United Kingdom general election, 2010 (Scotland)

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United Kingdom general election, 2010[1]
Scotland
2005 ←
members
6 May 2010 (2010-05-06) → 2015

All 59 Scottish seats to the House of Commons
  First party Second party
  Gordon Brown Davos Jan 08.jpg Nick Clegg by the 2009 budget cropped.jpg
Leader Gordon Brown Nick Clegg
Party Labour Liberal Democrat
Leader since 24 June 2007 18 December 2007
Last election 41 seats 11 seats
Seats before 39 12
Seats won 41 11
Seat change Increase 2 Decrease −1
Popular vote 1,035,528 465,471
Percentage 42.0% 18.9%
Swing Increase2.5% Decrease3.7%

  Third party Fourth party
  Alex Salmond (crop).JPG Davidcameron.jpg
Leader Alex Salmond David Cameron
Party SNP Conservative
Leader since 3 September 2004 6 December 2005
Last election 6 seats 1 seat
Seats before 7 1
Seats won 6 1
Seat change Decrease −1 0
Popular vote 491,386 412,855
Percentage 19.9% 16.7%
Swing Increase2.3% Increase0.9%

ScotlandParliamentaryConstituency2010Results.svg

Colours on map indicate winning party for each constituency.

Prime Minister before election

Gordon Brown
Labour

Subsequent Prime Minister

David Cameron
Conservative

These are the Scottish results of the United Kingdom general election, 2010. The election was held on 6 May 2010 and all 59 seats in Scotland were contested. There were no seat changes from the 2005 General Election, although Labour took back 2 seats that it had lost in by-elections.

Contesting parties[edit]

Since 2005, the Scottish National Party had come first in the 2007 Scottish Parliament Election as well as the 2009 European Election. They had also won the Glasgow East by-election in 2008, which was one of the safest Labour seats in the UK. This boosted the party's confidence and the party's leader Alex Salmond set the ambitious target of 20 seats in the general election. Salmond himself was standing down as an MP because he wanted to focus more on his job as First Minister of Scotland. In the election, the party only increased their share of the vote by 2.3% and had their number of seats reduced to six after being overwhelmingly defeated in the Glasgow East constituency.

The Scottish Labour Party has held the majority of seats in Scotland in every general election since the 1960s. This is usually attributed to the North-South divide in British politics, where Scotland and the North of England tend to return mostly Labour MP's whereas the South of England tends to vote mostly for the Conservatives. Many prominent government officials were representing Scottish constituencies, such as the Prime Minister Gordon Brown and the Chancellor Alistair Darling. In the election, the Labour Party in Scotland increased its share of the vote by 2.5% and re-gained the Glasgow East and Dunfermline and West Fife constituencies giving them 41 out of 59 seats in Scotland.

The Scottish Conservative Party has not held the majority of Scottish seats in a general election since 1955 and it lost all eleven of its seats in the election of 1997. Since 2001, the party has only held one Westminster seat in Scotland. In 2005, following the re-organisation of Scottish constituencies, that seat was Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale, a mostly rural constituency near the Scottish borders. However, the party had 11 target seats within Scotland for the election and party officials such as William Hague had predicted a 'Tory breakthrough' for Scotland.[2] Following the election, the Conservative vote in Scotland increased by roughly 1% but with only the 1 seat being retained.

During the 2005 election, the Scottish Liberal Democrats achieved 11 Scottish seats in Westminster and saw this figure increased to 12 following the Dunfermline and West Fife by-election in 2006. Two former Liberal Democrat leaders, Charles Kennedy and Menzies Campbell represent Scottish constituencies. In the election, the Liberal Democrat vote fell in Scotland and the party was once again left with 11 seats.

Minor parties such as the UK Independence Party, the British National Party and the Scottish Green Party all contested more Scottish seats than they did in the 2005 election. The Socialist Workers Party and Solidarity (a splinter group of the Scottish Socialists) took part in the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition for the election. The Scottish Socialist Party had contested all of the Scottish constituencies in 2005 but because of party splits, it fielded only 10 candidates for the 2010 election.

If proportional representation was used, then the Labour Party would have 25 seats, the SNP would have 12, the Liberal Democrats would have 11 and the Conservatives would have 10.

Campaign events[edit]

  • 9 April - The Labour Party candidate for Moray, Stuart Maclennan, was sacked after making offensive comments on his Twitter page. These included insulting politicians such as David Cameron, Nick Clegg, John Bercow and Diane Abbott and also referring to the elderly as 'coffin dodgers' and voters in the North of Scotland as teuchters.[3]
  • 12 April - Prime Minister Gordon Brown asks the Queen to dissolve parliament, thus triggering the election.
  • 20 April - The first of three televised Scottish Leader's debates takes place.
  • 27 April - The Conservative candidate for North Ayrshire and Arran, Philip Lardner was expelled from his party and relieved from his job as a primary school teacher after making comments on his blog that homosexuality was 'not normal'. This occurred on 27 April 2010, which was too late to remove his name from the ballot paper and subsequently he still read as the Conservative & Unionist candidate.[4]
  • 28 April - The SNP failed to sue the BBC for excluding them from the televised leader's debates, claiming that the BBC had breached its rules on impartiality by excluding the SNP.
  • 6 May - Polling day across the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The following day, a hung parliament is declared, where no party holds an overall majority in the House of Commons.

Scottish Leader's debates[edit]

In correspondence with the main Leader's debates, featuring David Cameron, Gordon Brown and Nick Clegg, three televised debates were broadcast with representatives from the four main parties in Scotland. The first debate was broadcast on STV on 20 April, the second on Sky News on 25 April and the third on BBC One Scotland on 2 May.

The representatives from each of the main parties were:

Target Seats[edit]

Labour Party[edit]

Rank Constituency Winning party 2005 Swing Required Labour's place 2005 Result
1 Dundee East SNP 0.49% 2nd SNP hold
2 Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale Conservative 1.95% 2nd CON hold
3 East Dunbartonshire Liberal Democrats 4.35% 2nd LD hold
4 Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey Liberal Democrats 4.69% 2nd LD hold

Scottish National Party[edit]

Rank Constituency Winning party 2005 Swing Required SNP's place 2005 Result
1 Ochil and South Perthshire Labour 0.74% 2nd LAB hold
2 Dundee West Labour 7.28% 2nd LAB hold
3 Kilmarnock and Loudoun Labour 9.81% 2nd LAB hold
4 Aberdeen North Labour 9.28% 3rd LAB hold

Liberal Democrats[edit]

Rank Constituency Winning party 2005 Swing Required Liberal Democrat's place 2005 Result
1 Aberdeen South Labour 1.62% 2nd LAB hold
2 Edinburgh North and Leith Labour 2.53% 2nd LAB hold

Conservative Party[edit]

Rank Constituency Winning party 2005 Swing Required Conservative's place 2005 Result
1 Perth and North Perthshire SNP 1.66% 2nd SNP hold
2 Angus SNP 2.1% 2nd SNP hold
3 Dumfries and Galloway Labour 2.87% 2nd LAB hold
4 Stirling Labour 5.46% 2nd LAB hold

Overall results[edit]

Party Seats Seats
change
Seats contested Lost deposits Votes  %  %
change
Labour 41 0 59 0 1,035,528 42.0 +2.5
Liberal Democrat 11 0 59 0 465,471 18.9 -3.7
SNP 6 0 59 0 491,386 19.9 +2.3
Conservative 1 0 591 2 412,855 16.7 +0.9
UKIP 0 0 34 33 17,223 0.7 +0.3
Scottish Green 0 0 20 19 16,827 0.7 -0.3
BNP 0 0 13 13 8,910 0.4 +0.3
TUSC 0 0 10 10 3,530 0.1 N/A
Scottish Socialist 0 0 10 10 3,157 0.1 -1.7
Socialist Labour 0 0 5 5 1,673 0.0 -
Christian 0 0 1 1 835 0.0 N/A
Trust 0 0 1 1 534 0.0 N/A
Liberal 0 0 1 1 389 0.0 N/A
Scottish Jacobite 0 0 2 2 290 0.0 N/A
Communist 0 0 2 2 237 0.0 N/A
Turnout: 2,465,722 63.8

1 Philip Lardner, the Conservative candidate for North Ayrshire and Arran was disowned by the Conservative Party for comments he posted on his website, calling homosexuality 'abnormal'. It was too late for him to be replaced and he still read as the Scottish Conservative & Unionist Party candidate on the ballot paper.

Results by constituency[edit]

Winning party in each constituency is marked in bold

Constituency Labour  % Lib Dems  % SNP  % Conservative  % Others  % Notes
Aberdeen North 16,746 44.4% 7,001 18.6% 8,385 22.2% 4,666 12.4% 903 2.4% SNP target #4
Aberdeen South 15,722 36.5% 12,216 28.4% 5,102 11.9% 8,914 20.7% 1,080 2.5% Lib Dem target #1
Airdrie and Shotts 20,849 58.2% 2,898 8.1% 8,441 23.5% 3,133 8.7% 528 1.5%
Angus 6,535 17.2% 4,090 10.8% 15,020 39.6% 11,738 30.9% 577 1.5% Conservative target #2
Argyll and Bute 10,274 22.7% 14,292 31.6% 8,563 18.9% 10,861 24.0% 945 2.0%
Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock 21,632 47.1% 4,264 9.3% 8,276 18.0% 11,721 25.5% N/A
Banff and Buchan 5,382 14.0% 4,365 11.3% 15,868 43.3% 11,841 30.8% 1,010 2.6% Largest swing recorded in Scotland (10.6 SNP to CON)
Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk 5,003 10.2% 22,230 45.4% 4,497 9.2% 16,555 33.8% 729 1.5% Michael Moore's Seat
Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross 7,081 24.6% 11,907 41.4% 5,516 19.2% 3,744 13.0% 520 1.8%
Central Ayrshire 20,950 47.7% 5,236 11.9% 8,364 19.0% 8,943 20.4% 422 1.0%
Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill 27,728 66.6% 3,519 8.5% 7,014 16.9% 3,374 8.1% N/A
Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East 23,549 57.2% 3,924 9.5% 9,794 23.8% 3,407 8.3% 476 1.2%
Dumfries and Galloway 23,950 45.9% 4,608 8.8% 6,419 12.3% 16,501 31.6% 695 1.3% Conservative target #3
Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale 13,263 28.9% 9,080 19.8% 4,945 10.8% 17,457 38.0% 1,147 2.5% Conservative's only Scottish seat, Labour target #2
Dundee East 13,529 33.3% 4,285 10.6% 15,350 37.8% 6,177 15.2% 796 1.9% Labour target #1
Dundee West 17,994 48.5% 4,233 11.4% 10,716 28.9% 3,461 9.3% 722 2.0% SNP target #2
Dunfermline and West Fife 22,639 46.3% 17,169 35.1% 5,201 10.6% 3,305 6.8% 633 1.3% Regained by Labour after by-election loss to Lib Dems
East Dunbartonshire 16,367 34.1% 18,551 38.7% 5,054 10.5% 7,431 15.5% 545 1.1% Labour target #3
East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow 26,241 51.1% 5,052 9.9% 11,738 23.0% 6,613 13.0% 1,302 2.6%
East Lothian 21,919 44.6% 8,228 16.9% 7,883 16.0% 9,661 19.7% 1,410 2.9%
East Renfrewshire 25,987 50.8% 4,720 9.2% 4,535 8.9% 15,567 30.4% 372 0.7% Jim Murphy's seat
Edinburgh East 17,314 43.4% 7,751 19.4% 8,133 20.4% 4,358 10.9% 2,309 5.8%
Edinburgh North and Leith 17,740 37.5% 16,016 33.8% 4,568 9.6% 7,079 14.9% 1,825 3.8% Lib Dem target #2
Edinburgh South 15,215 34.7% 14,899 34.0% 3,354 7.7% 9,452 21.6% 880 2.0%
Edinburgh South West 19,473 42.8% 8,194 18.0% 5,530 12.2% 11,026 24.3% 1,239 2.7% Alistair Darling's seat
Edinburgh West 12,881 27.7% 16,684 35.9% 6,115 13.2% 10,767 23.2% N/A
Falkirk 23,207 45.7% 5,225 10.3% 15,364 30.3% 5,698 11.2% 1,283 2.5%
Glasgow Central 15,908 52.0% 5,010 16.4% 5,357 17.5% 2,158 7.1% 2,139 7.0%
Glasgow East 19,797 61.6% 1,617 5.0% 7,957 24.7% 1,453 4.5% 1,340 4.1% Regained by Labour after by-election loss to SNP
Glasgow North 13,181 44.5% 9,283 31.3% 3,530 11.9% 2,039 7.1% 1,530 5.2%
Glasgow North East 20,100 68.3% 2,262 7.7% 4,158 14.1% 1,569 5.3% 1,320 4.4%
Glasgow North West 19,233 54.1% 5,622 15.8% 5,430 15.3% 3,537 9.9% 1,760 5.0%
Glasgow South 20,736 51.7% 4,739 11.8% 8,078 20.1% 4,592 11.5% 1,949 4.9%
Glasgow South West 19,863 62.5% 2,870 9.0% 5,192 16.3% 2,084 6.6% 1,772 4.9%
Glenrothes 25,247 62.3% 3,108 7.7% 8,799 21.7% 2,922 7.2% 425 1.0%
Gordon 9,811 20.1% 17,575 36.0% 10,827 22.2% 9,111 18.7% 1,451 2.9%
Inverclyde 20,933 56.0% 5,007 36.0% 6,577 17.5% 4,502 12.0% 433 1.2%
Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey 10,407 22.1% 19,172 40.7% 8,803 18.7% 6,278 13.3% 2,426 5.2% Danny Alexander's seat, Labour target #4
Kilmarnock and Loudoun 24,460 52.5% 3,419 7.3% 12,082 26.0% 6,592 14.2% N/A SNP target #3
Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath 29,559 64.5% 4,269 9.3% 6,550 14.3% 4,258 9.3% 1,166 2.6% Gordon Brown's seat, largest majority of any Scottish seat
Lanark and Hamilton East 23,258 50.0% 5,249 11.3% 9,780 21.0% 6,981 15.0% 1,286 2.7%
Linlithgow and East Falkirk 25,634 49.8% 6,589 12.8% 13,081 25.4% 6,146 11.9% N/A
Livingston 23,215 48.5% 5,316 11.1% 12,424 25.9% 5,158 10.8% 1,794 3.7%
Midlothian 18,449 47.0% 6,711 17.1% 8,100 20.6% 4,661 11.9% 1,321 3.3%
Moray 7,007 17.1% 5,965 14.5% 16,273 39.7% 10,683 26.1% 1,085 2.6%
Motherwell 23,910 61.1% 3,840 9.8% 7,104 18.2% 3,660 9.4% 609 1.6%
Na h-Eileanan an Iar 4,838 32.9% 1,097 7.5% 6,723 45.7% 647 4.4% 1,412 9.6%
North Ayrshire and Arran 21,860 47.4% 4,630 10.0% 11,965 25.9% 7,212 15.6% 449 1.0%
North East Fife 6,869 17.1% 17,763 44.3% 5,685 14.2% 8,715 21.8% 1,032 2.6% Menzies Campbell's seat
Ochil and South Perthshire 19,131 37.9% 5,754 11.4% 13,944 27.6% 10,342 20.5% 1,298 2.6% SNP target #1
Orkney and Shetland 2,061 10.7% 11,989 62.0% 2,042 10.6% 2,032 10.5% 1,222 6.3% Safest Lib Dem seat in the UK
Paisley and Renfrewshire North 23,613 54.0% 4,597 10.5% 8,333 19.1% 6,381 14.6% 783 1.8%
Paisley and Renfrewshire South 23,842 59.6% 3,812 9.5% 7,228 18.1% 3,979 9.9% 1,137 2.8% Douglas Alexander's seat
Perth and North Perthshire 7,923 16.4% 5,954 12.3% 19,118 39.6% 14,739 30.5% 534 1.1% Conservative target #1
Ross, Skye and Lochaber 5,265 15.1% 18,335 52.6% 5,263 15.1% 4,260 12.2% 1,715 4.9% Charles Kennedy's seat
Rutherglen and Hamilton West 28,566 60.8% 5,636 12.0% 7,564 16.1% 4,540 9.7% 675 1.4%
Stirling 19,558 41.8% 6,797 14.5% 8,091 17.3% 11,204 23.9% 1,141 2.4% Conservative target #4
West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine 6,159 13.6% 17,362 38.4% 7,086 15.7% 13,678 30.3% 910 2.0%
West Dunbartonshire 25,905 61.3% 3,434 8.1% 8,497 20.1% 3,242 7.7% 1,188 2.8%

Superlatives[edit]

Labour Party[edit]

Highest Share of Vote - Glasgow North East, 68.3% of Vote

Lowest Share of Vote - Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk, 10.2% of Vote

Scottish National Party[edit]

Highest Share of Vote - Na h-Eileanan an Iar, 45.7% of Vote

Lowest Share of Vote - Edinburgh South, 7.7% of Vote

Liberal Democrats[edit]

Highest Share of Vote - Orkney and Shetland, 62.0% of Vote

Lowest Share of Vote - Glasgow East, 5.0% of Vote

Conservative Party[edit]

Highest Share of Vote - Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale, 38.0% of Vote

Lowest Share of Vote - Na h-Eileanan an Iar, 4.4% of Vote

Minor Parties Highest Shares[edit]

UK Independence Party - Orkney and Shetland, 6.3% of Vote

Scottish Green Party - Edinburgh East, 5.1% of Vote

British National Party - Banff and Buchan, 2.6% of Vote

References[edit]