Na h-Eileanan an Iar (Western Isles)

2015 Result:
Conservative: 1215 (7.6%)
Labour: 4560 (28.6%)
Lib Dem: 456 (2.9%)
SNP: 8662 (54.3%)
Christian: 1045 (6.6%)
MAJORITY: 4102 (25.7%)

Category: Safe SNP seat

Geography: Scotland, Highlands and islands. The whole of the Comhairle nan Eilean Siar area.

Main population centres: Stornoway.

Profile: Na h-Eileanan an lar covers the Western Isles (the seat was called Western Isles until 2005). It covers the Outer Hebridies, the further reaches of the archipeligo off the coast of north-western Scotland, including the islands of Lewis and Harris, North Uist, South Uist, Barra, Benbecula, Scalpay, Great Bernera, Grimsay and the uninhabited St Kilda. The only town on the Outer Hebridies is the fishing port of Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis, from where ferries sail to the mainland. Stornoway also has an airport with services to the mainland. The seat is socially as well as geographically somewhat isolated: Gaelic is widely spoken, the Western Isles are the only area in Scotland were over 60% of people speak Gaelic. Sunday Observance is also still widely observed on the Islands, particularly in the Northern islands, with a widespread refusal to trade or travel on the Sabbath, due to the continuing strength of the Free Church and Free Presbyterian Church. In 2006 considerable controversey was caused with the opening of a ferry service to Lewis that operated on Sundays.

Politics: Na h-Eileanan an lar has the smallest electorate of any seat in the country with just over 20,000 voters, only a third of the size of most constituencies. Attempts to link the counstituency with others have always foundered on the geographical size of the area and problems of travel and communications for the MP. Politically the seat has been a marginal between the SNP and Labour since the war. In both 2005 and 2010 it was one of only a few seats where the Conservatives failed to retain their deposit. In the 1975 referendum on continued membership of the European Union, the Western Isles and Shetland Isles were the only areas to vote no.

Current MP
ANGUS MACNEIL (Scottish National Party) Born 1970, Barra. Educated at Nicholson Institute, Stornoway and Strathclyde University. Former teacher and BBC worker. Contested Inverness East, Nairn and Lochaber 2001. First elected as MP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar in 2005. A native speaker of Gaelic. MacNeil brough the original complaint that lead to the police investigation into "loans for peerages".
Past Results
Con: 647 (4%)
Lab: 4838 (33%)
LDem: 1097 (7%)
SNP: 6723 (46%)
Oth: 1412 (10%)
MAJ: 1885 (13%)
Con: 610 (4%)
Lab: 4772 (34%)
LDem: 1096 (8%)
SNP: 6213 (45%)
Oth: 1145 (8%)
MAJ: 1441 (10%)
Con: 1250 (9%)
Lab: 5924 (45%)
LDem: 849 (6%)
SNP: 4850 (37%)
Oth: 286 (2%)
MAJ: 1074 (8%)
Con: 1071 (7%)
Lab: 8955 (56%)
LDem: 495 (3%)
SNP: 5379 (33%)
Oth: 206 (1%)
MAJ: 3576 (22%)

2015 Candidates
MARK BROWN (Conservative) Financial services manager.
ALASDAIR MORRISON (Labour) Born 1968, Stornoway. Educated at Nicolson Institute. Journalist. Contested MSP for Western Isles 1999-2007.
RUARAIDH FERGUSON (Liberal Democrat)
JOHN CORMACK (Christian)
Comments - 626 Responses on “Na h-Eileanan an Iar (Western Isles)”
  1. It’s nothing that surprising to most of us on here, but there were some interesting responses to Qs in some polls:

    eg Democracy Institute Q showed 45% believe Biden has suffered a loss of cognitive function.

    12% said they would never vote for a Roman Catholic as President.

    Almost 80% of Trump voters wouldn’t reveal their voting preference to a work colleague v only 21% of Dems who wouldn’t. Not sure whether that counts as a ‘shy Rep vote’ – it may simply be that Dems in cities are surrounded by other Dems so it isn’t controversial, whereas it would be v much so in some swing states.

    Inds did prefer Trump on the economy, dealing with foreign powers and domestic threats, but trusted Biden to build a consensus, on Covid and as a ‘nice person.’

  2. HH – AFAIK Rudi or Newt G said Trump would stand in 2024 if he lost – but I can’t see that. Unless he meant another Trump family member!

  3. If Trump has done anything criminal or against the law – and my hunch is that he’s done plenty – then he just like anyone else should face the full consequences of the law – one thing the US is typically pretty good at – think of when they wouldn’t allow Mark Thatcher In after he tried to establish himself as dictator of equitorial Ghana – with financial backing from Archer

    I’m sure Trump will use his outgoing honours list to pardon any friends who have fallen foul of the law.

  4. ‘Unless he meant another Trump family member!’

    There’s been a lot of chat about Ivanka or one of his sons trying to run, but I just don’t see it. Both are problematic in their own ways but also have none of their fathers drive, charisma and ability to generate press interest and headlines. Nikki Haley and Tom Cotton are far more likely.

  5. There’s evidence of a small (1%-3%) movement to Trump in most the key battles.

    Three weeks I backed Trump on Betfair in FL PA OH IOWA NC GA. The website allows to to “cash out” yr money for a stated profit or loss. In the last 12 hrs these amounts have steadily got bigger and I am now being offered to cash out on a profit in ALL of the above. So betting odds moving to Trump in key battles it seems.

  6. List ^^ so includes NV and Michigan.

    We got 4 entries in the prediction competition. Very approx they are:
    TRISTAN Biden approx 350
    TIM JONES Biden ” 330
    GRUMPY TRUMP ” 365

    Template u can use:

    Arizona –
    Colorado –
    Florida –
    Georgia –
    Iowa –
    Maine –
    Maine 2nd –
    Minnesota –
    Michigan –
    Neb. 2nd –
    Nevada –
    New Hamps –
    New Mexico –
    N Carolina –
    Ohio –
    Texas –
    Wisconsin –

    Total electoral college votes:
    TRUMP – 
    Biden    –

  7. Right, here is my election day prediction.

    First of all (and this may help anyone not yet made a prediction), let’s give the numbers for the states not on the below list, i.e. those not considered close enough to make the winner in doubt.

    That comes to:

    Biden 195
    Trump 125

    The name given by each state below is my prediction, used to calculate my baseline EV predicted numbers. However, I will use the TCTC (too close to call) ones to give a range of EVs for both candidates, see at the bottom.

    Arizona – Trump (but TCTC in my book) 11
    Colorado – Biden 9
    Florida – Trump 29
    Georgia – Biden (TCTC) 16
    Iowa – Trump 6
    Maine – Biden 3
    Maine 2nd – Trump 1 (TCTC)
    Minnesota – Biden (TCTC) 10
    Michigan – Biden 16
    Neb. 2nd – Biden 1 (TCTC)
    Nevada – Trump (but TCTC in my book) 6
    New Hamps – Trump (TCTC) 4
    New Mexico – Biden 5
    N Carolina – Trump 15
    Ohio – Trump 18
    Penn.– Trump 20
    Texas – Trump (TCTC) 38
    Wisconsin – Biden (TCTC) 10

    Total electoral college votes:
    TRUMP – 273
    Biden – 265

    Range of EVs based on all the TCTC states going one way:

    Trump: 213-310
    Biden: 228-325

    That’s not an absolute statement of the range of outcomes of course, because as we all know any of the above states COULD go either way – hence they are on this list. So the real range of outcomes is a lot wider than what I’ve put above – though I believe it will be inside the range of 213-325 EVs for both candidates even if from a slightly different trail of state results.

  8. FWIW, as this won’t determine the outcome, I believe Biden will win the popular vote by about 5 million votes, or 3% based on a high turnout knocking 70%.

    If anything, that may understate Biden’s popular vote lead. Of course, if Trump’s winning SIGNIFICANTLY more EVs than the 273 I’ve predicted, then the lead will likely be <5m.

  9. Probably my prediction of Georgia falling to Biden is a bit crazy relative to everything else, but I’ll leave it now – it’s only a bit of fun, after all!

  10. Just gone through it again and my final tally is Biden 335 Trump 203, which I’m also going to go down to William Hill with in my lunch break.

    Mark is right thought – there has been a tiny movement to Trump in the battleground states but nowhere near enough

    I really do think the only way Biden could not win the electoral college is if -a significant number of those polled have been lying.

  11. “I really do think the only way Biden could not win the electoral college is if -a significant number of those polled have been lying.”

    Well, that’s one way of putting it!

    Or possibly, that the pollsters haven’t been asking enough of the right people e.g. previously low propensity voters; and various other possibilities.

    Of course, a certain amount of lying to pollsters may also be possible.

  12. Imo a significant number are: lying; and the small undecideds will break more for Trump. And more Biden to Trump voters than T to B voters switchers when they’re in the polling station.

  13. The only poll I’ve seen by religion shows the following support for Reps/Trump:

    Muslim 8%
    Jewish 27%
    Catholic 62%
    Protestant 72%
    Amish 85%
    Evangelicals 91%
    Moonies 95%

    That’s an increase amongst Evangelicals since 2016 (from c80%), but little if any move amongst the rest. I hadn’t even realised that Amish voted (JWs and Brethren don’t), until I saw a Rep mention that they’d registered new Amish voters in PA and were giving them lifts today. It would have been nice to see, but I understand they don’t like being on tv. PS Unsure why Hindus weren’t listed. Do Scientologists vote, anyone?

    Arizona – Biden
    Colorado – Biden
    Florida – TRUMP
    Georgia – TRUMP
    Iowa – TRUMP
    Maine – Biden
    Maine 2nd –TRUMP
    Minnesota – Biden
    Michigan – TRUMP
    Neb. 2nd – Biden
    Nevada – TRUMP
    New Hamps – Biden
    New Mexico – Biden
    N Carolina –TRUMP
    Ohio –TRUMP
    Penn.– TRUMP
    Texas – TRUMP
    Wisconsin – Biden

    Total electoral college votes:
    TRUMP – 290
    Biden    – 248

  15. I still feel completely uncertain about which guy will win, I must say.

    My hunch for Trump feels quite blurry right now.

  16. These are the entries for the competition.


  17. Florida looking safe for Florida.

  18. Things not looking good for Biden at this stage – shocked at the confidence of his camp

  19. Seems like Biden’s troubles in Florida mostly due to the Cuban diaspora, so I don’t think this really tells us anything about the other states.

    Still, that’s 29 EC votes Biden will have to find somewhere else…

  20. Trump wins Florida. On course in TX.
    He is now 2.30 on Betfair which is 43%.

  21. The above is a good link – because NYT project the winners based on WHERE the votes are in for each candidate, which is obviously a proper analysis that goes beneath the headline numbers.

    So one candidate could be well ahead in early counting, but their analysis tells them it favours a state-wide win for the other candidate, for example.

    The needle for N Carolina has gradually shifted from projected Biden win 1% to Trump 1%.

    Georgia 4% Trump projected but a lot of vote left to count.

  22. As I prepredicted beforehand, I’ll stick with Trump taking all 3 (FL NC and Georgia)

  23. Yes I agree (still 🙂 )

  24. I’m confident it’s Trump in TX and OH. But not sure at all he’ll take PA which has 20 electoral college votes

  25. Ohio a funny one – definitely looks stronger for Biden than anticipated, but somehow not sure he will actually win it.

    The order the votes are counted in Texas, I don’t think Biden’s narrow lead can possibly be enough.

    Though may be the big story – i.e. why Democrats didn’t spend more time in Texas i.e. why didn’t they know where they should be spending time?

    Iowa probably a waste of time, Ohio may disprove me yet though.

  26. Gap now closing fast in Ohio

  27. Nah…looked at…Ohio is Trumps. Pennsylvania is key for DJT

  28. Trump well ahead in Ohio and Texas now

  29. I’m calling it. Trump wins electoral college.

  30. And – I suspect – so will he in next few hours!

  31. Think Trump may get Arizona in the end

  32. Think he’ll get Pennsylvania and surprisingly competitive in Michigan, but not Wisconsin – not that he needs to, to win the EV.

  33. To me it’s looking like it’s gonna be 294 TRUMP or 284 Trump ..depending on Wisconsin and assuming TRUMP wins Mich PA Georgia and NC.

    My guess was 290 TRUMP

  34. They’ve just said that of the early votes counted so far in Pennsylvania they’ve broken 78% to Biden, and there’s 2m more to come, presumably most of all the remaining votes.

    His lead is currently 670k there.

    Does that change your thoughts on Pennsylvania at all Mark?

  35. Current state of play in TCTC seats:

    Arizona 80% counted: 51.8-46.9% Biden. Votes counted earlier in favour of Biden, those counted later favour Trump – this lead has already halved. Will be close but I tend to still favour TRUMP.

    Georgia 93% counted: 50.7-48.1% Trump. Remaining votes, around Atlanta, expected to break overwhelmingly for Biden in most counties which is why it has not been called and is expected to be v v close. I don’t know who wins tbh.

    Maine 2nd district: not found out any news on this, though be surprised if not TRUMP win.

    Michigan: 72% counted: 53.3-45.1% Trump. Similar story to other close states where early votes counted after ones placed on the day. Gap will obviously close – but whether completely who knows?

    Nevada 67% counted: 50.3-47.6% Trump. Not sure who’s favoured there, have been offline for a bit since they started counting there.

    North Carolina 94% counted: 50.1-48.7% Trump. Same story as Michigan and Georgia, hence not called. NYT still projecting Trump win.

    Pennsylvania 64% counted: 55.7-43.1% Trump. Same story as Michigan.

    Wisconsin 92% counted: 51.3-47.2% Trump. Same story as Michigan (though a helluva margin for Biden required on remaining votes, surely TRUMP favoured?)

  36. No because the information you have there is very badly wrong.

    Trump currently ahead by 720,000 in PA.

    Trump 2,905,078 56.37%
    Biden 2,185,808 42.41%

    5,153,535 votes counted. Estimated 73.7% – 87.2% in

    TRUMP will win Pennsylvania.

  37. Ok sorry . Very tired. Misread what u wrote. Will check it out. Thanks

  38. Yes.. youre right but not sure about the numbers.

    Governor Wolf of Pennsylvania 25 mins ago:

    “We still have over 1 million mail ballots to count in Pennsylvania.

    I promised Pennsylvanians that we would count every vote and that’s what we’re going to do.”

    TRUMP I think is 720,000 ahead. 1m votes still to count. Wow that is knife edge stuff. No wonder Trump just said the “counting gotta stop now.”

  39. “Very tired”

    I feel your pain! And I’m trying to do a full day’s work today.

  40. “I’m calling it. Trump wins electoral college.”

    Ludicrously early to be able to say that. On my reading of the stats there’s a fair chance that remaining votes in Wisconsin, Michigan, Arizona, Nevada, Georgia and perhaps Pennsylvania will push enough of those states narrowly over to Biden to squeak him over the line. The remaining uncounted votes are overwhelmingly mail-in votes which lean strongly Democratic, even in Republican areas. The key battle now is whether the Supreme Court allows Trump to stop the counting.

  41. My sense is that Biden is still the favourite, but:

    (a) he’s not going to win by enough that Trump and his cronies won’t have the opportunity to muddy the waters, get the Republican-leaning Supreme Court involved, etc.

    (b) Trump could still win legitimately (though his actions clearly indicate that he doesn’t believe he has)

  42. Agree completely.

    It’s an horrendous result.

  43. Also kudos to Mark Felt / Deepthroat for calling out the polls. Though I expect Biden to limp over the line in the end it’s clear that the polls were crap yet again.

  44. Thank you. Yeah I thought it was over and shouldn’t have called it. I didn’t appreciate some states count their postal.votes after the in person vote while others do it the other way around!

  45. Looks like ? even if he wins PA NC and GA, it’s TRUMP 268 BIDEN 27O. Trump needs Michigan an/Or Wisconsin and/or NV.

    I think!! (I had 90mins sleep)

  46. I’m told Michigan is v likely Biden’s – in terms of votes counted!

    Whatever the actual EV final total…I’m not a Trump fan but still pleased with my prediction Trump 294:

    Four weeks ago I wrote: “…I think the polling might be underestimating / failing to reach properly the “silent majority”…”

    a week ago “.. I’m guessing the Trump “silent majority” voters are being underestimated. I think Biden is thought of as unimpressive by a significant amount of the dnks and soft Dem voters.

    “Increasing & surprising numbers of Latinx, Hispanic and BAME will vote Trump…”

    And on 1/11….”Imo a significant number are: lying to pollsters; and the small undecideds will break more for Trump. And more Biden to Trump voters than T to B voters switchers when they’re in the polling station.”

  47. You’re right. Though legal challenges against the massive mail-in ballots now piling in for Biden are a certainty. Millions of Americans will have gone to bed believing similar to your earlier post so scoring Trump a very valuable moral victory in their eyes and fuelling a narrative that he’s been robbed. Also the Republicans have almost certainly held the senate. The next 4 years will be horrible for Biden if he wins, I wonder if he is up to seeing out even a full single term.

  48. Looks like it could in fact come down to the pre-ordained ‘tipping state’ of Pennsylvania where the winner of this state is the next President.

    Put it this way, that’s as plausible as any of the other scenarios.

  49. I think (hope) Biden sees through his narrow leads in Arizona, Nevada, Wisconsin, Maine and Michigan but you got the sunbelt spot on Mark, and overall look to have been closer to the end that the majority of professional pollsters – who told us Biden would walk it.

    You would not have thought that Biden is actually the favourite as things stand

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