Glasgow East

2015 Result:
Conservative: 2544 (6%)
Labour: 13729 (32.4%)
Lib Dem: 318 (0.7%)
SNP: 24116 (56.9%)
Green: 381 (0.9%)
UKIP: 1105 (2.6%)
Others: 224 (0.5%)
MAJORITY: 10387 (24.5%)

Category: Safe SNP seat

Geography: Scotland, Glasgow. Part of the Glasgow council area.

Main population centres: Glasgow.

Profile: The eastern part of the city of Glasgow. This seat contains some affluent suburban areas like Mount Vernon and Bailleston, but it is mostly made up of the post-war product of slum clearances, souless tenements and terraces thrown up in the 1950s and 1960s into which the population of Glasgow`s substandard housing were decanted. The resulting estates, lacking employment and amenties were ravaged by unemployment, hard drugs, violence and gang culture.

Politics: Like most of the Glasgow seats, this was a safe Labour seat until the 2015 SNP landslide. The 2008 by-election that followed the death of David Marshall was won by the SNP on a huge swing of 22%, but normal service was immediately resumed come the 2010 general election when Labour regained the seat with ease.

Current MP
NATALIE MCGARRY (SNP) Born Inverkeithing. Educated at Aberdeen University. Former policy advisor. First elected as MP for Glasgow East in 2015.
Past Results
Con: 1453 (5%)
Lab: 19797 (62%)
LDem: 1617 (5%)
SNP: 7957 (25%)
Oth: 1340 (4%)
MAJ: 11840 (37%)
Con: 2135 (7%)
Lab: 18775 (61%)
LDem: 3665 (12%)
SNP: 5268 (17%)
Oth: 1096 (4%)
MAJ: 13507 (44%)
Con: 1580 (7%)
Lab: 14200 (61%)
LDem: 1551 (7%)
SNP: 4361 (19%)
Oth: 1569 (7%)
MAJ: 9839 (42%)
Con: 2468 (8%)
Lab: 20925 (66%)
LDem: 1217 (4%)
SNP: 6085 (19%)
Oth: 1158 (4%)
MAJ: 14840 (47%)

2015 Candidates
ANDREW MORRISON (Conservative) Educated at St Mungos Academy and Oxford Brookes University. Chartered accountant.
MARGARET CURRAN (Labour) Born 1958. Educated at Our Lady and St Francis School and Glasgow University. Lecturer and minister in the Scottish government. Contested Glasgow East by-election 2008. MSP for Glasgow Baillieston 1999-2011. MP for Glasgow East 2010 to 2015. Shadow Scottish Secretary since 2011.
GARY MCLELLAND (Liberal Democrat)
ARTHUR MISTY THACKERAY (UKIP) Contested Glasgow East 2010.
KIM LONG (Green)
NATALIE MCGARRY (SNP) Born Inverkeithing. Educated at Aberdeen University. Policy advisor.
LIAM MCLAUGHLAN (Scottish Socialist Party (SSP))
Comments - 219 Responses on “Glasgow East”
  1. I headed an economic thinktank in the US for a while and the economic guru in residence had to be warned not to indulge in “three-martini emails” after his evening meal.

    Sounds like a similar case here.. but the three martini tweet….!

  2. If we end up having a by-election here with Natalie running as an Independent how might the results pan out?

    Complete guess [from thin air]:

    Scottish National 45%
    Labour 34%
    Independent 10%
    Conservative 5%
    Other 6%

  3. Why would she run as anything if she had to resign in ignominy?

  4. Why would there be a by-election with her running as an independent? Either she does something bad enough to have to resign and not run (e.g. gets found guilty of stealing the Women for Independence money) or she stays on.

    Question is whether she ever gets the whip back. Given that she is clearly a liability you’d think maybe not, though they may have to if she’s cleared of stealing the money.

  5. You wouldn’t have thought it was too difficult to argue that a pattern of making allegations and apologies on Twitter was bringing the party into disrepute or whatever. She could probably have got away with the JK Rowling situation, but if she has wrongly accused someone of being a holocaust denier without having any evidence to support it, then that is pretty awful. In any case, it seems unlikely that she’ll be the candidate again in 2020 or whenever a general election does take place.

  6. Fair enough.

    Interestingly Natalie is engaged to the only Conservative councillor in Glasgow City.

  7. McGarry is a real joke. I think she’ll end up resigning through the course of the parliament. If she does how would this seat go in a by-election?

  8. Would think so. Were Michelle Thomson (the other currently whipless SNP MP) to have to resign a by-election in Edinburgh West would be rather more interesting.

    I suppose that when you were selecting quite a few people with no real history in party politics a few dodgies slipping through was always a possibility.

  9. Anything other than a very comfortable SNP hold would require Labour to have some sort of momentum. Which they don’t.

  10. Michelle Thomson commands much more credibility over McGarry, who has been a consistent let down, and has been involved in some petty media headline almost bi-monthly since her resignation from the SNP whip.

    If she does resign the seat would probably be an easy SNP pick-up, although the by-election would be a good opportunity for parties such as RISE and Solidarity to test their electoral strength locally.

    If Michelle Thomson were to retire then that could result in an interesting Lib Dem – SNP contest taking place in Edinburgh West.

  11. Assuming that she avoids prosecution and nothing awful comes out in the process, Michelle Thomson will be reinstated, and will likely be reselected in 2020. If she is forced out, I’d imagine that the Lib Dems would start a by-election campaign as favourites.

    McGarry on the other hand is currently proving to be nothing but a liability. I can’t see her being reselected, or regaining the whip. Also, her seat is not really a high risk one, so the SNP are probably less bothered if she survives or not.

  12. As The City of Glasgow will be reduced from 7 to 6 constituencies, I would imagine that Patrick Grady (whose Glasgow North constituency is certain to be abolished) would have a better chance of being selected here.

    There could also be an interesting contest between Tommy Sheppard (SNP – Edinburgh East) and Ian Murray (Lab – Edinburgh South) for a new Edinburgh South East.

    There could also be an interesting contest between David Mundell (Con – Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale & Tweeddale) and Richard Arkless (SNP – Dumfries & Galloway) for a new Dumfriesshire Constituency.

  13. I wouldn’t be surprised if a fair few SNP MPs only stay for one term. A few are quite old and some of the younger ones may want to switch to the Scottish Parliament in 2021 where they could become ministers or even enter the frame to succeed Sturgeon, something that will never happen for them at Westminster. So that might sort out selection dilemmas that might occur. All that assumes they aren’t independent, of course!

  14. There’s unlikely to be a whole load of vacancies at Holyrood at any time soon. Assuming the SNP do win a majority again next month, the only real opportunities that are likely to come up in 2021 are due to retirements. I’m sure there will be the odd one or two who are asked to switch if they have Ministerial potential, but I think most of them will stay at Westminster.

  15. As did John Swinney, Andrew Welsh and Margaret Ewing. (Alex Salmond also went to Holyrood, of course, but resigned his Holyrood seat rather than his Westminster seat in 2001).

  16. @Simon

    But a Westminster career in the third party isn’t particularly rewarding, especially if they again aren’t holding the balance of power after 2020. Constantly opposing things without the opportunity to have much leverage over policy themselves must get a bit boring after a while. If you’re an ambitious SNP politician – as I think a fair few of the younger members probably are – then you want to try and nab a Holyrood seat (I accept that that’s easier said than done, though there are always retirements) and then use your Westminster experience to quickly climb the ministerial ladder. I’m not saying all of them will but it wouldn’t surprise me if 5-10 try to.

  17. I think if a Labour minority govt. relied on SNP votes – a la the Liberal govts. of the early 20th century that relied on Irish Nat votes – then the SNP would have a lot of leverage. For a start, they could insist that their support depends on even more powers for Scotland – which, from the comfort of opposition, the Tories might also decide to support (certainly had their been a hung parliament in May which resulted in a Lab minority I think that would have been likely). Secondly, they could put down lots of left-wing amendments that be very difficult for the Labour party to deal with as their left-wingers would be tempted by them and if they resisted there would be lots of splits. That would leave Labour either having to be a very left-wing govt. (electorally not very sensible, I’d suggest) or face the accusation of being a govt. reliant on Tory votes (again, not very sensible from a Labour perspective). There would certainly be occasions where, strange as it may seem now with the Tories in govt., the Tories and the SNP would find themselves with similar policies in opposition. Ultimately, it isn’t in the SNP’s interests to give an easy ride to any Westminster govt. Of course, they would be somewhat constrained by not wanting to actually bring the thing down (their role in the events of 1979 seemed to hurt them electorally for a while, and in any case if they had 56/59 seats already and a lot of influence there really isn’t anything in an election for them) but I don’t think that would stop them from making life extremely difficult for Labour.

  18. Of course they would. They would twist issues to appear that they were opposing Labour from the left.

  19. All they need to do is avoid defeating the government on anything that’s actually a matter of confidence. They could be as much of a pain in the arse as they want to, especially because Labour will probably be forced to refuse to negotiate any sort of deal at all with them.

  20. Well, yes, but they would presumably also like to have some stability if they were in Government. Telling the SNP to go away before the election and then expecting support on their legislative programme is unlikely to work out.

  21. Assuming Labour don’t make significant progress in Scotland, they have to get up towards 1997/2001 levels of support in England to win an overall majority. That seems unlikely these days, whether they have Corbyn or a much more moderate leader at the helm.

  22. Totally disagree. If Scotland remains part of the union I think Labour could make a comeback under the right leadership and the right political conditions.

  23. What are Scottish Labour for, though? I really can’t work it out at the moment. You could say left-wing unionists, but clearly that isn’t working very well. Parties that lose their purpose tend to do very badly – cf the Lib Dems.

  24. With strong leadership, a commitment to federalism, support for an independence referendum where it is clearly mandated by opinion polls and the right policy platform I think Labour can recover in central Scotland. The cost is a fraction of their centrist unionist vote in certain suburban areas, a cost they must pay if they are to be relevant in Scotland again.

  25. I’d say it’s a little to early to make speculations for 2020. Scotland could be set to leave the UK by then, the SNP could crumble, we don’t know.

    It’ll be nice to have some peace and quiet for a while after 2017.

  26. Socttish Labour is for unionists who aren’t Tories. The problem they have is that, firstly, there aren’t enough of these people to win many seats in Scotland, and secondly, given that unionists tend to be better off and less left wing than nationalists, it doesn’t work that well with a Corbynite leadership.

  27. I think it would take an awful lot to get most people who voted Yes to vote Labour again any time soon. I’ve said before that it’s a shame for the Lib Dems that they had their collapse at the same time as the SNP surge. They would be by far the easiest tactical voting vehicle for unionists, given that most Labour and Tory supporters are pretty allergic to voting for each other. Unfortunately, they are only relevant in the seats they used to hold, and some of them are probably out of reach for a very long time.

  28. The development of tactical voting might make it harder for the SNP to win quite such a high number of seats again (as well as the reduction in the number of seats by the Boundary Commission, of course). But I really see no way back for Labour in their former heartlands – they’ve lost their base and I don’t see them all flooding back in a hurry. It is quite telling that, asked their second preference in recent Holyrood polls, more SNP voters said Green than Labour.

  29. There are actually very few seats where tactical voting could realistically work, as we’re never going to see 100% of the Conservative vote switching to the Lib Dems to win the seat.

    These are:
    Edinburgh Central (but Tories won’t back Boyack over Davidson)
    Edinburgh Southern
    Edinburgh Western
    Fife North East
    Ayr (but also anti-Conservative TV)
    Dumfriesshire (but also anti-Conservative TV)
    Ettrick, Rox & Ber. (but also anti-Conservative TV)
    Eastwood (but also anti-Conservative TV)

    The SNP majority is far too large in the Highland, Aberdeenshire and Perthshire seats for tactical voting to have any significant effect.

    In fact, last year we saw anti-SNP tactical voting on a huge scale (look how well the Lib Dem vote held up where they were challenging), and they still won 56 out of 59 seats.

  30. There’s a difference between ‘seats’ and ‘constituency seats’: just thought I’d clarify.

    I think the Lib Dems could realistically gain one SEAT this May on a good night. In terms of constituency seats they don’t stand a chance anywhere, although their best prospects would be North East Fife and Edinburgh Western (in that order).

  31. Also let me point out at Westminster the boundaries will different as of 2020.

    There is clear potential for a Conservative gain in Dumfries should we have a constituency based around here. Otherwise (In Ayr South, Carrick & Galloway and whatever seat we have in Kincardine & Deeside) the Conservatives are unlikely to make much of an advance.

    Labour could potentially gain a seat in East Renfrewshire if the boundaries are right (covering all of East Renfrewshire minus Barrhead, plus Johnstone in Renfrewshire). They could hold a seat in Edinburgh depending on the boundaries. They have a chance in Aberdeen South and East Lothian too (which are unlikely to see substantive boundary change against Labour).

    The Liberal Democrats might gain a seat in Aberdeenshire (possibly), North East Fife, Edinburgh West (depending on boundaries) and possibly a seat based in Caithness, Sutherland and Ross.

  32. In other news, the holocaust denial defamation case appears to be resolved. McGarry has posted an apology on Twitter. You can’t imagine this sort of thing helps her get re-selected even if there is no police action on the allegedly missing Women for Independence money.

  33. Apparently, McGarry made a “serious mistake”, has paid legal costs, and made a substantial charitable donation.

  34. The clown strikes again. No surprises there.

  35. The SNP’s Glasgow regional association has lodged a police complaint against Natalie McGarry, concerning financial discrepancies.

  36. She seems like a genuinely wonderful woman.

  37. Police are investigating, story here –

    Not a great start to her honeymoon which follows her marriage to David Meikle, the only Conservative on Glasgow City Council, at the weekend.

  38. A short and inglorious career now looks inevitable, although a by-election would be a straightforward SNP hold. The only question is whether she goes before the election or ends up being deselected.

  39. Who knows? Realistically, they should get a decent crop to choose from. This looks like a safe seat going forward, and anyone who wasn’t quite ready in 2015/16 or shines post local authority elections next year would probably like the seat.

  40. Natalie McGarry has reportedly been charged with alleged fraud offences –

  41. Reports that McGarry has been charged with embezzlement and breach of trust.

  42. By-election imminent?

    (Disclaimer, I also said this about Alistair Carmichael, Simon Danczuk and Keith Vaz. I think I get a bit over-excited about possible by-elections)

  43. By-election only if she pleads/is found guilty.

  44. By the way, whilst we’re on SNP MPs who have lost the whip, does anyone have an update on Michelle Thomson? The investigation into her property dealings seems to have been going on for an interminably long amount of time with no resolution.

  45. Natalie McGarry is quite a ridiculous MP: she is constantly embroiled in one scandal or another… By now it seems extremely unlikely that Natalie (or Michelle Thomson, who is now the most expense MP in the UK) will resign for the good of her constituents. The chances of a by-election here rests upon her being charged guilty for embezzlement/breach of trust (which is unlikely).

  46. The investigation against Michelle Thomson’s property dealings are still ongoing: she has resigned from the SNP whip until such a time as the allegations are cleared.

  47. NTY UK- genuine question. Any reason why you think it’s ‘unlikely’ that she will be convicted here? Are the CPS/ courts totally wasting everyone’s time?

  48. “NTY UK- genuine question. Any reason why you think it’s ‘unlikely’ that she will be convicted here? Are the CPS/ courts totally wasting everyone’s time?”

    Embezzlement is very difficult to prove. We have had no public confession as-of-yet from Natalie McGarry, and the allegations are just allegations at the moment (Natalie is innocent until proven guilty)…

  49. That is why, at the moment, I believe that it is unlikely that she will be proven guilty.

  50. The BBC have confirmed that this MP has been charged with fraud.

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