2017 General Election – The Seats the SNP Should have Won and the Reasons Why They Failed To Do So – lessons need to be learned

 

 

 

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The 2017 General Election

I first posted this forecast 6 weeks before the GE and am following up with this before and after report which makes interesting reading.

The General Election in Scotland will be a re-run of the 2014 referendum and the landslide victory achieved by the SNP in the last GE cannot realistically be achieved.

My analysis suggests the under-noted 37 seats are safe and should be retained by the SNP:

 

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82373: Livingston, “mp”:”Hannah Bardell MP”,”signature_count”:3065-3.72% SNP Hold

59350: Inverclyde, “mp”:”Ronnie Cowan MP”,”signature_count”:2230-3.76% SNP Hold

83071: East Kilbride, Straven, “mp”:”Dr Lisa Cameron MP”,”signature_count”:3157-3.80% SNP Hold

77268: Inverness, Nairn, “mp”:”Drew Hendry MP”,”signature_count”:3073-3.98% SNP Hold

54109: Ross, Skye & Lochaber, “mp”:”Ian Blackford MP”,”signature_count”:2038-3.77% SNP Hold

69982: Central Ayrshire, “mp”:”Dr Philippa Whitford MP”,”signature_count”:2728-3.90% SNP Hold

72985: Ayr, Carrick & Cumnock, “mp”:”Corri Wilson MP”,”signature_count”:2751-3.77% Tory Gain 2044 65.9%

A tricky area, at one time the mining communities in the East of the constituency ensured a strong Labour vote.

But this is no longer the case and the voting direction is centred on Ayr where there is assured Tory support.

The Tory activists were aware of this and conducted a sustained well organised campaign and it bore them results, a transfer of 15% of voters from the SNP.

The low turnout also benefited the Tory Party to the detriment of the SNP

 

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78037: Dunfermline & West Fife, “mp”:”Douglas Chapman MP”,”signature_count”:2890-3.70% SNP Hold

82701: Rutherglen & Hamilton W, “mp”:”Margaret Ferrier MP”,”signature_count”:2918-3.53% Lab Gain 265 64%

The SNP candidate was caught in a pincer movement orchestrated by Davidson and Dugdale.

This one would normally be a straight fight between the SNP and labour.

But the spoiler Tory took enough votes from the SNP to achieve the removal of the SNP candidate

65792: Angus, “mp”:”Mike Weir MP”,”signature_count”:2355-3.58% Tory Gain 2645 63%

The very low turnout favoured the Tory candidate. Angus voters rejected independence in 2014 56% – 43% and sustained campaigning was required so as to be certain of a positive result.

The Tory candidate was a pocket dynamo from the first day of campaigning.

She was backed by her entire family and a wider team who believed the seat to be winnable.

She is a farmers daughter and well connected to many people in the Farming sector.

The SNP candidate failed to match his opponents efforts and suffered the consequences

 

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Kirstine Hair (Centre) and some of her helpers

 

47558: Caithness, Sutherland, “mp”:”Dr Paul Monaghan MP”,”signature_count”:1679-3.53% Lib Gain 2044 65.9%

His high profile negative media presence was very much a factor and most likely the reason for his defeat

34551: Orkney & Shetland, “mp”:”Rt Hon Alistair Carmichael MP”,”signature_count”:1062-3.48% Lib Hold

21744: Na h-Eileanan an Iar, “mp”:”Angus MacNeil MP”,”signature_count”:674-3.10% SNP Hold

67745: Aberdeen North, “mp”:”Kirsty Blackman MP”,”signature_count”:1829-2.70% SNP Hold

66960: Dundee East, “mp”:”Stewart Hosie MP”,”signature_count”:2029-3.03% SNP Hold

66287: Dundee West, “mp”:”Chris Law MP”,”signature_count”:1338-2.02% SNP Hold

69781: Glenrothes, “mp”:”Peter Grant MP”,”signature_count”:1523-2.18% SNP Hold

75941: Kirkcaldy & Cowdenbeath, “mp”:”Roger Mullin MP”,”signature_count”:2193-2.89% Lab Gain 259 63.5%

Labour vote increased by 3.5%. Corbyn’s manifesto helped rally the troops a wee bit.

The Tories canvassed the area hard and persuaded (13% of the voters to move their vote to the party from the SNP.

 

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Ross Thomson Aberdeen South Tory

 

 

75249: Dumfries & Galloway, “mp”:”Richard Arkless MP”,”signature_count”:2498-3.32% Tory Gain 5643 69.5%

This was a Tory stronghold from 1931 – 2005.

It slipped away from the Tories in the period 2010 2017.

The trend has been reversed significantly.

The Labour vote shrunk by another 4% over the 21% they had already lost to the SNP in 2025.

9% of SNP votes transferred to the Tory Party who canvassed the area very hard over the weekend before the election and reaped the benefits.

75985: North Ayrshire & Arran, “mp”:”Patricia Gibson MP”,”signature_count”:2631-3.46% SNP Hold

75283: Kilmarnock & Loudoun, “mp”:”Alan Brown MP”,”signature_count”:2285-3.04% SNP Hold

70378: Glasgow East, “mp”:”Natalie McGarry MP”,”signature_count”:1970-2.80% SNP Hold

58875: Glasgow North, “mp”:”Patrick Grady MP”,”signature_count”:1582-2.69% SNP Hold

66678: Glasgow North East, “,”mp”:”Anne McLaughlin MP”,”signature_count”:1300-1.95% Lab Gain 242 53%

Ultra low turnout.

Tory activists canvassed area extensively and increased vote by 8%.

Labour recovered 9% of the vote they lost in 2010 due to the positive impact of the labour manifesto

 

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Christine Hair Tory Angus – Poster placed in every field in the constituency – But at what cost?

 

 

68418: Glasgow North West, “mp”:”Carol Monaghan MP”,”signature_count”:2126-3.11% SNP Hold

70945: Glasgow Central, “mp”:”Alison Thewliss MP”,”signature_count”:1717-2.42% SNP Hold

74051: Glasgow South, “mp”:”Stewart Malcolm McDonald MP”,”signature_count”:2175-2.94% SNP Hold

66208: Glasgow South West, “mp”:”Chris Stephens MP”,”signature_count”:1960-2.96% SNP Hold

66715: Airdrie & Shotts, “mp”:”Neil Gray MP”,”signature_count”:2296-3.44% SNP Hold

73813: Coatbridge,& Bellshill, “mp”:”Philip Boswell MP”,”signature_count”:2158-2.92% Lab Gain 1586 63%

Low turnout compared to 2015.

Labour Party fortunes improved by around 9% due to the positive impact of the labour manifesto.

Tory vote improved by 10% due to very active canvassing of the electorate.

Internal difficulties within the SNP local branch disadvantaged the Party.

70269: Motherwell & Wishaw, “mp”:”Marion Fellows MP”,”signature_count”:2169-3.09% SNP Hold

67009: Cumbernauld & Kilsyth “mp”:”Stuart C. McDonald MP”,”signature_count”:2140-3.19% SNP Hold

69193: West Dunbartonshire, “mp”:”Martin Docherty-Hughes MP”,”signature_count”:2060-2.98% SNP Hold

61281: Paisley & Renfrewshire South, “mp”:”Mhairi Black MP”,”signature_count”:2031-3.31% SNP Hold

66178: Edinburgh East, “mp”:”Tommy Sheppard MP”,”signature_count”:1854-2.80% SNP Hold

67875: Midlothian, “mp”:”Owen Thompson MP”,”signature_count”:2182-3.22% Lab Gain 885 66.4%

Labour increased vote by 6% due to the positive impact of the labour manifesto.

Tories canvassed the seat extensively for many weeks before the election and persuaded 13% of SNP voters to switch alliances.

This is a bad loss and could have been avoided if a more intensive local campaign had been conducted

63380: Falkirk, “mp”:”John Mc Nally MP”,”signature_count”:2764-3.32% SNP Hold

 

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Election Summary

The SNP won 35 seats polling 977,569 votes. The SNP vote share was 36.9%. This was down from 2015 when it got 1,454,436 votes, half of all the votes cast. The SNP came second in 24 seats. he loss of 9 safe seats need investigating.

The Conservatives got 13 seats and 757,949 votes. In 2015 they got 434,097 votes and just one seat. Their share of the vote went up from 14.9% of the Scots who voted to 28.6%, almost double. The Scottish Tories were only second in 9 seats.

Labour only added about 10,000 voters in Scotland. In 2015 they got 707,147 votes and this time they polled 717,007. Their share of the vote rose from 24.3% to 27.1% but their seats went up from one to seven. Labour were the runner-up in 25 seats

The Lib Dems dropped 40,000 votes from 219,675 to 179,061 but they also increased their number of seats – from one to four.

The Greens slumped from 39,205 to just 5,886 – but this was mainly because they only stood in three constituencies.

 

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Unionist Parties in Scotland Made Their Move and Blew It – Scottish Independence is Firmly on the Agenda – Ruthie the Moothie and Your fifth columnists You Have been Sussed

 

 

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The 2017 General Election

The freak landslide victory achieved by the SNP in the 2015 GE was a one off.

In view of this and the downward adjustment that would surely follow at the next GE I completed a voting analysis of the Scottish electorate and published it around 6 weeks before the election

My analysis indicated 22 seats would most likely be lost to the SNP.

I am aware of many interpretations, both negative and positive being bandied about the internet and in the right wing British press and the BBC and other television media outlets.

All are distinctly unfriendly to the cause of Scottish independence and their uttering should be judged in that context

Supporters of independence for Scotland should be guided by the information that follows:

 

 

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The heads of the Tory and LibDem Unionist parties in Scotland agreed an election strategy which included sustained attacks on the credibility of the SNP government, concentrating on the character assassination of persons they perceived to be the guiding lights of the independence movement.

Nicola Sturgeon and Alex Salmond were singled out for the complete treatment package aimed at destroying their credibility in the eyes of voters in Scotland.

In combination with the foregoing they created the “No Indy 2” movement which required every unionist activist to repetitiously write and or speak the phrase at every juncture.

The tactic is well used in the US and works creating negative feelings in the minds of those it is aimed at. In this case anyone who supported the cause of Scottish independence.

The final part of the strategy was to ensure a target number of seats would be taken away from the SNP at the time of the election by fair means or foul.

This necessitated tactical voting to ensure the seats selected would be assured and transferred to the Unionist cause

The 22 seats listed below were targeted many months before the election and a great deal of work was completed by activists softening up the constituencies.

Mission success was clear and unambiguous. Every seat would need to be won over to the unionists for the campaign to be declared a success.

Anything less than a full house would only serve to confirm that the independent movement in Scotland was a powerful medium and impossible to defeat.

The unionists failed to win all of the target seats.

Eight SNP candidates weathered the unionist storm in which everything but the kitchen sink was thrown at them.

The Scottish independence movement is live and well and with the added numbers of European immigrants to Scotland and the under eighteens the future is clear.

Scotland will be independent soon.

 

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Electorate: 71749: Edinburgh West: Michelle Thomson MP :

Lost votes: 4388 – 6.12%

Result: Lib Gain: 10% switched  from the SNP to other parties.

 

Electorate: 69982: East Renfrewshire: Kirsten Oswald MP:

Lost Votes: 4241 – 6.06%

Result: Tory Gain: Tactical voting: 7% Lab voters switched from Lab to Tory. And 9% switched from SNP to Tory.

 

Electorate: 66966: East Dunbartonshire: John Nicolson MP:

3977-5.94% Lib Gain 5339 78.8% 10% switched SNP to other parties.

65846: Edinburgh South: Ian Murray MP: 3579-5.44% (Labour) Lab Hold 15514 74.1% 11% switched SNP to Lab.

73445: West Aberdeenshire & Kincardine: Stuart Blair Donaldson MP: 3961-5.40% Tory Gain 7949 71.2% Tactical voting 13% Lib to Tory. Plus 9% switched SNP to Tory.

80978: Edinburgh North & Leith: Deidre Brock MP: 4280-5.29% SNP Hold 1625 71.2% 7% SNP switched to Tory. An excellent hold.

66208: Paisley & Renfrewshire North: Gavin Newlands MP: 3158-4.77% SNP Hold 2613 69.1% 13% switched SNP to Tory. an excellent hold.

68875: Argyll & Bute: Brendan O’Hara MP: 3277-4.75% SNP Hold 1328 71.5% Tactical voting 10% Lib to Tory. Plus 8% switched SNP to Tory.

62003: North East Fife: Stephen Gethins MP: 2937-4.74% SNP Hold 2 71.3% 8% switched SNP to Tory. An excellent hold.

67236: Stirling: Steven Paterson MP: 3175-4.72% Tory Gain 148 74.3% Tactical voting 3.5% Lab to Tory. Plus 9% switched SNP to Tory.

77379: Ochil & South Perthshire: Ms Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh MP: 3645-4.71% Tory Gain 3359 70.6% Tactical voting 9% Lab to Tory. Plus 10% switched SNP to Tory.

79393: Gordon: Rt Hon Alex Salmond MP: 3711-4.68% Tory Gain 2607 68.4% Tactical voting 21% LibDem to Tory. Plus 10% switched SNP to Tory.

79481: East Lothian:George Kerevan MP: 3676-4.63% Lab Gain 3083 70.7% 5% voters switched SNP to Lab. Plus 7% switched SNP to Tory.

72178: Edinburgh South West: Joanna Cherry QC: 3283-4.55% SNP Hold 1097 69.4% 8% voters switched SNP to Tory. An excellent hold.

72447: Perth & North Perthshire: Pete Wishart MP: 3033-4.19% SNP Hold 21 71.8% 8% voters switched SNP to Tory. An excellent hold.

78037: Lanark & Hamilton East: Angela Crawley MP: 3272-4.19% SNP Hold 206 65.3% 16% voters switched SNP to Tory. An excellent hold.

68483: Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale: Rt Hon David Mundell MP:2816-4.11% Tory Hold 9441 72.4% 8% voters switched SNP to Tory.

74179: Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk: Calum Kerr MP: 3026-4.08% Tory Gain 11060 71.5% Tactical voting 14% LibDem to Tory. Plus 4% SNP to Tory.

86955: Linlithgow and East Falkirk, “mp”:”Martyn Day MP”,”signature_count”:3570-4.11% SNP Hold 2919 64.7% 16% voters switched SNP to Tory. An excellent hold.

68609: Banff & Buchan: Dr Eilidh Whiteford MP: 2772-4.04% Tory Gain 3693 61.6% 20% voters switched SNP to Tory.

71685: Moray, “mp”:”Rt Hon Angus Robertson MP”,”signature_count”:2995-4.18% Tory Gain 4159 67.4% 11% voters switched SNP to Tory.

68056: Aberdeen South, “mp”:”Callum McCaig MP”,”signature_count”:3618-4.65% Tory Gain 4752 68.5% Tactical voting 6% Lab to Tory. Plus 10% switched SNP to Tory.

 

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