The Devo Files: Case Closed

ScotsMPs

There are 9 MPs who are choosing not to contest their seat on the 7th of May: whether they are retiring, disgraced, or simply giant cowards, their Devo Files are essentially closed: whoever contests the seat, contests with a blank slate, with no previous record on their devolution votes. I shall list the 2010 MPs, and post links to their SNP successors.

Gordon Brown Roger Mullin, Kirkcaldy & Cowdenbeath

kirkcaldy-fraser-band6-p28

The Great Coward of Kirkcaldy has decided to renege on his promise to ensure that the new powers prophesied by The Vow were delivered in legislation. Quite why we should be surprised that a man who didn’t even turn up to vote on 13 of 14 motions to devolve powers would abandon his constituents is beyond me.

Let’s take a look back on Mr Brown’s glorious career.

Luckily, we have Peter Mullin to do what the Iron Chancellor didn’t.

It’ll be quite a feat, though:

General Election 2005
Turnout: 41,796 (58.4%)

Gordon Brown Labour 24,278 58.1 −0.4
Alan Bath SNP 6,062 14.5 −4.1
Alex Cole-Hamilton Liberal Democrat 5,450 13.0 +3.8
Stuart Randall Conservative 4,308 10.3 −0.3
Steve West Scottish Socialist 666 1.6 −1.1
Peter Adams UKIP 516 1.2 +0.8
James Parker Scottish Senior Citizens 425 1.0 N/A
Elizabeth Kwantes Independent 47 0.1 N/A
Pat Sargent Independent 44 0.1 N/A

Labour hold
Majority: 18,216 (43.6%)
Swing: +1.9% from SNP to Lab

General Election 2010[5]
Turnout: 45,802 (62.2%) +3.8

Gordon Brown Labour 29,559 64.5 +6.4
Douglas Chapman SNP 6,550 14.3 −0.2
John Mainland Liberal Democrat 4,269 9.3 −3.7
Lindsay Paterson Conservative 4,258 9.3 −1.0
Peter Adams UKIP 760 1.7 +0.5
Susan Archibald Independent 184 0.4 N/A
Donald MacLaren Independent 165 0.4 N/A
Derek Jackson Land Party 57 0.1 N/A

Labour hold
Majority: 23,009 (50.2%) +6.6
Swing: +3.3% from SNP to Lab

Gordon Brown was MP for Dunfermline East since 1983 before it was partially amalgamated into Kirkcaldy & Cowdenbeath, though his majority never eclipsed his 51% dominance in the epochal 1997 New Labour revolution. Nonetheless, Mr Brown’s votes grew from 24,278 (58.1%, -0.4 and a 43.6% majority) to 29,559 (64.5%, +6.4 and a 50.2% majority). The SNP hadn’t made as much progress as in other seats: Alan Bath in 2005 got 6,062 votes (14.5%, -4.1) and his sucessor Douglas Chapman gained only 488 more votes (14.3, -0.2). Yet even here, some polls are predicting the SNP taking Gordon Brown’s mighty fortress. Could Roger Mullin be the man to do it? The SNP’s only competition are Unionist parties: Kenny Selbie seeking to succeed Gordon’s kingdom, the Neoliberal Democrats putting forward Callum Leslie, the Conservatives Dave Dempsey, and UKIP sending out Jack Neill.

Roger Mullin can be contacted by his website, blog, Twitter, and Facebook. You can donate to his campaign here.

Sir Malcolm Bruce ALEX SALMOND Gordon

Alex Salmond

This is the man who will shake the foundations of Westminster, and look fantastic while doing it.

For much of its existence, Gordon was a battleground between the Liberals and Conservatives – a war in which Mr Malcolm Bruce won every battle since he first gained the seat in 1983 (1992 being the closest call, with only 274 votes’ difference.) That all changed in 2005, when the Conservative vote which had been collapsing since 1992 slipped behind New Labour. Then in 2010, the SNP roared past New Labour into second place.

So terrified are the Westminster parties by the prospect of Alex Salmond returning in force to Westminster like Conan the Barbarian leading his host through the burning ruins of Aquilonia to tear the crown estates from Danny Alexander’s gory head, the reluctant knight Sir Malcolm Bruce used one of his final moments in parliament to call upon the Prime Minister to agree that the voters of Gordon must unite to stop him at all costs:

Does the Prime Minister agree that the best prospect for the people of Scotland is to be a successful part of a growing United Kingdom, and that Alex Salmond’s mission to shake this House to its foundations will deny recovery, jobs and mortgages, and threaten both the UK and Scotland, which is why the people of Gordon are uniting to deny his return to this House?

That this is a tacit endorsement of tactical voting (albeit in the NeoLib’s favour) is only shocking in its frankness. Well, if the unionist parties are so desperate to make this a re-run of the referendum, the question they face is this: if you voted Yes, then why on earth would you vote for any party other than a party that wants independence?

That is the choice facing voters in Gordon.

General Election 1983: Gordon
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Malcolm Bruce 20,134 43.8 N/A
Conservative James Cran 19,284 42.0 N/A
Labour George Grant 3,899 8.5 N/A
SNP Kenneth James Nicolson Guild 2,636 5.7 N/A
Majority 850 1.8 N/A
Turnout 45,953 70.1 N/A
Liberal win (new seat)
General Election 1987: Gordon
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Malcolm Bruce 26,770 49.4 +5.6
Conservative Peter Ross Leckie 17,251 31.9 −10.1
Labour Mrs. Morag Carmichael Morrell 6,228 11.5 +3.0
SNP George Easton Wright 3,876 7.2 +1.5
Majority 9,519 17.5
Turnout 54,125 73.7
Liberal hold Swing
General Election 1992: Gordon
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrat Malcolm Bruce 22,158 37.4
Conservative John Porter 21,884 37.0
SNP Brian Adam 8,445 14.3
Labour Peter Morrell 6,682 11.3
Majority 274 0.4
Turnout 74.3
Liberal Democrat hold Swing
General Election 1997: Gordon
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrat Malcolm Bruce 17,999 42.6 +5.1
Conservative John Porter 11,002 26.0 −11.0
SNP Richard Lochhead 8,435 20.0 +5.7
Labour Lindsey Kirkhill 4,350 10.3 −1.0
Referendum Party Fred Pidcock 459 1.1 N/A
Majority 6,997 16.6 +16.1
Turnout 42,245 71.9 −2
Liberal Democrat hold Swing
General Election 2001: Gordon
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrat Malcolm Bruce 17,928 48.5 +5.9
Conservative Nanette Milne 8,049 21.8 −4.2
SNP Rhona Kemp 5,760 15.6 −4.4
Labour Ellis Thorpe 4,730 12.8 +2.5
Scottish Socialist John Sangster 534 1.4 N/A
Majority 7,879 22.5
Turnout 35,001 58.3 −13.6
Liberal Democrat hold Swing
General Election 2005: Gordon
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrat Malcolm Bruce 20,008 45.0 +6.2
Labour Iain Brotchie 8,982 20.2 −1.3
Conservative Philip Atkinson 7,842 17.6 −1.4
SNP Joanna Strathdee 7,098 16.0 +0.4
Scottish Socialist Tommy Paterson 508 1.1 −0.3
Majority 11,026 24.8
Turnout 44,438 61.8 +5.2
Liberal Democrat hold Swing +3.8
General Election 2010: Gordon[5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrat Malcolm Bruce 17,575 36.0 −9.0
SNP Richard Thomson 10,827 22.2 +6.2
Labour Barney Crockett 9,811 20.1 −0.1
Conservative Ross Thomson 9,111 18.7 +1.1
Scottish Green Sue Edwards 752 1.5 N/A
BNP Elise Jones 699 1.4 N/A
Majority 6,748 13.8
Turnout 48,755 66.4 +4.6
Liberal Democrat hold Swing −7.6

So, the Liberals have flittered back and fourth between the early 20ks and 17ks:

1983: 20,134 (43.8%, 1.8% majority)
1987: 26,770 (49.9%, +5.6, 17.5% majority)
1992: 22,158 (37.4%, 0.4% majority)
1997: 17,999 (42.6%, +5.1, 16.6% majority)
2001: 17,928 (48.5, +5.9, 22.5% majority)
2005: 20,008 (45%, +6.2, 24.8% majority)
2010: 17,575 (36%, -9, 13.8% majority)

While the SNP have steadily risen, dropped in 2001, then rose again:

1983: 2,636 (5.7%)
1987: 3,876 (7.2%, +1.5)
1992: 8,445 (14.3%)
1997: 8,435 (20%, +5.7)
2001: 5,760 (15.6, -4.4)
2005: 7,098 (16%, +0.4)
2010: 10,827 (22.2%, +6.2)

Aberdeenshire had a higher No vote than elsewhere, at about 60%. On the 40% side is Alex Salmond of the SNP. On the 60% side is Brave Sir Malcolm’s squire Christine Jardine, New Labour’s Braden Davy, the Conservatives’ Colin Clark, and UKIP’s Emily Santos. To conquer Alex Salmond, they would have to not only keep as many of the NeoLib voters as they could despite the past five years of NeoLiberal betrayal, but as many of the 63.9% of voters who didn’t vote for either the SNP or NeoLibs (in particular the 20.1% New Labour and 18.7% Conservatives), and hope that the tens of thousands who voted Yes didn’t switch to the SNP en mass & turn up for this election.

Westminster are terrified of the SNP, and Alex Salmond scares the living daylights out of them. Let’s get him back in there.

Alex Salmond can be contacted by his Twitter and Facebook. He also has a book tour for his referendum diary!

Sir Menzies Campbell Stephen Gethins, North East Fife

StephenGethins

“Put THIS in your Fife and smoke it!”

North East Fife is in a similar boat to Gordon: the Liberals and Conservatives traded it over the decades, with Menzies the Merciless triumphing in 1987, where he held the constituency since. But like Gordon, the Menzies Dynasty is in danger of falling to the dread Separatist Hordes.

General Election 1983: North East Fife
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Barry Henderson 17,129 46.1 +3.1
Liberal Menzies Campbell 14,944 40.2 +17.2
SNP John Hulbert 2,442 6.6 -7.7
Labour David Caldwell 2,429 6.5 -13.4
Ecology T.G. Flint 242 0.6
Majority 2,185 5.9 -14.1
Turnout 37,186 73.7 -5.3
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1987: North East Fife
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Menzies Campbell 17,868 44.8 +4.6
Conservative James Stewart Barry Henderson 16,421 41.2 −4.9
Labour Anthony Michael Edward Gannon 2,947 7.4 +0.9
SNP Francis David Roche 2,616 6.6 −0.1
Majority 1,447 3.6
Turnout 39,852 76.2 +2.5
Liberal gain from Conservative Swing 4.8
General Election 1992: North East Fife
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrat Menzies Campbell 19,430 46.4 +1.6
Conservative Mary Scanlon 16,122 38.5 −2.7
SNP David Roche 3,589 8.6 +2.0
Labour Lynda Clark 2,319 5.5 −1.9
Scottish Green Tim Flynn 294 0.7
Liberal David Senior 85 0.2
Majority 3,308 7.9
Turnout 41,839 77.8 +1.6
Liberal Democrat hold Swing +2.1
General Election 1997: North East Fife
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrat Menzies Campbell 21,432 51.2 +4.8
Conservative Adam Bruce 11,076 26.5 −12.0
SNP Colin Welsh 4,545 10.8 +2.2
Labour Charles Milne 4,301 10.3 +4.8
Referendum Party William Nick Stewart 485 1.2 N/A
Majority 10,356 24.7 +16.8
Turnout 41,839 70.5 −7.3
Liberal Democrat hold Swing +8.4
General Election 2001: North East Fife
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrat Menzies Campbell 17,926 51.7 +0.4
Conservative Mike Scott-Hayward 8,190 23.6 −2.9
Labour Claire Brennan 3,950 11.4 +1.1
SNP Kris Murray-Browne 3,596 10.4 −0.5
Scottish Socialist Keith White 610 1.8 N/A
Legalise Cannabis Leslie Von Goetz 420 1.2 N/A
Majority 9,736 28.1
Turnout 34,692 56.0 −15.1
Liberal Democrat hold Swing +1.7
General Election 2005: North East Fife (new boundaries)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrat Menzies Campbell 20,088 52.1 N/A
Conservative Mike Scott-Hayward 7,517 19.5 N/A
Labour Tony King 4,920 12.8 N/A
SNP Roderick Campbell 4,011 10.4 N/A
Scottish Green James Park 1,071 2.8 N/A
UKIP Duncan Pickard 533 1.4 N/A
Scottish Socialist Jack Ferguson 416 1.1 N/A
Majority 12,571 32.6
Turnout 38,556 62.1 N/A
General Election 2010: North East Fife[3]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrat Menzies Campbell 17,763 44.3 −7.8
Conservative Miles Briggs 8,715 21.8 +2.3
Labour Mark Hood 6,869 17.1 +4.4
SNP Roderick Campbell 5,685 14.2 +3.8
UKIP Mike Scott-Hayward 1,032 2.6 +1.2
Majority 9,048 22.6
Turnout 40,064 63.6 +1.5
Liberal Democrat hold Swing −5.0

So, if we include Mr Campbell’s unsuccessful (but only just) bid in 1983, we see a familiar pattern:1983: 14,944 (40.2, +17.2)

1987: 17,868 (44.8%, +4.6, 3.6% majority)
1992: 19,430 (46.4%, +1.6, 7.9% majority)
1997: 21,432 (51.2%, +4.8, 24.7% majority)
2001: 17,926 (51.7, +0.4, 28.1% majority)
2005: 20,088 (52.1%, 32.6% majority)
2010: 17,763 (44.3%, -7.8, 22.6% majority)

While the SNP have mostly risen:

1983: 2,442 (6.6%, -7.7)
1987: 2,616 (6.6%, -0.1)
1992: 3,589 (8.6%, +2)
1997: 4,545 (10.8%, +2.2)
2001: 3,586 (10.4%, -0.5)
2005: 4,011 (10.4%)
2010: 5,685 (14.2%, +4.4)

There are two pro-independence parties to three pro-union parties: the Greens’ Andrew Collins joins Stephen Gethins, while the Better Together parties are fielding New Labour’s Brian Thomson, the Conservatives’ Huew Bell, and the NeoLib’s Tim Brett.

Stephen Gethins can be contacted by his Twitter. You can donate to his campaign here.

Alistair Darling Joanna Cherry, Edinburgh South West

Joanna Cherry

Much like his best frenemy Gordon of Giffnock, Alistair Darling is choosing to abscond himself from a place in the Devo Files even after he promised to see the maximum devolution devolved. Luckily, we won’t be losing much from waving off the chancellor who oversaw one of the biggest financial crises in the UK’s history.

Alistair Darling was MP for Edinburgh Central from 1987 to its abolition in 2005, when it was absorbed into Edinburgh South West. So we don’t go cross-eyed, we’ll concentrate on Edinburgh South West.

General Election 2005: Edinburgh South West
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Alistair Darling 17,476 39.8 N/A
Conservative Gordon Buchan 10,234 23.3 N/A
Liberal Democrats Simon Clark 9,252 21.1 N/A
SNP Nick Elliott-Cannon 4,654 10.6 N/A
Scottish Green John Blair-Fish 1,520 3.5 N/A
Scottish Socialist Pat Smith 585 1.3 N/A
UKIP William Boys 205 0.5 N/A
Majority 7,242 16.5
Turnout 43,926 65.4
Labour win (new seat)
General Election 2010: Edinburgh South West[7]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Alistair Darling 19,473 42.8 +3.0
Conservative Jason Rust 11,026 24.3 +1.0
Liberal Democrat Tim McKay 8,194 18.0 -3.1
SNP Kaukab Stewart 5,530 12.2 +1.6
Scottish Green Clare Cooney 872 1.9 -1.6
Scottish Socialist Colin Fox 319 0.7 -0.6
Communist League Caroline Bellamy 48 0.1 N/A
Majority 8,447 18.6 +2.1
Turnout 45,462 68.5 +3.5
Labour hold Swing +1.0

So, Alistair Darling started the new constituency in 2005 with 17,475 votes (39.8%) and a 7,242 majority (16.5%); in 2010, that became 19,473 (42.8%, +3) and an 8,447 (18.6%, +3.5) majority. Meanwhile, the SNP lurked in 4th place with 4,654 (10.5%) in 2005, and 5,530 (12.2%, +1.6) in 2010.

Quite how Alistair Darling could retain his seat after wrecking the UK’s economy to save the banks is beyond me, but the SNP have only one pro-independence, left-wing competitor in the Scottish Greens’ Richard Doherty. The Union is represented by Mr Darling’s replacement Rickey Henderson, the Conservatives’ Gordon Lindhurst, and the NeoLib’s Daniel Farthing-Sykes. Being in 4th place behind all three major unionist parties is not a great place to be – yet even this constituency is pipped to turn gold for the SNP according to some polls!

Joanna Cherry can be contacted by her Twitter and Facebook.

Frank Doran Kirsty Blackman, Aberdeen North

Kirsty BlackmanAberdeen North is another longtime Labour chiefdom, with uninterrupted Red Rose reign from 1935 onwards. They may have never reached the dizzy heights of 1966 and Hector Samuel Hughes’ colossal 20,000+ majority, but they still held a comfortable lead over their opponents. We’ll look at the last three elections:

General Election 2001: Aberdeen North
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Malcolm Savidge 13,157 43.3 −4.5
SNP Alasdair Allan 8,708 28.7 +6.9
Liberal Democrat Jim Donaldson 4,991 16.4 +2.3
Conservative Richard Cowling 3,047 10.0 −5.0
Scottish Socialist Shona Foreman 454 1.5 N/A
Majority 4,449 14.6
Turnout 30,357 57.4 −13.3
Labour hold Swing
General Election 2005: Aberdeen North
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Frank Doran 15,557 42.5 −0.8
Liberal Democrat Steve Delaney 8,762 23.9 +7.5
SNP Kevin Stewart 8,168 22.3 −6.4
Conservative David Anderson 3,456 9.4 −0.6
Scottish Socialist John Connon 691 1.9 +0.4
Majority 6,795 18.5
Turnout 36,634 55.7 −0.7
Labour hold Swing −9.3
General Election 2010: Aberdeen North
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Frank Doran 16,746 44.4 +2.0
SNP Joanna Strathdee 8,385 22.2 –0.1
Liberal Democrat Kristian Chapman 7,001 18.6 –5.3
Conservative Stewart Whyte 4,666 12.4 +2.9
BNP Roy Jones 635 1.7 N/A
Scottish Socialist Ewan Robertson 268 0.7 –1.2
Majority 8,361 22.2
Turnout 37,701 58.2 +2.4
Labour hold Swing +1.0

As we see, New Labour have grown by a fair bit:

2001: 13,157 (43.4%, -4.5, 14.6% majority)
2005: 15,557 (42.5%, -0.8, 18.5% majority)
2010: 16,746 (44.4%, +2, 22.2% majority)

While the SNP have been hovering about the 8,000 vote mark:

2001: 8,708 (28.7%, +6.9)
2005: 8,168 (22.3%, -6.4)
2010: 8,358 (22.2%, -0.1)

Aberdeen North has two wild cards in the anarchist Class War’s Nicole McKay and the socialist TUSC’s Tyrinne Rutherford, both of which are on the left side of the political map – though quite a bit more anarchist & socialist respectively. On the right-wing side we have Mr Doran’s scion Richard Baker, the Neolib’s Euan Davidson, and the Conservatives’ Sanjoy Sen. Less a Yes/No battle than a left/right wing one, then?

Kirsty Blackman can be contacted by her website, Twitter, and Facebook.

David Hamilton Owen Thompson, Midlothian

Owen Thompson

Midlothian has been red since 1955, and David Hamilton was MP since 2001. The only thing he seems to have done in the past 14 years of note is comment on the First Minister’s choice of headgear. As a former miner who was actually involved in a bit of activism (even being jailed for his part in the miner’s strikes) and member of the Socialist Campaign Group, New Labour just lost yet another drop of its red blood.

General Election 2001: Midlothian
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour David Hamilton 15,145 52.7 −0.8
SNP Ian Roy Goldie 6,131 21.3 −4.2
Liberal Democrat Mrs. Jacqueline Dianne Bell 3,686 12.8 +3.7
Conservative Robin James Traquair 2,748 9.6 −1.3
Scottish Socialist Robert Paul Goupillot 837 2.9 N/A
ProLife Alliance Terence John Edward Holden 177 0.6 N/A
Majority 9,014 31.4
Turnout 28,724 59.1 −15.0
Labour hold Swing
General Election 2005: Midlothian
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour David Hamilton 17,153 45.5 −5.0
Liberal Democrat Fred Mackintosh 9,888 26.2 +8.9
SNP Colin Beattie 6,400 17.0 −2.2
Conservative Iain McGill 3,537 9.4 +0.2
Scottish Socialist Norman V. Gilfillan 726 1.9 −1.2
Majority 7,265 19.3
Turnout 37,704 62.2 +1.0
Labour hold Swing −7.0
General Election 2010: Midlothian[6][7]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour David Hamilton 18,449 47.0 +1.5
SNP Colin Beattie 8,100 20.6 +3.7
Liberal Democrat Ross Laird 6,711 17.1 −9.1
Conservative James E. Callander 4,661 11.9 +2.5
Scottish Green Ian G. Baxter 595 1.5 N/A
UKIP Gordon Norrie 364 0.9 N/A
Independent George McCleery 196 0.5 N/A
TUSC Willie C. Duncan 166 0.4 N/A
Majority 10,349 26.4
Turnout 39,242 63.9 +1.3
Labour hold Swing −1.1

Mr Hamilton’s vote numbers have grown, but his percentage and majorities have fluctuated:

2001: 15,145 (52.7%, -0.8, 31.4% majority)
2005: 17,153 (45.5%, -5, 19.3% majority)
2010: 18,449 (47%, +1.5, 26.4% majority)

The same can be said of the SNP:

2001: 6,131 (21.3%, -4.2)
2005: 6,400 (17%, -2.2)
2010: 8,100 (20.6%, +3.7

Thus far only four challengers have come forward: the SNP’s Owen Thompson, the Greens’ Ian Baxter, Mr Hamilton’s follower Kenny Young, and the Conservatives’ Michelle Ballantyne. The NeoLibs and UKIP seem to be sitting this one out.

Owen Thompson can be contacted by his website, Twitter, and Facebook.

Eric Joyce John McNally, Falkirk

John McNally

After the madness of 2013 it’s hard to imagine New Labour clawing themselves back from this mess, as Eric Joyce resigned from his place in the party and stood out the remainder of his term as an independent

General Election 2005: Falkirk[17]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Eric Joyce 23,264 50.9% -2.9
SNP Laura Love 9,789 21.4% -2.2
Liberal Democrat Callum Chomczuk 7,321 16.0% +9.2
Conservative David Potts 4,538 9.9% +1.5
Scottish Socialist Danny Quinlan 838 1.8% -0.5
Majority 13,475 29.5%
Turnout 45,750 59.6 +2.2
Labour hold Swing -0.4
General Election 2010: Falkirk[17]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Eric Joyce 23,207 45.7 -5.2
SNP John McNally 15,364 30.3 +8.9
Conservative Katie Mackie 5,698 11.2 +1.3
Liberal Democrat Kieran Leach 5,225 10.3 -5.7
UKIP Brian Goldie 1,283 2.5 +2.5
Majority 7,843 15.4
Turnout 50,777 62.0 +2.4
Labour hold Swing -7.0

John McNally is returning to the fray, having taken a significant bite out of Mr Joyce’s majority (halving it from 29.5% in 2005 to 15.4% in 2010) and increasing the number of SNP voters by two thirds. Since the Conservative vote increased by 1,000, UKIP gained 1,000, and the NeoLibs only lost 2,000, the majority of the 5,500+ more votes for the SNP have to have been the result of larger turnout – 50,777 turned out to vote in 2010, compared to 45,750 in 2005. This is a clear example of greater engagement providing greater returns for the SNP. This time around he’s up against four Unionist parties: Mr Joyce’s usurper Karen Whitefield, the Conservatives’ Alison Harris, the NeoLib’s Galen Milne, and the racist scumbag David Coburn. Mr McNally has shown he can make huge gains despite the New Labour vote remaining more or less static – imagine what he could do post-referendum!

John McNally can be contacted by his Twitter.

Dame Anne McGuire Steven Paterson, Stirling

Steven PatersonAnne McGuire has been New Labour MP since the Big Con of 1997, where the only real challenger to New Labour has been the Conservatives.

General Election 1997: Stirling
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Anne McGuire 20,382 47.4 +8.8
Conservative Michael Forsyth 13,971 32.5 −6.7
SNP Ewan Dow 5,752 13.4 −1.1
Liberal Democrat Alistair G. Tough 2,675 6.2 +0.5
UKIP William McMurdo 154 0.4 N/A
Independent Mrs. Elaine L.M. Olsen 24 0.1 N/A
Majority 6,411 14.9
Turnout 42,958 81.8 −0.5
Labour gain from Conservative Swing +7.8
General Election 2001: Stirling
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Anne McGuire 15,175 42.2 −5.2
Conservative Geoff Mawdsley 8,901 24.8 −7.7
SNP Miss Fiona Elizabeth Macaulay 5,877 16.4 +3.0
Liberal Democrat Clive Edward Freeman 4,208 11.7 +5.5
Scottish Socialist Dr. Charles Clarke Mullen 1,012 2.8 N/A
Scottish Green Mark Ruskell 757 2.1 N/A
Majority 6,274 17.4
Turnout 35,930 67.7 −14.2
Labour hold Swing +1.2
General Election 2005: Stirling
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Anne McGuire 15,729 36.0 −7.0
Conservative Stephen C. Kerr 10,962 25.1 +1.4
Liberal Democrat Kelvin Holdsworth 9,052 20.7 +9.2
SNP Ms. Frances M. McGlinchey 5,503 12.6 −4.5
Scottish Green Duncan Illingworth 1,302 3.0 N/A
Scottish Socialist Rowland H. Sheret 458 1.0 −1.7
Independent James M. McDonald 261 0.6 N/A
Christian Vote Michael D. Willis 215 0.5 N/A
UKIP Matthew C. Desmond 209 0.5 N/A
Majority 4,767 10.9
Turnout 43,691 67.7 +2.8
Labour hold Swing −4.2
General Election 2010: Stirling
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Anne McGuire 19,558 41.8 +5.8
Conservative Bob H. Dalrymple 11,204 23.9 −1.1
SNP Alison J. Lindsay 8,091 17.3 +4.7
Liberal Democrat Graham R. Reed 6,797 14.5 −6.2
Scottish Green Mark Ruskell 746 1.6 −1.4
UKIP Paul Henke 395 0.8 +0.4
Majority 8,354 17.9
Turnout 46,791 70.8 +2.6
Labour hold Swing +3.5

Ms McGuire had a pretty bad lull in her second and third terms before a slight reprieve in her final term:

1997: 20,382 (47.4%, +8.8, 14.9% majority)
2001: 15,175 (42.2%, -5.2, 17.4% majority)
2005: 15,729 (36%, -7, 10.9% majority)
2010: 19,558 (41.8%, +5.8, 17.9% majority)

But the SNP had a decent wee boost in 2010 after 13 years in the 5,000 range:

1997: 5,752 (13.4%, -1.1)
2001: 5,877 (16.4%, +3)
2005: 5,503 (12.6%, -4.5)
2010: 8,091 (17.3%, +4.7)

The Scottish Greens have put forward a candidate here in Mark Ruskell: aside from him, it’s Ms McGuire’s heritor Johanna Boyd, the Conservatives’ Stephen Kerr, and the NeoLib’s Elisabeth Watson. Given how unaccountably strong the Conservatives are in Stirling (they do, after all, have a New Labour-Conservative coalition council aimed specifically to keep the majority SNP out of power), Mr Paterson is going to have quite the fight on his hands.

Steven Paterson can be contacted by his website, Twitter, and Facebook.

Lindsay Roy Peter Grant, Glenrothes

Peter GrantMr Roy gained the seat in a by-election in 2008 after the death of John MacDougall.

General Election 2005: Glenrothes
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour John MacDougall 19,395 51.9 N/A
SNP John Beare 8,731 23.4 N/A
Liberal Democrat Elizabeth Riches 4,728 12.7 N/A
Conservative Belinda Don 2,651 7.1 N/A
Scottish Pensioners Party George Rodger 716 1.9 N/A
Scottish Socialist Morag Balfour 705 1.9 N/A
UKIP Paul Smith 440 1.2 N/A
Majority 10,664 28.5 N/A
Turnout 37,366 56.1 N/A
Glenrothes by-election, 2008[6]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Lindsay Roy 19,946 55.1 +3.2
SNP Peter Grant 13,209 36.5 +13.1
Conservative Maurice Golden 1,381 3.8 -3.3
Liberal Democrat Harry Wills 947 2.6 -10.1
Scottish Senior Citizens Jim Parker 296 1.0 N/A
Scottish Socialist Morag Balfour 212 0.6 -1.3
UKIP Kris Seunarine 117 0.3 -0.9
Solidarity Louise McLeary 87 0.2 N/A
Majority 6,737 18.6 N/A
Turnout 36,219 52.37 -3.7
General Election 2010: Glenrothes[5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Lindsay Roy 25,247 62.3 +10.4
SNP David Alexander 8799 21.7 -1.6
Liberal Democrat Harry Wills 3108 7.7 -5.0
Conservative Sheila Low 2922 7.2 +0.1
UKIP Kris Seunarine 425 1.0 -0.1
Majority 16,448 40.6
Turnout 40,501 59.7 +3.5

Roy played a blinder in 2010 with a 10+ gain and over 5,000 more voters:

2005: 19,395 (51.9%, 28.5% majority)
2008: 19,946 (55.1%, +3.2, 18.6% majority)
2010: 25,247 (62.3%, +10.4, 40.6% majority)

While the SNP did amazingly in 2008 only to lose almost 5,000 – though crucially the 2010 vote had still almost doubled on the 2005 vote:

2005: 4,728 (23.4%)
2008: 13,209 (36.5%, +13.1)
2010: 8,799 (21.7%, -1.6)

It’s just the SNP up against the three main Westminster parties in Glenrothes: Roy’s replacement Melanie Ward, the Conservatives’ Alex Stewart-Clark, and the NeoLib’s Jane Ann Liston. Either Mr Grant has to take a heck of a chunk out of the New Labour vote (perhaps the often vaunted 30-40%), pick up what remains of the NeoLib vote, or engage the 40.1% who didn’t vote in the last election enough to lend the SNP their vote.

Peter Grant can be contacted by his website, Twitter, and Facebook.

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3 thoughts on “The Devo Files: Case Closed

  1. […] Gordon Brown Roger Mullin (Kirkcaldy & Cowdenbeath) […]

  2. Vince Diaz says:

    {“Si vis Pacem, para Bellum”}

  3. […] Beasts of New Labour with comfortable majorities in their thousands. I’m also thrilled that Roger Mullin, Alex Salmond, Stephen Gethins, Joanna Cherry, Kirsty Blackman, Owen Thompson, John McN… succeeded in filling the vacuum left by the New Labour and Neoliberal MPs who chose not to contest […]

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