Glasgow North East

2015 Result:
Conservative: 1769 (4.7%)
Labour: 12754 (33.7%)
Lib Dem: 300 (0.8%)
SNP: 21976 (58.1%)
Green: 615 (1.6%)
TUSC: 218 (0.6%)
Others: 225 (0.6%)
MAJORITY: 9222 (24.4%)

Category: Safe SNP seat

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

Main population centres: Glasgow.

Profile: A grim slice of north-east Glasgow, scarred by gangs, deprivation and hard drugs. The innermost Dennistoun area retains the original Victorian tenements and has undergone some gentrification becoming popular with students and young professionals, to the north there are new developments on the outskirts of Glasgow at Robroyston. The rest of the seat though consists of the some of the most degraded, deprived and crime-ridden parts of the UK: the heroin-ravaged Possilpark, the tower blocks of Sighthill and Red Road, decayed housing estates of Springburn and the amenity-free Milton, product of earlier attempts at slum clearance.

Politics: As with most of Glasgow, the seat was previously solidly Labour but fell to the SNP in 2015. Between 2000 and 2009 the seat was presented by Michael Martin, the then Speaker of the Commons, and was not opposed by the Conservatives or Liberal Democrats - not that their candidates would have received many votes anyway.

Current MP
ANNE MCLAUGHLIN (SNP) First elected as MP for Glasgow North East in 2015.
Past Results
Con: 1569 (5%)
Lab: 20100 (68%)
LDem: 2262 (8%)
SNP: 4158 (14%)
Oth: 1320 (4%)
MAJ: 15942 (54%)
Lab: 15153 (53%)
SNP: 5019 (18%)
Oth: 8246 (29%)
MAJ: 7827 (28%)
Lab: 16053 (67%)
SNP: 4675 (19%)
Oth: 3376 (14%)
MAJ: 11378 (47%)
Con: 1893 (6%)
Lab: 22534 (71%)
LDem: 1349 (4%)
SNP: 5208 (16%)
Oth: 593 (2%)
MAJ: 17326 (55%)

2015 Candidates
ANNIE WELLS (Conservative)
WILLIAM BAIN (Labour) Born 1972, Glasgow. Educated at St Rochs Secondary and Strathclyde University. Law lecturer. MP for Glasgow North East 2009 by-election to 2015.
EILEEN BAXENDALE (Liberal Democrat) Former South Lanarkshire councillor. Contested Glasgow North East 2009 by-election, 2010.
ZARA KITSON (Green) Educated at Glasgow University. Executive Assistant. Contested Dunfermline 2013 by-election.
Comments - 62 Responses on “Glasgow North East”
  1. This seat may (suddenly) be worth talking about – if the leaked poll headline figures are right, this seems to be the only one of the batch that looks set to remain in Labour hands!

    LAB 46
    SNP 39
    CON 4
    LD 1
    OTH 10

  2. Might we see Labour ground troops deployed here in an effort to stave off the SNP attack, rather than being out in places like East Dunbartonshire and Dundee?

    And might SNP ground troups move in for the kill? Who would have had this down as an election battleground five years ago?

  3. If the SNP go heavy on the ground troops in places like this, I suspect they could overreach themselves. There’s a fair bit of ground for Labour to counterattack in Glasgow still, and they shouldn’t make the mistake of believing that “to the SNP” is the only way localised swings can ever work ever.

  4. Are you serious……this is Labours safest seat in Scotland.

    What you suggest would be like a mass of Labour activists being deployed by the London Labour Party on The Cities of London & Westminster or Chelsea & Fulham

  5. This is the most left-wing constituency in the country according to a recent study.

    But if the Greens are as left-wing as Political Compass say (closer to Old Labour then the modern party) then I think Brighton Pavilion could actually have that title, especially when you factor in their main competition being Labour (although PC have the latter down as centre-right!).

  6. That study is blatantly disregarding the strength of Catholicism in the area and the consequent fact that it is one of the relatively few parts of the UK where abortion and homosexuality are in any way controversial. Left wing in terms of having plenty of benefit claimants maybe….but a liberal bohemian paradise like Brighton Pavilion or Islington this certainly is not.

  7. There’s a big difference between Economic Liberal and Social Liberal, though. It’s probably the case that Glasgow North East is not particularly liberal in social terms, but economically it is (and I’m not sure how much the number of benefits claimants comes into it).

    However, based on elections, I don’t see much evidence of GNE being the most economically liberal seat. The most left-wing party to have had any sort of success in UK politics has been the SSP (perhaps Respect to an extent). If we look back at the 2003 election, when the SSP prospered), the highest regional votes were in Pollok (20.2%, although that’s where Sheridan was standing) and Kelvin (18.2%). Also, Shetland continued to perform bizarrely with 11.7% voting SSP, the highest vote share outside of Glasgow.

    Might Glasgow Kelvin/North have a case for being considered the most left-wing (in economic and social terms) seat in Scotland, at least? Funnily enough, having mentioned Respect earlier, this was also Galloway’s seat.

  8. Interesting stuff. I think the consensus on this is correct that this seat would only be very left wing in a certain way. I know Islington had the ‘loony left’ council but I doubt that it would be at all militant now, or Brighton.

    Based on Orkney and Shetland being the safest Lib Dem seat, I’m not sure the voters would be the most ‘liberal’ in the UK.

  9. “There’s a big difference between Economic Liberal and Social Liberal, though. It’s probably the case that Glasgow North East is not particularly liberal in social terms, but economically it is (and I’m not sure how much the number of benefits claimants comes into it).”

    Economic liberal means “right wing on economics”. So Glasgow NE certainly isn’t economically liberal.

  10. You’re quite right. I should have said Economic Left or Social Left.

  11. Almost all opinion polls seem to indicate that Scottish Labour will hold onto Glasgow NE, or that it will atleast be their ‘safest’ Scottish seat for 2015 which under normal circumstances would be unquestionable, however the area voted by majority to leave the UK (estimated at 57%). Can someone explain how it’s possible for a Labour hold in the area given that it voted Yes? Is it due to a lower turnout from Yes voters?

  12. @NTY UK – i think they could fall short here because of the size of the majority and the fact that not all Yes voters will vote SNP, some will vote labour.

  13. Several possibilities – the notional independence vote you cite could be wrong (as I think Glasgow only published results by Holyrood seats, which don’t match that well to Westminster boundaries), there are more Yes voters than average here who will stick with Labour, or the poll may be something of an outlier. It’s hard to say without knowing more about, for example, the minority of Yes voters who won’t vote SNP. We don’t know much about who they are and where they are most frequently found.

  14. @ Simon – My suggestion of 57% is just a guess based on the result for Maryhill & Springburn and Provan, however it is almost impossible for even a marginal No vote to be achieved in the Glasgow NE area without having a seriously large and unrealistic %Yes in remainder of Maryhill&Springburn and Provan. I think the minimum % vote for Yes in Glasgow NE would be 54% (realistically), which would likely result in a Yes vote of 60% for the remaining parts of the Provan-Maryhill/Springburn area.

    Glasgow North East has an electorate size of 59,859 according to electoral calculus while Glasgow Provan and Glasgow Maryhill & Springburn have a combined electorate size of 111,760 according to Electoral Commission – meaning Glasgow NE makes up approximately 53.6% of the electorate of both areas combined. Both Glasgow Provan and Glasgow Maryhill & Spingburn voted Yes by 57.0%.

  15. I don’t know nearly enough about Glasgow to judge that at all. It’s one possible explanation for the gap between the Yes vote and the vote for pro-independence parties.

    Looking at the details of the polls, the SNP are capturing a similar proportion of the 2010 vote in most of the Glasgow seats, so that suggests the most likely explanation is just that the SNP were even further behind here than in other seats, so even a swing of 25% or so is not enough.

  16. I think the area has historically had considerably low turnouts due to the huge levels of deprivation, so perhaps this can explain partly why a Labour win looks possible (low turnout among the younger, deprived voters vs. older voters who are more likely to remain loyal to Labour). It’s still quite obscure given that Glasgow North West for example shares very similar boundaries to that of Glasgow Anniesland which voted Yes by just 50.7% – Lord Ashcroft and YouGov’s Nowcast both show an SNP lead in the area well ahead of Labour.

    Glasgow North West includes also includes in full, the areas of Broomhill, Thornwood and Kelvinside, Westerton avenue and Ilay Avenue/Road which don’t make up a considerable section of it’s electorate and have a similar level of deprivation as the entire constituency, meaning that it’s likely the Westminister constituency voted marginally yes.

  17. @ Simon – I don’t have a good knowledge of the area either!

  18. NTY

    I think much of the electorate of Glasgow North East doesn’t relate with the SNP. A large part of the Yes-voting population in the seat will still feel an affinity with Labour, many of whom will have perhps had more contact with Radical Independence during the campaign than the SNP, as this was a seat where Radical Independence were very active.

    Whereas, in the rest of the city, the status quo is probably being challenged in workplaces, social groups and families as more and more people leave Labour, this is probably not so much the case in Glasgow North East, where speaking out against Labour or for the SNP will be rarer.

  19. @ Piemonteis – thanks, but it’s a little ironic isn’t it? The most Yes-voting Glaswegian area/most left-wing part of the country being more socio-politically conservative…?

  20. Straw Poll carried out 15-April


  21. Just so you know, Eileen Baxendale, the Lib Dem candidate here, is my aunt.

    I am just wondering if anyone here knows of other instances of candidates related to each other who are standing for different parties to one another (e.g. William Cash standing for UKIP in North Warwickshire when his father, Sir Bill Cash, is defending Stone for the Conservatives).

  22. A famous historical example of a family political split was Conservative leader Stanley Baldwin (MP for Bewdley from 1908 until 1937) and his son Oliver Baldwin (Labour MP for Dudley 1929-31 and Paisley 1945-47). Oliver succeeded to his father’s Earldom in 1947.

  23. Today’s Scottish poll would see Labour losing every seat in Scotland apart from this one which they’d hold by the princely majority of 60 votes.

  24. Ok, whilst I am avoiding predicting seats, I am willing to say that Max Parr-Reid’s claim that the SNP will take 58 seats is not going to happen.

  25. @ Max – It’s not a landslide until the people vote. There’s a difference between making assumptions and being complacent, and the SNP shouldn’t take their poll support for granted.

    Glasgow NE is such a rare exception that I’m not sure how the election will go here, but I think it’ll stay Labour due to low turnouts and what Lord Ashcroft’s poll suggests.

  26. There’s only one seat safe from them, right? But 58 would require an improbable number of tight contests to go their way.

    Personally my gut feeling is that this seat is more likely to fall than those in the Borders, and that we might see Labour with fewer seats than the Conservatives in Scotland, or even none at all.

  27. It seems fairly certain to be a grim night for Labour north of the border. They could be completely wiped out in their heartlands. Their best chance of avoiding waking up on May 8 to fewer Scottish MPs than the Tories (ie zero) might be one of the Edinburgh or Aberdeen seats. (Edinburgh S possibly with its controversial SNP candidate?) The Greater Glasgow are is looking very bad at the moment for Labour.

  28. I think this seat will go to a recount. Glasgow NE is not so different from Glasgow E or Glasgow NW that the swing won’t be absolutely enormous.

    Indeed, a recent example of this is the 1931 election when George Hardie lost the equivalent Glasgow Springburn seat to the Conservatives on a 15.6% swing in the midst of a nationwide Labour collapse!*

    *Point 2 not entirely serious

  29. Let me make peace with my left leaning co-bloggers…..Labour win – !!!

  30. Labour Hold

  31. Largest swing of the General Election, 39% from Lab to SNP.

    The largest previous swing in the last 100 years was in the 1935 Liverpool Wavertree by election. I am unaware of any such swing at a general election.

  32. The swing here was astronomical and completely unprecedented. Labour’s wipeout in Scotland would be like the Tories getting wiped out of the South East of England in one go. I really don’t see how Labour can recovery in Scotland.

  33. @ Bigd – with a fully autonomous Labour party which can offer policies more in line with public opinion in Scotland I think Labour can recover somewhat.

    Under the First Past the Post system Labour’s best strategy in Scotland would probably be to recover the “New Labour” project so to attract Conservative and Lib Dem voters in the affluent suburbs of Scotland – in all areas where they stand a chance of winning in Scotland in 2020 there was a significant No vote, a large Tory and/or Liberal Democrat presence historically and many affluent suburbs (eg. East Renfrewshire).

    In the long-term however, and for SP elections, an near-independent Scottish Labour Party is necessary.

    The swing here was mainly a reflection of the high “Yes” vote in the area. Many political commentators etc. felt this area to be among the least likely to go SNP given that it was Labour’s safest seat and tends to have extremely low turnouts (which would benefit Labour) but in the end, the high Yes vote turned out to vote SNP (I myself questioned the theory of a low turnout = Labour win here).

  34. “It seems fairly certain to be a grim night for Labour north of the border. They could be completely wiped out in their heartlands. Their best chance of avoiding waking up on May 8 to fewer Scottish MPs than the Tories (ie zero) might be one of the Edinburgh or Aberdeen seats. (Edinburgh S possibly with its controversial SNP candidate?) The Greater Glasgow are is looking very bad at the moment for Labour.”

    You deserve credit for this, merseylib. some rare foresight on this site regarding the 2015 election. your edinburgh south call was spot on.

  35. l predicted a Labour hold in Edinburgh S. The only trouble is l also predicted some other Labour holds elsewhere in Scotland……

  36. Is 39% the largest recorded swing in British political history?
    And surely there are some psephologists out there who can tell us the story of the world record, maybe the famous Moosejaw North byelection of 1873?

  37. The previous largest swing at a UK general election since 1945 was 26.5% from Labour to Conservative in Newcastle Central in 1983.

    However, the Conservatives may have been helped by the boundary changes that moved parts of the old Newcastle Central into the new Tyne Bridge constituency and gained parts of Newcastle North.

  38. If we’re counting by-elections there were some enormous ones during the war, when the incumbent party were unchallenged except by the British Union of Fascists.

  39. When the Ashcroft poll suggested that Labour would retain Glasgow North East, I was certain that they could also retain the Glasgow Provan Holyrood constituency the following year. Did Ashcroft failed to pick up the swing from Labour to SNP of just under 40% or was there a late surge to the SNP after the Ashcroft constituency polls?

    With a 9222 (24.4%) SNP majority in Glasgow North East, Labour could find Glasgow Provan hard to hold.

    Glasgow Provan (2011 Result)

    Labour Paul Martin 10,037 52.3 -3.9
    SNP Anne McLaughlin 7,958 41.5 +13.5
    Conservative Majid Hussain 777 4.1 -2.3
    Liberal Democrats Michael O’Donnell 413 2.2 -4.3
    Majority 2,079 10.8
    Turnout 19,185 34.5

    Labour Hold Swing Lab to SNP -8.7

  40. The campaign in Glasgow Provan seems to have become quite nasty. The Ashcroft polls projected Glasgow North East as the most likely Labour hold in Scotland but it fell on the largest swing in a general election on record and by over 9000. Had it not have been for the dramatic loss of Glasgow North East I would have felt that Glasgow Provan was one of the constituencies in Scotland that Labour had a chance in holding.

  41. My unreliable guess for next month’s holyrood election:
    Scottish National – 54.4%
    Labour – 20.1%
    Conservative – 15.8%
    Liberal Democrat – 6.5%
    Other – 3.2%

    Scottish National – 49.3%
    Labour – 19.3%
    Conservative – 15.6%
    Liberal Democrat – 6.4%
    Green – 5.0%
    UK Independence Party – 3.4%
    Other – 1.0%

    SNP take 70 constituency seats, Conservatives take 2 (Dumfriesshire + Ettrick, Roxburgh & Berwickshire), Liberal Democrats take 1 (Orkney).

    Seat distribution;
    Scottish National – 75 (+10)
    Labour – 27 (-10)
    Conservative – 18 (+3)
    Liberal Democrat – 6 (+1)
    Green – 3 (+1)

  42. It would be +6 for the SNP on those numbers rather than +10 if we apply the standard practice of stating seat changes in comparison with the start of the last parliament rather than the end of it.

    I know it’s unfair to try and pick apart a prediction without making one of my own, but 3 MSPs for the Greens seems low. I understand that they’ve always seemed to underperform their polling figures, but they’ve been averaging out at 9% in the polls recently and I can’t see the overestimation being quite that high. For what it’s worth, I also think they’ll strike lucky on the list by hitting around 6-7% in the majority of list seats and thus scraping a seat everywhere, while also hitting around 13% in Glasgow and Lothian to earn a second seat in each. I’m therefore predicting 10 seats for the Greens (I think they could even sneak 2 in Highlands and 3 in Lothian on a very, very good night to make it 12).

    I have the Lib Dems on 4 seats, with the only change being Willie Rennie losing his list seat, while there may also be a constituency seat swapped for a list seat in the Highlands (I have Tavish Scott holding on).

    I’m still trying to calculate where Labour will come in all this, and how much progress the Conservatives are actually making. I have the SNP at around 72, but I want to see the next TNS poll to get a realistic idea of what’s happening to their vote on the list.

  43. @ Piemonteis – it’s still a work-in-progress: but I agree. I’ll be looking over my figures as we reach the poll.

    I’ll look into adjusting my regional figures to compensate for the Green vote in the regional polls, although I am slightly skeptical that the party will command such a strong share of the SNP vote on the list as the polls are suggesting (perhaps they will achieve around 7-8% of the regional vote).

    I’m also anticipating the next TNS poll too 🙂

  44. Any idea what the % turnout will be in Scotland this Thursday?

  45. 46.8% in Scotland overall. In Glasgow it’s notably lower – mainly because the voting booths close before the pubs do

  46. The 2016 Labour vote was larger than the 2011 SNP vote in Coatbridge & Chryston, Glasgow Provan and Rutherglen.

  47. Was 0.8% the Lib Dems lowest vote share anywhere in the 2015 GE?

  48. According to a report from the Child Poverty Action Group back in 2002 the former Glasgow constituencies of Shettleston, Springburn and Maryhill ranked as the top three most deprived constituencies in the United Kingdom….

    As part of the 2005 Boundary Review the Glasgow Shettleston and Glasgow Maryhill constituencies were abolished. Glasgow Shettleston was split between Glasgow Baillieston and Glasgow Kelvin (renamed to Glasgow East and Glasgow Central respectively). Part of the old Glasgow Maryhill constituency joined Glasgow Springburn (as Glasgow North East), with the remainder of the constituency forming a new constituency with elements of the old Glasgow Anniesland and Glasgow Kelvin constituencies (named Glasgow North).

    Today, the Glasgow North and Glasgow East constituencies are both more affluent than their component Shettleston and Maryhill constituencies: Glasgow East includes the moderately affluent neighbourhoods of Garrowhill and Mount Vernon whilst Glasgow North covers parts of Glasgow’s West End. Glasgow Central covers some wealthy gentrified areas around the City Centre.

    This leaves Glasgow North East. The constituency covers all of the former Glasgow Springburn constituency in addition to the more deprived parts of the Glasgow Maryhill constituency – it is, perhaps, the most deprived constituency in the United Kingdom.

  49. Cllr Billy McAllister has defected (SNP > Independent).

    He represents Canal ward.

    Labour still has a majority of 1 on the City Council.

Leave a Reply

NB: Before commenting please make sure you are familiar with the Comments Policy. UKPollingReport is a site for non-partisan discussion of polls.

You are not currently logged into UKPollingReport. Registration is not compulsory, but is strongly encouraged. Either login here, or register here (commenters who have previously registered on the Constituency Guide section of the site *should* be able to use their existing login)