Kilmarnock & Loudoun

2015 Result:
Conservative: 6752 (12.5%)
Labour: 16362 (30.4%)
Lib Dem: 789 (1.5%)
SNP: 30000 (55.7%)
MAJORITY: 13638 (25.3%)

Category: Safe SNP seat


Main population centres:



Current MP
ALAN BROWN (SNP) Educated at Loudoun Academy and Glasgow University. Former engineer. East Ayrshire councillor since 2007. First elected as MP for Kilmarnock & Loudoun in 2015.
Past Results
Con: 6592 (14%)
Lab: 24460 (53%)
LDem: 3419 (7%)
SNP: 12082 (26%)
MAJ: 12378 (27%)
Con: 5026 (11%)
Lab: 20976 (47%)
LDem: 4945 (11%)
SNP: 12273 (28%)
Oth: 1163 (3%)
MAJ: 8703 (20%)
Con: 3943 (10%)
Lab: 19926 (53%)
LDem: 3177 (8%)
SNP: 9592 (25%)
Oth: 1027 (3%)
MAJ: 10334 (27%)
Con: 5125 (11%)
Lab: 23621 (50%)
LDem: 1891 (4%)
SNP: 16365 (35%)
Oth: 407 (1%)
MAJ: 7256 (15%)

2015 Candidates
BRIAN WHITTLE (Conservative) Born 1964, Troon. Former Olympic athlete.
CATHY JAMIESON (Labour) Born 1956, Kilmarnock. Educated at James Hamilton Academy and Glasgow School of Art. Social worker. Contested MSP for Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley 1999-2011. MP for Kilmarnock & Loudoun 2010 to 2015. Scottish Minister of Justice 2003-2007, Deputy Leader of the Scottish Labour party 2000-2008, Acting Leader of the Scottish Labour party 2008.
ROD ACKLAND (Liberal Democrat) Contested Monklands West 1983, Glasgow North East 1992, Inverclyde 1997, Clydebank 2001, Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill 2005, Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintillock 2010.
ALAN BROWN (SNP) Educated at Loudoun Academy and Glasgow University. Engineer. East Ayrshire councillor since 2007.
Comments - 56 Responses on “Kilmarnock & Loudoun”
  1. Interesting that the SNP vote fell by 9% here in 2001. I might be wrong, and I could well be, but I suspect it may have had something to do with the fact that Alex Neil, who had been their candidate here in 1992 and 1997, didn’t stand again for them, and instead concentrated on Holyrood. His increase in 1992 was 12.54%, then he had another increase in his vote in 1997 of 3.79%. The fall here in 2001 suggests Alex Neil had a personal vote before he was even an MSP.

  2. There would also have been a first-time incumbency factor in favour of Des Browne, who was first elected in 1997.

  3. Indeed. But it does look like a bad result for the SNP in 2001, given it was a seat in better circumstances they would probably have hoped to win. It went from a near marginal back to the rock-solid safe Labour seat it probably would have been in 1992 and 1997 without Neil as candidate. Although they dropped 9%, they still remained above their 1987 level here, because of the effectiveness of him as candidate, by 7.33%.

  4. is the absence of a seat profile sending a message on what the level of interest in Scotland in here might be post a “Yes” vote???

  5. What Yes vote?

    It is a bit annoying that there are several constituencies that still dont have profile on this site since it was revamped a year ago.

    As for Alex Neil, Im not sure how much of a personal vote he had. I think he did live here at the time but wasnt a councillor or have high profile locally. He also stood here in the 1999 for the Scottish Parliament and was unsuccessful. He came from South Ayrshire and was close to Jim Sillars helping him to form the ill fated Scottish Labour Party in the 70s before the both of then joined the SNP. He also stood in the 1988 Glasgow Central by-election and was defeated by Mike Watson.

    Antiochian, if you have a real desire to know anything about this constituency ask away as I happen to bide here.

  6. That does surprise me RE Alex Neil. I would have thought the drop in 2001 was because it was restoring to some of its state before Neil was the candidate. It would fit that pattern, and he wasn’t even the MP. This happened in a few seats where the SNP MP had stood down, but it was rare in cases of a new SNP candidate who wasn’t replacing a sitting member to fall back so dramatically as 9%.

  7. I wasnt living in the area in 2001 so cant tell you much about the SNP candidate or the campaign if that was a reason for the fall in their vote.

  8. Oh alright. It just stands out as one of the SNP’s worst results of 2001 I think, that’s all.

  9. We also have an important council by-election coming up on March 27th. At the moment the SNP and Tories are in coalition in East Ayrshire but if Labour win the will become the largest party and along with an independent councilor could equal the SNP/Tory number of seats. I am informed that if this happens it will be down to a draw of the cards to see who takes control of the Council.

  10. SNP held the ward. Breaks a long running SNP by election losing streak. There was a swing against them however with yet another increase in the tory vote in Scotland.

  11. Historically the SNP held one of the three Strathclyde divisions in this constituency (Kilmarnock North) but lost it in 1990 or 1994. So there has been a longer term SNP presence here.

  12. The SNP are starting to choose their candidates for 2015 and I have been told that here they have selected Hugh “more parties than Kate Moss” Kerr a 70 year old former Labour MEP for Essex in the 90s then sat with the Greens after being expelled by Labour. He then returned to Scotland and joined the SSP before following Tommy Sheridan after the big fall out and became his press secretary during his trials, he then joined the SNP in the run up to the referendum.

    If this is the best that the SNP can come up with in their key target seats then I think Labour wont have too much to worry about.

  13. Shankley. You may have been told who the SNP has chosen as its candidate,but you have been misinformed.It is in the middle of its selection procedure at the moment and have, as yet, not chosen a candidate. However, I will be extremely surprised if Hugh Kerr emerges as the candidate.
    Oh and by the way, Cathy Jamieson is extremely worried.

  14. Apologies for spelling your name wrongly Shankly.

  15. The SNP candidate still hasnt be announced, but I figure you could put a plant pot up against Cathy and it would win. Bit of a political awakening in the sense that people realise Labour is no longer the Labour of old. As for Hugh Kerr, surely if you’re in politics that long, and partys change, its a natural progression that you would too?

  16. Shankly

    “The SNP are starting to choose their candidates for 2015 and I have been told that here they have selected Hugh “more parties than Kate Moss” Kerr a 70 year old former Labour MEP ”

    What have you got against younger men? The SNP candidate here in 2010 was the then 73 year old George Leslie who is reputedly still active for the SNP.

    George Leslie was a major player in the 1960s SNP surge, polling 10,000 plus votes in the Pollok by-election, which preceded-and paved the credibility way-for the Hamilton by election victory of Winnie Ewing a few months later

  17. Apologies, for the wrong information, I was told the selection process had been completed but it is still ongoing, leaving it a bit late.

  18. Voting closes at the end of January. I’ve been told that over 1400 members had a vote. Wow!!

  19. Local councillor Alan Brown has been confirmed as the SNP candidate in Kilmarnock & Loudoun.

  20. Without knowing anything about Alan Brown, I think he’s clearly a better choice than Hugh Kerr would have been.

  21. He is a leading member of the SNP/Conservative coalition that runs East Ayrshire Council.

  22. The Conservatives have selected the former athlete Brian Whittle as their candidate. Probably best remembered for running in the European Championships 4x400m relay final for GB in 1986 with only one shoe after it fell off during changeover.

  23. And that will still be all he is remembered for on 8th May.

  24. Labour Hold narrowly over SNP

  25. SNP Gain.

  26. Swing of circa 26% !!!!!

  27. They’ll now sweep the board.

  28. Huge swing, not going to be a fun night for unionists in Scotland

  29. SNP 30,000 55.66%
    Lab 16,362 30.35%
    Con 6,752 12.53%
    L Dem 789 1.46%

  30. This was the first result to come through in Scotland and really did set the scene for what was to follow for the rest of the night.

  31. I think a lot of people didn’t quite believe that the polls in Scotland were truly accurate. When the thirty thousand was announced, it pretty much removed that doubt.

  32. This was just the beginning of the end for Labour on the night, and the swing recorded here pretty much laid down the marker that we were to get in a whole swathe of formerly ‘safe Labour seats’ right across Scotland.

  33. I’m sure there was nothing untoward about the count but the SNP polling exactly 30,000 paints the scene in my head of the night going so decisively for the SNP across Scotland that they just thought up a number and wrote it down saying “close enough”.

  34. @PaulD

    It wouldn’t be the first time, particularly if they were racing to be the first to declare.

  35. There isn’t usually much of a declaration race in Scotland.

  36. The Liberal Democrat candidate Rodney Ackland has stood in a remarkable number of seats without ever winning-
    1983- Monklands West- 6, 605 (17.3%, N/A)
    1987- Clydebank and Milngavie- 5, 891 (14.9%, -9.9%)
    1992- Glasgow Springburn- 1, 242 (4.1%, -3.8%)
    1997- Greenock and Inverclyde- 4, 791 (13.8%, N/A)
    1999 SP- Clydebank and Milngavie- 4, 149 (12.45%)
    2001- Clydebank and Milngavie- 3, 909 (12.0%, +1.6%)
    2003 SP- Clydebank and Milngavie- 3, 224 (12.16%, -0.29%)
    2005- Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill- 4, 605 (12.0%, +6.4%)
    2010- Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East- 3, 924 (9.5%, -5.3%)
    2011 SP- Coatbridge and Chryston- 381 (1.6%, -2.9%)
    2015- Kilmarnock and Loudoun- 789 (1.5%, -5.8%)

    That’s a lot of attempts.

  37. And rivalling him is fellow Scottish Lib Dem Douglas Herbison, who has perennially stood for the Alliance/Lib Dems for decades as well-
    1983- Cumbernauld and Kilsyth- 6, 701 (19.8%, +17.0%)
    1987- Cunninghame North- 5, 185 (12.1%, -6.0%)
    1992- Cunninghame North- 2, 864 (6.7%, -5.4%)
    2001- Banff and Buchan- 2, 769 (9.0%, +3.0%)
    2003 SP- Glasgow Kelvin- 3, 334 (15.1%, +2.0%)
    2004- Scotland- European Parliament Election
    2005- Inverclyde- 6, 123 (17.0%, N/A)
    2007 SP- Hamilton North and Bellshill- 1, 726 (6.8%, +0.7%)
    2009- Scotland- European Parliament Election
    2010- Lanark and Hamilton East- 5, 249 (11.3%, -7.4%)
    2011 SP- East Kilbride- 468 (1.6%, -7.0%)

  38. A by-election is due in the Irvine Valley electoral ward, contained within this constituency following the election of Cllr Alan Brown as member for the Kilmarnock and Loudoun constituency.

    My estimates suggest that the constituency of Kilmarnock and Loudoun voted against Scottish independence last September at 53% No 47% Yes, putting it on par with seats such as Falkirk.

    In line with this suggestion, I believe that the Irvine Valley electoral ward voted 57% No 43% Yes. It is a 4 member electoral ward. This gives the Scottish National Party a solid base of 43% on top of some passive “No” votes from the UK General Election in May (admittedly this will not be as strong in the Irvine Valley electoral ward as the SNP’s central appeal is based in urban centres such as Irvine and Kilmarnock).

    First Preference results for Irvine Valley (2012) –
    Scottish National Party – 44%
    Scottish Labour Party – 30%
    Conservative – 18%
    Independent – 7%

    This is perhaps among the more positive results for Labour given that the 2012 SNP vote surpasses that of the Yes vote in 2014. Is it enough for Labour to win the electoral ward (and, by extension, become the largest political party in the East Ayrshire Council area)? I strongly doubt it when the difference between the Yes/No vote is smaller than that of the Conservative vote share in 2012.

  39. Voting in Kilmarnock is very much akin to voting in the Scottish new towns – particularly close to the likes of East Kilbride and Livingston.

    Whilst Kilmarnock did vote Yes in the referendum it had an overall No vote when clumped in with its surrounding rural wards of Annick, Irvine Valley and Ballochmyle (my notional suggesting a 53% No vote here).

    The area had a big swing to the SNP in both 2015 and 2016 compared to the referendum: we want independence but we don’t want it now, perhaps?

  40. I think Cumnock and Ballochmyle will block the SNP from taking a Majority in East Ayrshire.

    Annick: 2 SNP 1 CON 1 LAB
    Kilmarnock North: 2 SNP 1 LAB
    Kilmarnock West and Crosshouse: 2 SNP 1 CON 1 LAB
    Kilmarnock East and Hurlford: 2 SNP 1 LAB 1 CON
    Kilmarnock South: 2 SNP 1 LAB
    Irvine Valley: 2 SNP 1 CON
    Ballochmyle: 2 LAB 1 SNP 1 CON
    Cumnock/New Cumnock: 2 LAB 1 SNP 1 CON
    Doon Valley: 2 SNP 1 LAB

    East Ayrshire total: 16 SNP (+1) 10 LAB (-2) 6 CON (+4)

  41. Labour would pretty much have to outpoll the SNP to get 2 seats in those wards, given that they won’t get many second preferences from the Tories, as the Tories will probably not be far over the quota themselves.

  42. Yes, I think they will.

  43. I think Labour will focus it’s resources on Edinburgh, East Lothian and East Renfrewshire at the local elections next May.

    I think they will have a clear strategy in 2020 of targeting half a dozen constituencies in Scotland unless there is a dramatic turning of the tide in Scotland.

  44. Labour should come third in Edinburgh, East Lothian and East Renfrewshire.

    West Dunbartonshire will probably be their best council result, and the SNP should win here anyway.

  45. Other than Edinburgh South all the half dozen target seats would be longshots.

    I don’t think that West Dunbartonshire would be one of them because the SNP achieved a massive swing in Clydebank and much of Jackie Ballies vote will have come from the Argyll & Bute part of her constituency (Helensburgh, Cardross and Luss) rather than Dumbarton and the Bale of Leven that will have voted SNP.

  46. Edinburgh South went Tory on the List in 2016. They’ll probably manage third here.

    With a low turnout and recent by-election trends in mind West Dunbartonshire could return a decent result for Labour – they probably won’t win but they could come relatively close to the SNP here.

    I think that Leven could go 1 SNP 1 LAB 1 SSP 1 CON. I believe Kilpatrick might also go 2 LAB 1 SNP.

  47. Interestingly there are some pockets of relative Conservative strength around Kilmarnock. The Conservatives tend to perform well around Kilmarnock’s wealthier suburbs (Annandale, Beansburn, Grange, Howard and Southcraig) and in more affluent rural areas (outer parts of Stewarton, Dunlop, Fenwick and rural areas in Annick and Irvine Valley).

    In 2016 I believe that they actually polled ahead in the 1999-2007 electoral wards of:
    * Grange/Howard
    * North Kilmarnock, Fenwick and Waterside
    * Stewarton East and Dunlop

  48. My revised guess for East Ayrshire:
    Annick 1 SNP 1 Con 1 Ind 1 Lab
    Kilmarnock North 2 SNP 1 Lab
    Kilmarnock West and Crosshouse 2 SNP 1 Con 1 Lab
    Kilmarnock East and Hurlford 2 SNP 1 Lab 1 Con
    Kilmarnock South 2 SNP 1 Lab
    Irvine Valley 1 SNP 1 Lab 1 Con – close three-way fight between the Conservatives, Labour and SNP for the last two seats.
    Ballochmyle 2 Lab 1 SNP 1 Con
    Cumnock/New Cumnock 2 Lab 1 SNP 1 Con
    Doon Valley 1 Lab 1 SNP 1 Ind

    EAST AYRSHIRE TOTAL: 13 SNP (-2) 11 Lab (-3) 6 Con (+4) 2 Ind (+1)
    Result: SNP+Con

  49. The SNP held Kilmarnock North on Strathclyde Regional Council in the late 1980’s. It covered around a third of the then constituency.

  50. Kilmarnock East and Hurlford local council by-election tomorrow.

    Here is my ward profile from the Vote UK site:
    “To the north of the ward situated between Craufurdland Water to the west and the A77 bypass to the east is the council estate of New Farm Loch. The estate consists of rows of grim grey council housing, with some flats to the south. There are also a few mixed suburbs on the edges of the estate (at the very northern tip of the estate and to the west of the estate), with some more attractive villa properties in the south-east. This is a staunch area for the SNP who managed to take 44.3% of the vote in the New Farm Loch North & Dean ward at the 2003 council election and 58.5% of the vote in the New Farm Loch South ward at the 1999 council election.

    South of the railway line, the ward takes on a more suburban character towards the A77 and around London Road, with some frayed edges. It stretches west to cover part of Kilmarnock’s relatively attractive, albeit highly deprived, town centre. At the 1999 and 2003 council elections this area, mostly covered by the Kilmarnock Central East ward, was a tight Labour-SNP marginal, going SNP by a majority of 12 votes in 1999 and Labour by a majority of 73 votes in 2003. Today, as with the vast majority of Kilmarnock, this area is SNP territory, though it is also the most Conservative-friendly part of the ward.

    Crossing the A77 to the south-east is the grim ex-coal mining village of Hurlford, and its adjoining hamlet of Crookedholm, which is mostly made-up of council housing. Traditionally Hurlford has been among the staunchest Labour strongholds in East Ayrshire, contrasting the SNP’s traditional strength in New Farm Loch. In 2003 Hurlford delivered a thumping 70.6% Labour vote. Today it’s safely in the SNP bracket, though Labour’s underlying strength here could make itself known in this by-election.

    Kilmarnock East and Hurlford is a mostly working class ward which has traditionally been an important battleground between the SNP and Labour: though today, as with much of Scotland, it has trended heavily over to the SNP. We know that both Kilmarnock and Hurlford voted in favour of Scottish independence back in 2014, and my notionals suggest that this ward had a “Yes” vote of approximately 53% contrasting a wider No vote of 53% in the Scottish Parliament seat of Kilmarnock and Irvine Valley, which had a massive 55.4% SNP vote in 2016.

    I believe that this ward should return another SNP Councillor easily: the most important figure will be the Conservative vote – if they can get a high enough vote share here to win themselves a Councillor under normal circumstances (with all four wards up for grabs) that will be a very good sign for them.”

    The candidates are:
    Fiona CAMPBELL (Scottish National Party)
    Jon HERD (Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party)
    Stephen MCNAMARA (Scottish Libertarian Party)
    Dave MEECHAM (Scottish Labour Party)

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