Perth & North Perthshire

2015 Result:
Conservative: 17738 (32.7%)
Labour: 4413 (8.1%)
Lib Dem: 2059 (3.8%)
SNP: 27379 (50.5%)
Green: 1146 (2.1%)
UKIP: 1110 (2%)
Independent: 355 (0.7%)
MAJORITY: 9641 (17.8%)

Category: Safe SNP seat

Geography: Scotland, Mid Scotland and Fife. Part of Perth and Kinross council area.

Main population centres: Perth, Coupar Angus, Blairgowrie, Aberfeldy, Pitlochry, Alyth.

Profile: Covers a huge swathe of remote mountains, forest and moorlands in the Scottish highlands, as well as the lowland area around Perth itself. There are a few small towns in the highland part of the seat, including the market town of Aberfeldy and the tourist centre of Pitlochry, but the large majority of the electorate is in the lowland portion of the constituency in the south, especially the city of Perth itself. Perth is the administrative centre of Perth and Kinross council and a retail and financial centre for the wider area. It has played a prominent role in Scottish history and Scone Abbey to the east of the city was the traditional coronation site for Scottish monarchs.

Politics: There have been various different constituency arrangements covering Perth in the past, sometimes pairing the city with Kinross, sometimes with the highlands of north-eastern Perthshire. Throughout these it has been held by the SNP since the 1995 Perth and Kinross by-election, and has been a marginal between the SNP and Conservatives since the 1970s.

Current MP
PETE WISHART (Scottish National Party) Born 1962, Dunfermline. Educated at Queen Anne High School. Former keyboard player with Celtic rock band Runrig. First elected as MP for Tayside North in 2001.
Past Results
Con: 14739 (31%)
Lab: 7923 (16%)
LDem: 5954 (12%)
SNP: 19118 (40%)
Oth: 534 (1%)
MAJ: 4379 (9%)
Con: 13948 (30%)
Lab: 8601 (19%)
LDem: 7403 (16%)
SNP: 15469 (34%)
Oth: 509 (1%)
MAJ: 1521 (3%)
Con: 11189 (30%)
Lab: 9638 (25%)
LDem: 4853 (13%)
SNP: 11237 (30%)
Oth: 899 (2%)
MAJ: 48 (0%)
Con: 13068 (29%)
Lab: 11036 (25%)
LDem: 3583 (8%)
SNP: 16209 (36%)
Oth: 655 (1%)
MAJ: 3141 (7%)

2015 Candidates
ALEXANDER STEWART (Conservative) Perth and Kinross councillor since 1999.
PETER BARRETT (Liberal Democrat) Contested Perth and North Perthshire 2010.
XANDER MCDADE (Independent)
Comments - 372 Responses on “Perth & North Perthshire”
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  1. Anyone fancy making a guess as to how a Kinross and West Perthshire constituency would have voted?

  2. A Lancaster and Morecambe seat in fact falls easily within tolerance. I can only think the Commission has avoided it because the corresponding rural seat would be rather unwieldy (it would probably go from the northern tip of the Preston, through Garstang and Lunsdale before curving north-west to Carnforth. Still, I’ve seen worse seats and there would at least be a consistently rural character to it.

  3. Sorry, I was intending to post that on Lancaster and Fleetwood- ignore me!

  4. Anybody have any idea what has happened to Peter Lyburn since 2010?

  5. He was one of the Tory Tatler’s in 2010.

    Unless the Tories select a strong candidate I can see Pete Wishart holding on here. It would be nice to see Labour select Donnie Munro here. It would make for some potentially amusing husting meetings.

  6. @Big Pump
    For the ignorant (I’m not one of them) give us your definition of a Tory Tatler.

  7. Richard, i suspect a Kinross and Perthshire West constituency would have been too close to call between the Tories and the SNP. There are a couple of viable seats around Tayside and Aberdeenshire which the Tories would have won, such as an Aberdeenshire South & Angus East/North seat. Although that doesnt take into account any of the anti-Tory tactical voting, which in Tayside goes to the SNP and in South Aberdeenshire goes to the Lib Dems

  8. I was referring to the fact he was in the photo shoot with Tim Clarke, Shaun Bailey etc. interestingly when they did the shoot at the 2005 election none of the candidates got elected either. 😀

  9. It would be intresting if there was an SNP meltdown following an enormous NO vote whether the tories could pick this seat up.

    Must be an outside possibility.

  10. ‘Richard, i suspect a Kinross and Perthshire West constituency would have been too close to call between the Tories and the SNP.’

    How time have changed from the Douglas-Home era!

  11. Though Fairburn was run very close in the second 1974 election- a swing of 15% or so to the SNP.

  12. To answer Richard’s question, I make Kinross & West Perthshire (usual caveats about tactical voting in different directions apply):

    Con 10,386
    Lab 9,322
    SNP 9,094
    LD 5,010

    The Perth and Kinross bits were virtually level pegging:
    SNP 7,100
    Con 6,837
    Lab 5,151
    LD 3,041

    But the Tories had a lead in the parts of K&WP that are now in Stirling (Trossachs & Teith, and Dunblane).

  13. It is striking how much Labour has strengthened in the area covered by the old Kinross and West Perthshire. I know that there will be a strong public sector middle-class vote in parts of the constituency, particularly Dunblane, which I doubt the Tories carried by much over Labour despite its affluence.

  14. BIG PUMP – I guess you mean Mark Clarke rather than Tim Clarke – a decent increase in the Tory vote in Tooting but no impact on the Labour vote – I believe he is no longer on the candidates list.

  15. Mark Clarke was elected as a councillor in the City of London at a by-election last year, and was briefly influential in attempts to introduce ‘normal’ politics there (in concert with the Young Britons Foundation,) but failed to win re-election.

  16. Interesting – aren’t those elections apolitical?

  17. @Tory: I reckon that the Tories wouldn’t have held Dunblane at all in 2010. My figures, fwiw, are Lab 2037, Con 1630, LD 1037, SNP 778.

    The other thing to remember is that Kinross and West Perthshire included a lot of what is now Ochil and South Perthshire, which Labour won with a much improved majority in 2010. Some of that would have been down to Lab/SNP swing voters in Clackmannan (which was not in K&WP) voting Labour, but not all of it would have been. To have won that comfortably Labour would have had to have polled respectably in south Perthshire, and I reckon they could well have been ahead in Kinross-shire.

  18. The Conservatives and Lib Dems don’t stand in the City. Labour have on and off since the 1950s. The former two parties basically accept the City establishment’s line that administering the City is essentially apolitical, Labour don’t.

    his year there were, along with Labour and the YBF, a slate of candidates loosely associated with the Occupy movement called the City Reform Group. And a fair amount of independent candidates will be active members of political parties.

    To briefly summarise, the YBF got a few candidates elected, Labour did respectably in a couple of the residential wards but didn’t get anybody elected and the CRG bombed exactly as much as you’d expect in an election when the group they were trying to reform was the electorate. There’s a more detailed and more informed discussion over at Vote 2012.

  19. Being as someone asked, the 2010 vote on the old West Perthshire and Kinross boundaries would produce this result:

    CON = 14916
    LAB = 10413
    LIB = 8098
    SNP = 12470

    The total electorate would be around 69747

  20. A closer look at the result in Perth and East Perthshire in October 1974-
    Crawford (SNP)- 17, 337 (40.76%, +13.54%)
    MacArthur (Conservative)- 16, 544 (38.89%, -8.37%)
    White (Labour)- 5, 805 (13.65%, -1.5%)
    Duncan (Liberal)- 2, 851 (6.70%, -3.67%)

    Majority- 793 (1.86%)
    Swing- +10.955% From Con to SNP.

  21. A closer look at the result in North Tayside in 1997-
    Swinney (SNP)- 20, 447 (44.85%, +7.37%)
    Walker (Conservative)- 16, 287 (35.72%, -10.95%)
    McFatridge (Labour)- 5, 141 (11.28%, +4.16%)
    Regent (Liberal Democrat)- 3, 716 (8.15%, -0.57%)

    Majority- 4, 160 (9.13%)
    Swing- +9.16% From Con to SNP.

  22. The 2005 Tory candidate, Douglas Taylor, stood for Trust here in 2010. He was the only other Trust candidate apart from Stuart Wheeler in Bexhill & Battle.

  23. Referring to the 1974 result, I used to know Ian McArthur slightly since he lived in Richmond. He was a true dripping wet One Nation Tory of the old school and his daughter whom I know fairly well is a staunch Labour supporter – in fact she was seen on TV during the last election campaign as an ordinary voter who was supporting the Labour Party (though she isn’t a member).

  24. Whilst I don’t agree with the SNP, it was good to see that they appear to have a traditional members’ Party Conference. Indeed, their auditorium had approx 400 in which was more than I saw at the main 3 Parties’. At the other end, the UUP Conf on BBC Parliament only had 150 in the audience. I think even the tiny PUP had 100.

  25. SNP: 50%
    CON: 25%
    LAB: 17%
    LD: 4%
    UKIP: 4%

  26. I’m not sure I see the SNP doing that much better than 2010 in general. I also think the Scottish tories may outperform their English counterpoints and gain a modest point or two. Again, as with Angus, this is a possible tory gain if the SNP implode, which I don’t imagine happening, but you never know.

  27. Lewis Baston has written a piece looking back 50 years to the Kinross and West Perthshire by-election:

  28. This probably the only seat in the country where I’d even think about voting Tory. I’m a strong English Labour Unionist and for that reason I detest the SNP (though another good reason is them bringing down the Callaghan Government) so I’d love to see them lose every election.

  29. I really should re-read my posts before submitting! Apologies for reposting.

    This is probably the only seat in the country where I’d even think about voting Tory. I’m a strong English Labour Unionist and for that reason I detest the SNP (another good reason is them bringing down the Callaghan Government) so I’d love to see them lose every election.

  30. My forecast for 2015

    SNP 45.5 (+6.5)
    Con 28.1 (-2.4)
    Lab 14.1 (-2.3)
    LD 7 (-5.3)
    Others 5.3

    Turnout 69.9 (+3)

    I saw Ed Miliband on the train when I went up to Blair Atholl in April which was a weird experience!

    I too strongly dislike SNP/Salmond with a passion and have more time for the Tories in Scotland than in England.

  31. The comments of the labour posters demonstrate my point (made at the other place?) that as labour and the SNP sling mud at each, the tories almost become the LD like 2nd choice for each and no longer seem to be so hated.

    There isn’t going to be a proper revival, but I do expect to gain a point or two in Scotland.

  32. A Brown – do you really expect the SNP to improve their vote share and majority here? A lot of other contributors are expecting the reverse, assuming they lose the referendum next year. I’m not suggesting the Tories actually win here (there’s little to no evidence of them recovering enough) but I’d expect the swing would more likely be towards them than away – though you know more about Scottish politics than I do.

  33. I would still expect the SNP to get about 30% of the vote in Scotland in 2015 because the SNP achieved a razor thin plurality in Scotland in the May 2012 local elections.

    I recommend studying Kevin Larkin’s map in detail:

  34. I’m still a little confused, even after 8 years, about the exact boundaries of some of the Scottish seats. Does this seat include Rattray, please, or is that town in another parliamentary constituency?

  35. I’m no expert on Scottish politics but I’m pretty certain Rattray will be given Blairgowrie is.

  36. Joe – there’s no love lost between Labour and SNP activists, but look at the transfers for the 2012 locals – that antipathy clearly isn’t shared by the wider supporters of each party, whereas there’s an extreme reluctance to transfer to the Tories.

  37. @Edward

    1 I am not a member of the Lab party and am only facebook friends with B Crockett

    2 I was in contact with D McLetchie as recently as spring 2012.

    3 That an Snp supporter called Tom Robinson expects a lab Tory coalition at Holyrood in 2016 logically proves independence won’t happen.

    4. George Kerevan came to my Oxfordshire born mother’s 50 th birthday party

    5. So who is ‘right’ and who is ‘wrong ‘ on psephological matters (and lots of things). ……?

  38. Whatever happens to the Conservative vote here, I cannot imagine an increase for the SNP. The 2010 SNP vote was greatly boosted by tactical votes coming there way from the Liberals and from Labour. With the fear of a Tory win lessened, it is likely that the Nationalist vote will fall somewhat, though I would expect them to stay above 36%, and for the result to be closer to the result from 2005. Labour are a poor third place, but seem to be doing better here, on the basis of local election results. As for the Conservatives, I would expect them to at least hold the vote they enjoyed in 2010, if not pick up more votes. Here and nationally, I am convinced the party will gain votes if not seats. If I were asked to predict a result I have a guess at:

    SNP: 38
    CON: 35
    LD: 9
    LAB: 18

  39. Prediction for 2015-
    Wishart (SNP)- 41%
    Conservative- 30%
    Labour- 19%
    Liberal Democrats- 8%
    UKIP- 2%

  40. I don’t think Labour will rise in Scotland compared with 2010 and a lot of the lost Lib Dem vote will switch to the SNP. UKIP won’t even get to 2% in a general election even in the more conservative bits of Scotland, if they bother to stand that is.

    I’d go for

    SNP 45
    Con 30
    Lab 15
    LD 8
    Oths 2

  41. I can imagine this seat becoming tighter in 2015, partly due to a great many SNP voters staying home, partly because Labour voters who tactically supported the SNP in 2010 will no longer see the need to do so. I still have copies of the leaflets the Conservatives put out at the last election showing that this seat could fall to them with a swing of barely one per cent. This undoubtedly hurt them, but is not a mistake they will have the chance to make again, the gap having widened considerably at the last election. On present boundaries, victory in Perth unattainable without dramatic changes in Scotland’s political landscape. With boundary changes, however, this seat could become eminently winnable again, as the more strongly Conservative wards of Strathearn, Strathallan and Almond and Earn were included in place of Perth City North and the Highland wards. Southern Perthshire, particularly when the Dunblane and Trossachs wards are included, would still return healthy Conservative majorities of 10% or thereabouts. Conservative support in Scotland, though miserably low, is still much higher than the headline figures for number of seats would suggest. In order to make good on this support, the Scottish Conservatives must hope for a more favourable review of boundaries after the next election.

  42. Just for a bit of fun, I thought I’d include the projected figures for Perthshire South in 2010 based on calculations by the site:

    For the wards of: Dunblane and Bridge of Allan, Trossachs and Teith, Almond and Earn, Strathallan, Strathearn, Carse of Gowrie and Perth City South, the results would be as follows:

    Total Electorate: 64024
    Conservatives: 15061
    Labour: 9, 645
    Liberal Democrats: 6690
    SNP: 10672
    Total votes cast: 43524
    Notional Conservative majority of 4389


    Very illuminating. There is certainly centre right potential in this area but it aint going to be untapped on this side of independence. As things stand Pete Wishart probably has the seat as long as he wants it.

  44. The Mail has a detailed exposé of Sir Nicholas Fairbairn. It seems his drunken womanising was a front to cover for the fact that he liked boys. Worse still, he was Vice chairman of the SMG, allied to PIE and seems he was active in gay circles and quite promiscuous until 1974 when he was selected. He famously gave a graphic description of why sodomy was wrong in a speech in the Commons in the ’90s. It seems it was the ultimate in hypocrisy and its also alleged he abused boys at Elm Guest house.

  45. @Lancs Observer

    Fairbairn always seemed quite amusing in a harsh sort of way as well. Not a particularly pleasant person though. In 2000, an anonymous woman did made allegations against him, 5 years after he died of alcoholism. Truly shocking and I am certain that there are many more names lurking in the shadows of the corridors of power. If much more of this comes out it will make the 2009 expenses scandal look like a picnic, and I hope for all of our sakes that it does.

    Although they would doubtless struggle here nonetheless, it will not help Conservative chances here one bit, considering that past candidates may have endorsed Fairbairn in the past by paying tribute etc.

  46. His knighthood always seemed rather odd given what a controversial figure he was.
    He once asked for a drink on a morning shuttle flight from Glasgow to London, and on being told there wasn’t any alcohol on board he asked for a paper cup, unscrewed the knob of his silver cane & poured a generous measure of whisky from inside the cane.

  47. I always knew he was a bit of an oddity, but could never of guessed he had such a sinister private life.

  48. I remember attending a supper meeting in a ward member’s house where Nicholas Fairbairn spoke. He flirted with the women present and drank the raffle prize – a bottle of whiskey. He then gave one of the most fluent speeches I have ever heard.

    He was one of the few Conservative MP’s left in Scotland and it cannot have helped the party arrest the slide in support as he was clearly of an earlier era and very different morals to the public at large. This can only have aided the SNP in Perth.

    I would like to think that some of the misbehaviours that appear to have been accepted in the past would no longer be tolerated. Unfortunately I am not so sure that they would be and would not be hushed up.

  49. Yes, its all the worse given he held the position of the most senior law officer in Scotland for a time and its alleged he failed to prosecute some sex offenders. Thankfully Thatcher didn’t make him Lord Chancellor, as was expected, but asked Lord Mackay who wasn’t even a Tory member.

  50. The most Tory parts of the historical county of Perthshire are in Stirling and Ochil & South Perthshire where they are swamped by huge numbers of Labour voters. If both the Tory areas were combined and the Labour areas to form Stirling (urban) and Clackmannanshire then Stirling Rural and South Perthshire would perhaps be the best Tory prospect in Scotland.

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