East Renfrewshire (UK Parliament constituency)

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East Renfrewshire
County constituency
EastRenfrewshireConstituency.svg
East Renfrewshire shown within Scotland
Created: 1885, 2005
MP: Jim Murphy
Party: Labour
Type: House of Commons
Council areas: East Renfrewshire
EP constituency: Scotland

East Renfrewshire is a constituency of the British House of Commons, located in Scotland to the south of Glasgow. It elects one Member of Parliament (MP) at least once every five years using the first-past-the-post system of voting.

Before 1997, it was the safest Conservative seat in Scotland. However, it failed to survive the 1997 Labour landslide, and the Labour Party's Jim Murphy has held the seat ever since. Murphy was the Secretary of State for Scotland (2009–10) and is currently the Shadow Secretary of State for International Development (2013-). The seat currently gives Murphy a healthy majority of over 10,000 votes, with the strongest challenge coming from the Conservatives. In terms of turnout, the constituency was the highest across the country in 2010.

The constituency itself has a mostly 'middle-class' electorate and takes in some notably affluent areas. The principal settlements of the East Renfrewshire council area (which it overlaps) are the towns of Barrhead, Clarkston, Giffnock and Newton Mearns.

History[edit]

The constituency was created by the Redistribution of Seats Act 1885 for the 1885 general election. It was abolished for the 1983 general election, when it was partially replaced by the new Eastwood constituency.

The East Renfrewshire constituency was re-established for the 2005 general election, with the same boundaries as the previous Eastwood constituency. Despite the change of name, it is the only constituency in mainland Scotland whose boundaries were unchanged by the 2005 revision of Scottish constituencies.

Constituency profile[edit]

An outer suburb of the Glasgow conurbation and the rural hinterland to the south-west of Glasgow, this is an affluent, middle-class commuter area with a high proportion of owner-occupiers and professionals. Clarkston used to be a dry area until planning permission for the first pub in the area was given in 2006. Renfrewshire East has the largest Jewish population of any seat in Scotland, with almost half of Scotland`s Jewish population living in the area.

Anywhere outside Scotland this would be a safe Conservative seat, and up until 1997 it was one of the safest Conservative seats in Scotland. It is a mark of the collapse in Conservative support in Scotland that this remains a safe Labour seat even in the event of their national defeat.

Boundaries and local government areas[edit]

As created in 1885 the constituency was one of four covering the area of the county of Renfrewshire (except the burgh of Renfrew and the burgh of Port Glasgow, which were components of Kilmarnock Burghs until 1918). The four constituencies were: East Renfrewshire, West Renfrewshire, Paisley and Greenock. Greenock was enlarged and renamed Greenock and Port Glasgow in 1974.

From 1885 the constituency consisted of the parishes of Eastwood, Cathcart, Mearns and Eaglesham, and part of the parish of Govan.[1]

From 1918 the constituency consisted of "The Upper County District, inclusive of all burghs situated therein, except the burghs of Paisley and Johnstone, together with so much of the burgh of Renfrew as is contained within the parish of Govan in the county of Lanark."

The constituency was abolished for the 1983 general election, eight years after the creation of local government regions and districts in 1975. The new constituency, with revised boundaries, was called Eastwood.

In 1996 the area of the Eastwood constituency became, also, the East Renfrewshire unitary council area.

In 1999 a Scottish Parliament constituency was created with the name and boundaries of the Eastwood Westminster constituency.

In the widespread redistribution of Scottish seats for the 2005 general election, the name of the Eastwood Westminster constituency was changed back to East Renfrewshire.

Population and politics[edit]

The constituency is on the borders of Glasgow, and is mostly middle-class residential territory for Glasgow. The area was looked on as safely Conservative before Labour gained the seat in 1997.

Members of Parliament[edit]

It is currently represented by Jim Murphy, the Shadow Secretary of State for International Development.

MPs 1885-1983[edit]

Election Member[2] Party
1885 James Finlayson Liberal
1886 Michael Hugh Shaw-Stewart Conservative
1906 Sir Robert Laidlaw Liberal
Jan 1910 John Gilmour Unionist
1918 Joseph Johnstone Coalition Liberal
1922 Robert Nichol Labour
1924 Alexander Munro MacRobert Unionist
1930 Marquess of Clydesdale Unionist
1940 Guy Lloyd Unionist
1959 Betty Harvie Anderson Unionist/Conservative
1979 Allan Stewart Conservative
1983 constituency abolished: see Eastwood

MPs 2005-present[edit]

Election Member Party
2005 Jim Murphy Labour

Election results[edit]

Election Political result Candidate Party Votes % ±%
General Election 2010
Turnout: 51,181 (77.3%) +5.1
Labour hold
Majority: 10,420 (20.4%) +6.4
Swing: +3.2% from Con to Lab
Jim Murphy Labour 25,987 50.8 +6.9
Richard Cook Conservative 15,567 30.4 +0.5
Gordon MacDonald Liberal Democrat 4,720 9.2 -9.0
Gordon Archer SNP 4,535 8.9 +2.0
Donald McKay UKIP 372 0.7 N/A
General Election 2005
Turnout: 47,405 (72.1%) +1.4
Labour hold
Majority: 6,657 (14.0%) -4.9
Swing: -2.4% from Lab to Con
Jim Murphy Labour 20,815 43.9 -3.7
Richard Cook Conservative 14,158 29.9 +1.1
Gordon MacDonald Liberal Democrat 8,659 18.3 +5.4
Osama Bhutta SNP 3,245 6.8 -1.7
Ian Henderson Scottish Socialist 528 1.1 -0.6

Elections in the 1970s[edit]

General Election 1979: East Renfrewshire
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Allan Stewart 25,910 49.89
Labour E Sullivan 12,672 24.40
Liberal WGA Craig 9,366 18.03
SNP J Pow 3,989 7.68
Majority 13,238 25.49
Turnout 80.58
Conservative hold Swing
General Election October 1974: East Renfrewshire
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Betty Harvie Anderson 19,847 41.35
SNP I Jenkins 11,137 23.20
Labour CJ Roberts 9,997 20.83
Liberal WGA Craig 7,015 14.62
Majority 8,710 18.15
Turnout 77.65
Conservative hold Swing
General Election February 1974: East Renfrewshire
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Betty Harvie Anderson 25,713 50.62
Labour RS Stewart 10,227 20.13
Liberal WGA Craig 9,588 18.88
SNP S Watterson 5,268 10.37
Majority 15,486 30.49
Turnout 80.66
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1970: East Renfrewshire
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Betty Harvie Anderson 29,163 52.07
Labour J Carnegie 16,062 28.68
Liberal M Watt 7,053 12.59
SNP JM Buchanan 3,733 6.66
Majority 13,101 23.39
Turnout 76.16
Conservative hold Swing

Elections in the 1960s[edit]

General Election 1966: East Renfrewshire
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Betty Harvie Anderson 28,017 53.17
Labour R Lochrie 17,426 33.07
Liberal JW McHardy 7,252 13.76
Majority 10,591 20.10
Turnout 79.88
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1964: East Renfrewshire
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Unionist Betty Harvie Anderson 27,846 52.54
Labour JS Gordon 16,503 31.14
Liberal DMH Starforth 8,655 16.33
Majority 11,343 21.40
Turnout 82.63
Unionist hold Swing

Elections in the 1950s[edit]

General Election 1959: East Renfrewshire
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Unionist Betty Harvie Anderson 29,672 58.65
Labour AJ Houston 14,579 28.82
Liberal DMH Starforth 6,339 12.53
Majority 15,093 29.83
Turnout 82.85
Unionist hold Swing
General Election 1955: East Renfrewshire
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Unionist Guy Lloyd 30,959 68.30
Labour DJ Phillips 14,371 31.70
Majority 16,588 36.59
Turnout 78.12
Unionist hold Swing
General Election 1951: East Renfrewshire
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Unionist Guy Lloyd 31,908 65.80
Labour DJ Phillips 16,588 34.20
Majority 15,320 31.59
Turnout 81.74
Unionist hold Swing
General Election 1950: East Renfrewshire
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Unionist Guy Lloyd 31,650 65.44
Labour WL Taylor 16,716 34.56
Majority 14,934 30.88
Turnout 78.87
Unionist hold Swing

Elections in the 1940s[edit]

General Election, 1945: East Renfrewshire
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Unionist Guy Lloyd 42,310 53.6
Labour Co-op D. McArthur 36,634 46.4
Majority 5,676 +7.2
Turnout 78,944 67.2
Unionist hold Swing
East Renfrewshire by-election, 9 May 1940 [3]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Unionist Guy Lloyd 34,316 80.7 +25.1
Ind. Labour Party Annie Maxton 8,206 19.3 N/A
Majority 26,110 61.4 +39.8
Turnout 42,522 43.4
Unionist hold Swing

Elections in the 1930s[edit]

General Election, 1935: Renfrew Eastern [4]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Unionist The Marquess of Clydesdale 35,121 55.6 −3.8
Labour Co-op J. Barr 21,475 34.0 +7.3
SNP W.O. Brown 6,593 10.4 −3.5
Majority 13,646 21.5 −11.2
Turnout 63,189 75.9 −4.8
Unionist hold Swing −6.6
General Election 1931: Renfrew Eastern[5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Marquess of Clydesdale 27,740 59.38
Labour J. Strain 12,477 26.71
SNP W.O. Brown 6,498 13.91
Majority 15,263 32.67
Turnout 80.67
Unionist hold Swing
East Renfrewshire by-election, 28th November 1930
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Unionist The Marquess of Cydesdale 19,753 53.6 +1.4
Ind. Labour Party T. Irwin 12,293 33.3 N/A
SNP W. O. Brown 4,818 13.1 N/A
Majority 7,460 20.3 +15.9
Turnout 69.0 −17.8
Unionist hold Swing

Elections in the 1920s[edit]

General Election, 1929: East Renfrewshire
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Unionist Alexander Munro MacRobert 18,487 52.2 +0.2
Labour Rev. John Martin Munro 16,924 47.8 −0.2
Majority 13,646 21.5 −11.2
Turnout 63,189 75.9 −4.8
Unionist hold Swing −6.6
By-election 1926: Renfrewshire East[6]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Alexander Munro MacRobert KC 11,817
Labour Rev John Martin Munro 10,889

Alexander Munro MacRobert was appointed Solicitor General for Scotland on 31 December 1925.[7]

General Election 1924: Renfrewshire East[8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Alexander Munro MacRobert KC 13,716
Labour Robert Nichol 10,903
General Election 1923: Renfrewshire East[9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Robert Nichol 9,857
Conservative Sir Frederick Lobnitz 9,349
Liberal W. Crawford 2,887
General Election 1922: Renfrewshire East[10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Robert Nichol 9,708
Conservative Sir F. Lobnitz 9,158
Liberal Joseph Johnstone 4,013

Elections in the 1910s[edit]

General Election 1918: Renfrewshire East[11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Coalition Liberal Joseph Johnstone 13,107
Labour Robert Spence 5,048
General Election Dec 1910: Renfrewshire East[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Major John Gilmour 10,063
Liberal James Ian Macpherson 8,883
General Election Jan 1910: Renfrewshire East[13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Capt John Gilmour 9,645
Liberal Sir Robert Laidlaw 8,771

Elections in the 1900s[edit]

General Election 1906: Renfrewshire East[14]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Robert Laidlaw 6,896 50.3
Conservative Sir Michael Hugh Shaw-Stewart 6,801 49.7
General Election 1900: Renfrewshire East[15]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Michael Hugh Shaw-Stewart unopposed

Elections in the 1890s[edit]

General Election 1895: Renfrewshire East[16]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Michael Hugh Shaw-Stewart unopposed
General Election 1892: Renfrewshire East[17]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Michael Hugh Shaw-Stewart 4,484
Liberal John G. Murdoch 3,397

Elections in the 1880s[edit]

General Election 1886: Renfrewshire East[18]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Michael Hugh Shaw-Stewart 3,806
Liberal James Samuelson 2,438
General Election 1885: Renfrewshire East[19]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal James Finlayson 3,642
Conservative Allan Gilmour, jun 3,144

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Redistribution of Seats Act 1885, Seventh Schedule, Part II
  2. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "R" (part 1)[self-published source][better source needed]
  3. ^ Whitaker's Almanack, 1944
  4. ^ Whitaker's Almanack, 1939
  5. ^ Whitaker's Almanack, 1934
  6. ^ Oliver & Boyd's Edinburgh Almanack, 1927
  7. ^ Oliver & Boyd's Edonburgh Almanack, 1927
  8. ^ Oliver & Boyd's Edinburgh Almanack, 1927
  9. ^ The Times, 8 December 1923
  10. ^ The Times, 17 November 1922
  11. ^ Whitaker's Almanack, 1920
  12. ^ Debrett's House of Commons and the Judicial Bench, 1916
  13. ^ Debrett's House of Commons and the Judicial Bench, 1916
  14. ^ Whitaker's Almanack, 1907
  15. ^ Debrett's House of Commons and the Judicial Bench, 1901
  16. ^ Debrett's House of Commons and the Judicial Bench, 1901
  17. ^ Whitaker's Almanack, 1893
  18. ^ Debrett's House of Commons and Judicial Bench, 1889
  19. ^ Debrett's House of Commons and Judicial Bench, 1889