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








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:





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




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



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.


Ross Desk 830x540

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



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





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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