East Dunbartonshire

2015 Result:
Conservative: 4727 (8.6%)
Labour: 6754 (12.3%)
Lib Dem: 19926 (36.3%)
SNP: 22093 (40.3%)
Green: 804 (1.5%)
UKIP: 567 (1%)
MAJORITY: 2167 (3.9%)

Category: Marginal SNP seat

Geography: Scotland, West. Part of the East Dunbartonshire council area.

Main population centres: Bearsden, Bishopbriggs, Milngavie, Lenzie.

Profile: East Dunbartonshire covers the rural hinterland and affluent commuter towns to the north of Glasgow. It is a desirable residential area with a high rate of owner-occupiers, favoured by Glasgow`s middle class professionals.

Politics: Dunbartonshire East was created in 2005, bringing together the more middle class parts of the old Strathkelvin and Bearsden and Clydebank and Milngavie seats. In England it would almost certainly have been a new Conservative seat, but in Scotland they languish in a poor fourth place. Between 2005 and 2015 it was held by the Liberal Democrat MP Jo Swinson who managed to keep most of her vote share in 2015, but managed to lose her seat anyway as Labour voters deserted en masse for the SNP.

Current MP
JOHN NICOLSON (SNP) Born Glasgow. Educated at Glasgow University. Former journalist. First elected as MP for Dunbartonshire East in 2015.
Past Results
Con: 7431 (15%)
Lab: 16367 (34%)
LDem: 18551 (39%)
SNP: 5054 (11%)
Oth: 545 (1%)
MAJ: 2184 (5%)
Con: 7708 (16%)
Lab: 15472 (33%)
LDem: 19533 (42%)
SNP: 2716 (6%)
Oth: 1295 (3%)
MAJ: 4061 (9%)
Con: 6635 (16%)
Lab: 19250 (46%)
LDem: 7533 (18%)
SNP: 6675 (16%)
Oth: 1393 (3%)
MAJ: 11717 (28%)
Con: 9986 (20%)
Lab: 26278 (53%)
LDem: 4843 (10%)
SNP: 8111 (16%)
Oth: 494 (1%)
MAJ: 16292 (33%)

2015 Candidates
ANDREW POLSON (Conservative) Educated at Douglas Academy. Radio station manager.
AMANJIT JHUND (Labour) Born 1981, Glasgow. Educated at Edinburgh university. Doctor and entrepreneur. Contested Windsor 2010.
JO SWINSON (Liberal Democrat) Born 1980, Milngavie. Educated at Douglas Academy and LSE. Marketing manager. Contested Hull East 2001 and Strathkelvin and Bearsden 2003 Scottish Parliament election. MP for East Dunbartonshire 2005 to 2015. Parliamentary under-secretary for business since 2012.
ROSS GREER (Green) Educated at Strathclyde University.
JOHN NICOLSON (SNP) Born Glasgow. Educated at Glasgow University. Journalist.
Comments - 603 Responses on “Dunbartonshire East”
  1. Were East Dunbartonshire retaining its boundaries that constituency would clearly be her best prospect but with boundary changes that are likely to move much of Bearden & Milngavie into Dunbartonshire West and gain much of Cumbernauld Kilsyth & Kirkintilloch East, Edinburgh West would be like to be more fruitful.

  2. I have the Liberal Democrats winning in Bearsden and Milngavie in 2015 on a majority of roughly 7% in Bearsden and 4% in Milngavie.

  3. I would imagine that more residents of the former “Bearsden & Milngavie District Council” area would be NO voters and more residents of the former “Strathkelvin District Council” would be YES voters.

  4. My notionals point to strong No vote of around 68% in the former Bearsden and Milngavie District Council area over a No vote of 56% in the Strathaven District Council area (57% in the portion covered as part of East Dunbartonshire).

  5. Strathkelvin*

  6. Yes they are available here: https://www.eastdunbarton.gov.uk/council/elections-voting/scottish-parliamlentary-elections-2016

    Scottish National – 14,862 (37.7%)
    Conservative – 9,646 (24.5%)
    Labour – 7,466 (19.0%)
    Liberal Democrat – 3,295 (8.4%)
    Green – 2,603 (6.6%)
    UKIP – 657 (1.7%)
    Scottish Christian – 312 (0.8%)
    Solidarity – 268 (0.7%)
    RISE – 167 (0.4%)
    Liberatian – 57 (0.1%)

  7. Interesting that there seems to be a solid Liberal Democrat vote in Strathkelvin & Milngavie, and I imagine in Clydebank & Milngavie too. Next year’s council elections in East Dunbartonshire will be vital for them.


    Have you come across the Highland regional results by constituency, per chance?

  8. No unfortunately I have not.

    They are available for Orkney and Shetland (showing a breakdown of the Lib Dem vote towards Labour and the Conservatives, although still topping the regional poll here).

  9. Thanks. I’m eager to see where John Finnie’s vote was strongest across the Highlands, and where the Lib Dems obtained their list votes.

  10. I’m interested to see that Piemonteis thinks that the Lib Dem in Strathkelvin and Bearsden ‘seems to be solid’. What does ‘solid’ mean? They got 12.5% of the votes and came fourth. What’s so ‘solid’ about that?
    As for the local elections in 2017 the Lib Dems will probably do well in Bearsden and Milngavie but that will be almost entirely due to a strong vote for the individual people standing. It will have very little to do with support for the party. However, now that there will no longer be a paid organiser in the constituency it will be interesting to see how the 3 local Councillors cope without that help. (The last paid organiser was appointed for the six months up to May 5th. with no MP or MSP or candidate for the local constituency I would be surprised if the local party had the funds to pay for an organiser.) The nightmare scenario for the Lib Dems in East Dunbartonshire will be the changes to the Westminster boundaries for the 2020 General Election. Any changes will be harmful to their prospects of regaining the seat. In fact, any changes will make it virtually impossible for them to regain the seat.

  11. Kikintilloch is to be squeezed into two electoral wards (both three member) versus the three at the moment, I think this is a very logical arrangement.

  12. If there were no boundary changes before 2020, this is the LIb Dems’ most winnable seat – in Scotland, though possibly not the whole UK – by a long way.

    They achieved an exceptional result in 2015 in the circumstances, actually increasing their numerical vote.

  13. The seat cannot remain with boundary change I’m afraid.

  14. IIRC it’s likely that Edinburgh will be divided five ways, with Almond moving in with West Lothian, leaving four constituencies fully situated within the City of Edinburgh local authority area named:
    Edinburgh Central
    Edinburgh North East
    Edinburgh South East
    Edinburgh South West

    This would be a net loss of one constituency (Edinburgh South) for the unionist parties.

    Additionally, there would be a net loss of one constituency held by the SNP which is winnable for the unionists. Under the proposals Edinburgh West and Edinburgh North and Leith would be decimated, although this is made up for by the possibility of a Conservative gain in either Edinburgh Central or Edinburgh South West depending on how the boundaries are organised.

  15. Given the huge scale of tactical voting at Westminster, notional results really don’t tell you much.

  16. Labour should probably be squished out by the SNP and Conservatives. Not sure how well they’ll do but I do anticipate a return of the Conservative-Labour-Liberal Democrat administration here.

  17. Wrong boundaries again.

    I’ll guess that they will manage one Cllr in each ward. They might not manage it in Kirkintilloch East & North & Twechar although they could potentially take two Cllrs in Bishopbriggs North & Campsie. The SNP should poll ahead of them.

  18. I think the Tories best chance of polling ahead of the SNP in a council area (which you seem to be so obsessive about???) other than Dumfries & Galloway, East Renfrewshire, Scottish Borders and South Ayrshire would be in Aberdeenshire.

    Aberdeenshire is unlikely to go Conservative due to the SNP’s staunch support in Banff & Buchan, even if the manage to poll ahead of them in Deeside, Gordon and Kincardineshire. They could manage it if Banff & Buchan has a substantial Independent vote as a consequence of the EU referendum (where Banff and Buchan apparently voted to Leave the EU).

  19. Some of those are a stretch. I think 5 seems more reasonable. It does seem likely that the present administration will be able to continue should they wish to do so, although I’d suggest that there are clearly wards that it would be worth the SNP running more than 1 candidate this time.

  20. The problem that the Tories have is that there are very few local authority areas that are a straight fight between them and the SNP. In 3 member wards, it’s very hard to get 2 out of 3 as long as there’s a semi-credible 3rd party, which makes getting close to overall majorities very difficult. Most of the time, when a party gets 2 out of 3 it’s in SNP/Labour contests, where the Tory and Lib Dem votes are pretty minimal.

  21. I strongly doubt that Edinburgh Labour will go into a coalition with the Conservatives.

  22. I have a feeling that we might see more minority administrations. I’m not sure that Labour will be that keen to have too many formal coalition deals with either the Tories or the SNP.

  23. @ Simon – I’d say around 6/7 Conservative Cllrs in East Dunbartonshire.

  24. Haven’t studied the new boundaries. I fell into Max’s old boundary trap, so I couldn’t really say/

  25. In some cases boundary change can have a substantial impact on the composition of local government. Usually it only impacts a few wards but I believe on the new boundaries the SNP would have an increased majority in Angus had the new boundaries been used in 2012 for example.

  26. And in terms of raw numbers boundary change has an obvious impact on the composition of councillors. Many councils are to have a reduction in councillors which can directly impact the performance of certain political parties.

    In South Ayrshire for example we are to lose 2 councillors (1 in Ayr East and 1 in Maybole, North Carrick and Coylton).

  27. The size of wards can make a difference. If one party is the largest in an area, with two reasonably sized competitors, then they’d often get 1 out of 3 in a three-member ward, but 2 out of 4 in a four. I have the impression that there are going to be more four member wards, which would benefit the SNP in a number of areas, and maybe the Tories in others.

  28. “I have the impression that there are going to be more four member wards, which would benefit the SNP in a number of areas, and maybe the Tories in others.”

    Why would that benefit the SNP? If they can exceed the 50% mark wouldn’t that give them 2/3 councillors in 3 member wards?

  29. I think it benefits the SNP because there are two main groups of seats they fight

    Firstly, the ones in largely working class areas where it’s largely a straight fight with Labour. In most 3 man wards, I’d expect the result to be SNP 2 Lab 1, with the odd ward where that’s reversed. If that moves to a 4 man ward, then the results will be a combination of SNP 3 Lab 1, SNP 2 Lab 2 and SNP 2 Lab 1 Con 1. I don’t think there are any wards left where Labour could take 3 out of 4. Overall in these wards, I think going from 3 to 4 would make little difference.

    Secondly, in areas where there is more of a multi-party system, 3 man wards will tend to go SNP 1 Con 1 Lab 1 (substitute in LD for Lab, or occasionally Con where appropriate). There aren’t a lot of wards with 4 contending parties, outside Edinburgh and maybe some rural authorities with significant independent presence., so a four man ward will usually give the 4th seat to the largest party, which is often going to be the SNP, sometimes the Tories and rarely Labour. So it should benefit the SNP to have more 4 man wards in these sort of areas.

    That’s my general thoughts on the matter. I fully accept that it may not stand up to detailed analysis.

  30. No , most wards that are SNP/Labour fights will be SNP 2 Lab 1. There will be the odd one where local factors, transfers from minor parties or whatever mean that will be reversed.

  31. Glasgow will be interesting.

    Wards that are typically Lab 2/ SNP 1 and Lab 2/ SNP 2 could go SNP 2/ Lab 1 and SNP 3/ Lab 1.

    The Tories should hold their seat in Pollokshields and have a strong chance of winning 1 of the 4 seats in the new Partick East/ Kelvindale (that includes part of Partick, Hyndland, Dowanhill, Kelvinside and Kelvindale).

    I could see Partick East/ Kelvindale going SNP 2/ Green 1/ Con 1 but given their strong vote in Glasgow Kelvin last May I could also see that ward going Green 2/ SNP 1 / Con 1 or Green 2/ SNP 2.

  32. I’d be surprised if the Greens got enough votes to get two councillors in a ward. Even in Edinburgh, where they tend to do better and topped the poll in a couple of wards, I don’t think they’ve achieved 25% of the vote anywhere yet. I suspect a good chunk of the Green vote in Kelvin was a personal vote for Patrick Harvie.

  33. I think that the Greens may have won more votes in the new Partick East / Kelvindale Ward that the SNP.

    The SNP vote will have been concentrated in the more working class parts of Glasgow Kelvin (Anderston/ City and Canal).

    I think that the Greens will have picked up much of the ex-Lib Dem vote to.

    Partick East / Kelvindale Ward is more or less the old Kelvinside Ward (once a Tory stronghold) with a gentrified part of Partick thrown in.

    Its remains a very middleclass ward that is now a strange mix of ultra left middle class socialists and a reasonably large residual Tory vote (that has been previously divided between three wards).

    Believe me, this is the Greens best chance of winning two seats in any Scottish ward.

    Green 32%, SNP 27%, Con 18%, Lab 12%, LD 11%

    Such a result would give the Greens 2 seats, SNP 1 and Con 1.

  34. I’m sure Patrick Harvie probably did beat the SNP in certain parts of Glasgow. I don’t think that means that a generic Green candidate would beat a generic SNP candidate in those areas.

  35. If you look at the Edinburgh local results, where there’s now a reasonably well established Green group on the council, there’s a very clear division between the wards that they can compete in and those they can’t. There were 7 wards where they got 15% or more, and they didn’t score more than 9% anywhere else. They perform very poorly in both very middle-class areas and large council estates, and do much better in the more cosmopolitan parts of the city, where there are greater concentrations of younger and public sector voters.

    I suspect their ceiling in Glasgow is more limited, due to it being a poorer and more working-class city. Although they have a group of 5 on the council, many of them were very marginal indeed.

  36. “I was wondering about that: i.e. which wards Harvie carried in Kelvin.”

    I strongly doubt that the Greens carried ANY wards.

  37. As predicted it looks like the boundary proposals have split the constituency and put Bearsden in one seat and Milngavie in another. This will make life very difficult for the Lib Dems in the area now

  38. I think the name is odd because it still is completely East Dunbartonshire. It has simply regained Kirkintilloch East and lost Bearsden North (as part of Milngavie) to Dunbartonshire West.

    No idea why Dunbartonshire West did not take Milngavie instead as theis would have kept Bearsden in a single constituency.

  39. Totally agree with Dalek!

  40. The successor to East Dunbartonshire

    NAT 26,375 44.8%
    LIB 16,438 27.9%
    LAB 9,417 16.0%
    CON 5,432 9.2%
    Green 745 1.3%
    UKIP 448 0.8%

    NAT Majority 9,937 16.9%

    Loses Bearsden North and Milngavie (part)
    Gains Kirkintilloch East

  41. Here’s my notional;

    SNP 45%
    LIB 26%
    LAB 19%
    CON 9%
    OTH 1%

  42. A 6.5% to 7.5% swing on the notional change?

    Can’t recall ever seeing numbers quite that large.

    The irony being that across the affected seats the Lib Dems could gain share overall and yet be further away from a gain.

  43. Were the existing boundaries to be used in 2020, this would certainly be a major SNP/ Lib Dem battleground with a potential for strong third placed Conservative vote.

    The boundary changes are certain to save John Nicolson’s seat in parliament.

  44. Yes that is certainly the case.

    In 2015 Bearsden was the best part of the East Dunbartonshire constituency for the Liberal Democrats, whilst the north of Kirkintilloch was solid SNP territory. The proposed boundary changes turn this seat into a safe SNP constituency.

  45. I believe that my notionals had the No vote here at around 63-64% No so 34% SNP in a general election might be wishful thinking (underestaming their strength here) if I’m honest.

  46. I also question the likelihood of the Conservatives more than doubling their vote here given the fact that this would be a clear SNP v Lib Dem contest and the possibility of Labour losing their deposit here – it would be possible as a result of pro-Lib Dem tactical voting but still unlikely.

    In Holyrood we saw some very clear signs of pro-Lib Dem tactical voting among Conservative voters in Edinburgh Western and North East Fife (in both cases the Tory vote was DOWN on the constituency vote but up by over 10% in the regional list vote, indicating a clear pro-Liberal tactical vote).

  47. Conservative Estimate should just make one post somewhere saying “if there is a snap general election in 2017 I expect the Tories to win 600 seats with the SNP being defeated by the Lib Dems in the rest. Perhaps I’ll revise the Tories down to 595 if the election isn’t till 2020 and Labour have a new leader, and Brexit isn’t going as well as it could”.

    It would save these 500 individual ramping posts per day, a point I think you already made NTY.

  48. Yes I suggested tohim yesterday to stop spamming the site, collect all of his predictions/guesses/whatever and put them in a single post. Obviously he ignored that.

  49. I fear you’ll be disappointed. Labour <200 is IMO quite unlikely. Con 397 is similar to 1983 which I think is very hard to see.

  50. “If there‚Äôs a snap election this year
    LD 40.6%
    SNP 34%
    CON 22%
    LAB 3.5%
    LD gain”

    Nope……The SNP lead in both Holyrood constituencies covering this Westminster constituency last May was massive 43.5/ 12.5% in Strathkelvin & Bearden and 49.2/ 8.9% in Clydebank & Milngavie. Obviously this also includes solid SNP/ Lab areas like Clydebank and Kirkintilloch East, but the SNP must have had increase their lead to over 25% over Lib Dems on the Westminster boundaries.

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