switching from Labour to SNP.

    Of the 18196 new SNP voters only 6225 came from Labour and less than 2000 from the Lib Dems.

  14. “than” not “that”

  15. Numerically, the Labour vote increased in only two constituencies: Edinburgh South and Edinburgh North & Leith. Both of those constituencies were Lib-Lab marginals in 2010 with Labour ahead.

  16. Independent Cllr Mark Findlater has defected to the Conservatives in Macduff in this seat.

    Although he refers to himself simply as Unionist Cllr on his Facebook page, he is campaigning with the Conservative Group and supporting them in the Holyrood elections.

    The Tories also beat the SNP in a local by-election here in November.

  17. LANCS

    No – the double by election in November when both a Tory and SNP candidate were elected was in Huntly which is not in Banff and Buchan constituency but in Aberdeenshire West.

    If you are really hopeful for the Tories in this seat you should take the 100-1 widely on offer!

  18. Big swing but still a big SNP majority

    Hopefully these results bode well for the list seats

  19. Returning back to the ten safest SNP seats list (with suggested referendum result represented in brackets):

    1. Dundee East: 59.7% SNP, 39.8% majority (Yes)
    2. Dundee West: 61.9% SNP, 38.2% majority (Yes)
    3. Glasgow South West 57.2% SNP, 33.4% majority (Yes)
    4. Falkirk: 57.7% SNP, 32.6% majority (No)
    5. Banff and Buchan: 60.2% SNP, 31.4% majority (Yes)
    6. Aberdeen North: 56.4% SNP, 30.5% majority (No)
    7. Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East: 59.9% SNP, 29.9% majority (Yes)
    8. Livingston: 56.9% SNP, 29.3% majority (No)
    9. Glenrothes: 59.8% SNP, 29.2% majority (Yes)
    10. Dunbartonshire West: 59% SNP, 27.7% majority (Yes)

    That’s 7 Yes 3 No

    And at the Scottish Parliament (with notional referendum result in brackets):

    1. Glasgow Southside: 61.4% SNP, 38.5% majority (Yes: 53%)
    2. Dundee City East: 58.1% SNP, 38.3% majority (Yes: 57%)
    3. Aberdeen Donside: 56.0% SNP, 37.5% majority (No: 53%)
    4. Falkirk West: 56.9% SNP, 35.2% majority (No: 52%)
    5. Cumbernauld and Kilsyth: 60.1% SNP, 33.5% majority (Yes: 52%)
    6. Kilmarnock and Irvine Valley: 55.4% SNP, 32.6% majority (No: 53%)
    7. Dundee City West: 57.8% SNP, 31.8% majority (Yes: 58%)
    8. East Kilbride: 55.9% SNP, 31.7% majority (No: 54%)
    9. Glasgow Cathcart: 52.9% SNP, 30.6% majority (Yes: 53%)
    10. Mid Fife and Glenrothes: 54.5% SNP, 29.0% majority (Yes: 53%)

    That’s 6 Yes 4 No

  20. Moving onto the supposed Yes victory here.

    It was rumoured by members of the local Yes campaign, among which included some councillors plus the area’s MP, that Banff and Buchan had an overall Yes result at the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, with a 70% Yes vote in Fraserburgh. I’ve done some work here and for this to be true their would have also needed to have been a Yes vote in Peterhead, with a moderate-to-weak No vote across the remainder of the seat. I do not believe it is an overly far-fetched assumption, although certainly the vote looks to have been fairly narrow here – I believe that the Yes camp probably edged it with an overall Yes vote below 51% for Banff and Buchan.

    Another rumour is that the Ross, Skye and Lochaber constituency had an overall Yes vote.

    This is one I find more difficult to argue for. I have read RDL’s case for a Yes vote here (a local SNP canvasser), and I just don’t buy it. He suggests that the Yes camp took Skye with 51% of the vote, and Lochaber with 53% of the vote – with Wester Ross and Dingwall & Seaforth going No at 55%. I would suggest a 56% No vote in the Black Isle, bringing the overall tally here to just over 51% No. The local Yes campaign’s methodology for working out the result here just doesn’t stack up for me.

    Outside of constituencies based in West Dunbartonshire, Glasgow, North Lanarkshire and Dundee I can only see one other seat having a Yes vote besides Banff and Buchan, that being the Glenrothes constituency.

  21. The Ross, Skye and Lochaber SNP MP suggested a Yes vote of 56% in Skye – I think RDL is genuinely on the money with his suggestion here of a 51% Yes vote in Skye.

  22. Odd to see Ayr so high up on the list when it was once a straight contest between the Tories and Labour.

  23. Labour even did better in Galloway & West Dumfries.

  24. On the list-
    Conservative (8): Aberdeenshire West; Dumfriesshire; Eastwood; Edinburgh Central; Edinburgh Southern; Ettrick, Roxburgh & Berwickshire; Galloway & West Dumfries; Perthshire South and Kinross-shire
    Liberal Democrat (2): Orkney; Shetland

    Ayr, Dumbarton, East Lothian, North East Fife and Edinburgh Western were all SNP on the list.

    The Tories took second on the list in all seats located in the Highlands.

  25. I can’t see them winning any constituencies based around the south of Edinburgh for a long while yet, there’s a clear Conservative tactical vote here. Keep in mind that Labour had a bigger majority on the constituency vote versus the Tories on the list vote. The fact that the Westminster constituency is Labour’s only constituency in Scotland speaks for itself. Labour are obviously reliant on ex-Liberal Democrat/Tory voters in Edinburgh South, who appear to be quite willing to vote tactically against the SNP.

  26. As for which seats voted yes: following the referendum the results for the three constituencies in Renfrewshire were released by the council, and the result in Paisley was Yes: 50.4% (22,040) No: 49.6% (21,690).

  27. I remember reading Banff and Buchan is the most eurosceptic constituency in the United Kingdom – likely down to the importance of fishing in the area. Whilst this is probably nowhere near the truth according to this estimate ( it is the most eurosceptic in Scotland.

    Peterhead and Fraserburgh both voted Yes to independence (Fraserburgh apparently 70% Yes), it would be interesting is the two voted in favour of “Brexit”.

  28. Definitely I think. West Aberdeenshire would have been over 60% Remain.

  29. Apparently Banffshire & Buchan Coast voted Leave.

  30. It’s very interesting considering the area also voted in favour of Scottish independence. It looks as if the SNP vote in the area is quite traditional and more to the right than elsewhere in Scotland.

  31. The Leave sides best areas in Scotland (Banff & Buchan and Galloway) are demographically similar: both right-wing, rural areas with bell-shaped levels of deprivation centred around the Scottish average.

    They both have strong Conservative and SNP traditions.

  32. This applies in Moray as well – although Moray is slightly more affluent that the other two.

  33. No I think Galloway & West Dumfries voted Remain (very very narrowly) but that Galloway voted Leave.

  34. Apparently Leave were ahead in Banffshire and Buchan Coast by a significant margin.

    Leave – 23,707 (61.4%)
    Remain – 14,918 (38.6%)
    Valid votes – 38,625

  35. “As for which seats voted yes: following the referendum the results for the three constituencies in Renfrewshire were released by the council, and the result in Paisley was Yes: 50.4% (22,040) No: 49.6% (21,690).”

    Here are a few more constituency results which were made public:
    * Edinburgh East: NO 30,632 (52.7%) YES 27,500 (47.3%)
    * Edinburgh North and Leith: NO 43,253 (60.0%) YES 28,813 (40.0%)
    * Edinburgh South: NO 38,298 (65.3%) YES 20,340 (34.7%)
    * Edinburgh South West: NO 39,509 (61.6%) YES 24,659 (38.4%)
    * Edinburgh West: NO 42,946 (65.5%) YES 22,615 (34.5%)

    * Falkirk East: NO 29,754 (54.6%) YES 24,757 (45.4%)
    * Falkirk West: NO 28,276 (52.4%) YES 25,732 (47.6%)

    * Glasgow Anniesland: YES 23,718 (50.8%) NO 22,976 (49.2%)
    * Glasgow Cathcart: YES 26,499 (52.8%) NO 23,688 (47.2%)
    * Glasgow Kelvin: YES 23,976 (52.4%) NO 21,742 (47.6%)
    * Glasgow Maryhill and Springburn: YES 24,079 (57.1%) NO 18,094 (42.9%)
    * Glasgow Pollok: YES 26,807 (53.9%) NO 22,956 (46.1%)
    * Glasgow Provan: YES 25,217 (57.0%) NO 19,046 (43.0%)
    * Glasgow Shettleston: YES 23,137 (51.4%) NO 21,911 (48.6%)
    * Glasgow Southside: YES 21,346 (53.0%) NO 18,934 (47.0%)

    * Clydesdale: NO 25,391 (60.3%) YES 16,733 (39.7%)
    * East Kilbride: NO 36,365 (53.7%) YES 31,309 (46.3%)
    * Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse + Bothwell: NO 39,129 (54.9%), YES 32,104 (45.1%)
    * Rutherglen: NO 20,915 (50.1%) YES 20,844 (49.9%)

  36. North Ayrshire council also published the results of the referendum by electoral ward. The ward boundaries don’t exactly correspond with the Holyrood boundaries in North Ayrshire but they almost do (with a slight ward split in Saltcoats and Stevenston). This would suggest that Cunninghame North voted against independence on a margin of around 54.1% No, 45.9% Yes, with a Yes vote of 51.6% in the Cunninghame South constituency.

    North Lanarkshire also counted the results of the referendum into different count zones, one count zone corresponding to the Scottish Parliament constituency of Motherwell and Wishaw which had 29,102 Yes votes (51.1%) to 27,848 No votes (48.9%).

  37. “A cluster of six wards in the Banff and Buchan area in north Aberdeenshire had a strong Leave majority of 61%. There is much local discontent within the fishing industry of this coastal district about the EU’s common fisheries policy.”

  38. Yes as I’ve mentioned before wards 1-6 voted 23,707 (61.4%) Leave, 14,918 (38.6%) Remain.

    These wards are namely: Banff & District, Troup, Fraserburgh & District, Central Buchan, Peterhead North & Rattray and Peterhead South & Cruden.

  39. I know this sounds unlikely, but could this be a Con gain with a majority of 50 votes or less?

  40. This seat voted 54% Leave, so Scotland’s most eurosceptic constituency, but I think you’d need SNP to be at least down to about 40% Scotland-wide before you could consider this coming into play.

  41. @BT SAYS… : As mentioned repeatedly on here this constituency also voted in favour of Scottish independence back in 2014, my figures suggest at 52% Yes 48% No.

  42. This is the kind of constituency where I would not expect the Conservatives to win unless they are ahead across Scotland as a whole.

    Other examples of this would include Angus, Central Ayrshire and Lanark & Hamilton East.

  43. I wonder if the Tories selected someone like Jimmy Buchan again, he’d be able to bring more votes in, given his local profile. I’d still expect this to be an SNP seat when all is said and done.

  44. 2016 notional (same as Banffshire & Buchan Coast despite the different boundaries)-
    SNP 55
    CON 32
    LAB 8
    LD 5

    Despite the Leave vote here I just can’t see it happening here for the Conservatives.

  45. Quite. I think the Conservatives will privately be happy if they get within ten points of the SNP.

  46. 2016 notional rather crazy-

    SNP 36
    CON 31
    LAB 17
    LD 16

  47. Those figures are for East Dunbartonshire!

  48. Yes. The Conservatives came first in every ward in Aberdeenshire other than Fraserburgh & District, where Independents topped the poll.

  49. I believe the combined votes here of SNP and Cons will rise from 89% to c.95%.

    Probably narrowly remaining Nat, something like 49-46% perhaps.

    Certainly TCTC for certain IMHO. If the increase of Cons is going to be up c.15% from the last couple of elections (which after all is only in line with current polling, roughly), it obviously has to come mainly from SNP.

  50. The Today programme had a feature here yesterday where the fishermen were saying they had all switched from SNP to Con. Chances of a Con gain certainly better than the recent history of the seat and the size of the majority suggests.

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