Livingston by-election, 2005

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The Livingston by-election, 2005 was triggered when Robin Cook, the Labour Party Member of Parliament for Livingston, in Scotland, died on 6 August 2005.

Notice of the vacancy in the constituency was published in the London Gazette on 2 September 2005, which allowed the Speaker of the House of Commons to issue the writ for the election on 8 September under the Recess Elections Act 1975. The poll was held on 29 September, in the week of the Labour Party Conference, when the Labour candidate Jim Devine held the seat for his party.

A by-election for the Glasgow Cathcart seat in the Scottish Parliament was also held on the same day.

Candidates for Livingston by-election, 2005
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Jim Devine 12,319 41.8 -9.3
SNP Angela Constance 9,639 32.7 +11.1
Liberal Democrat Charles Dundas 4,362 14.8 -0.6
Conservative Gordon Lindhurst 1,993 6.8 -3.4
Scottish Green David Robertson 529 1.8
Scottish Socialist Steven Nimmo 407 1.4 -0.4
UKIP Peter Adams 108 0.4
Independent Melville Brown 55 0.2
Alliance for Change (UK) John William Allman 33 0.1
Socialist (GB) Brian Gardner 32 0.1
Majority 2,680 9.1
Turnout 29,477 38.6 -19.5
Labour hold Swing -10.2
General Election 2005: Livingston
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Robin Cook 22,657 51.1 -4.1
SNP Angela Constance 9,560 21.6 -1.7
Liberal Democrat Charles Dundas 6,832 15.4 +5.5
Conservative Alison Ross 4,499 10.1 +2.5
Scottish Socialist Steven Nimmo 789 1.8 -1.2
Majority 13,097 29.5
Turnout 44,337 58.1 +2.0
Labour hold Swing -1.2

Reaction to results[edit]

Labour's retention of the seat, albeit with a reduced majority, was regarded by the party with satisfaction. The Scottish National Party was the only party to increase their vote from the general election, and although they did not win, they achieved a swing of 10% from Labour. The Liberal Democrats' share of the vote fell by 0.6%.

There was a swing from Labour to Conservatives of 3%, but given the fourth place position of the Conservative Party in this seat, and their third place position in Scotland, the significance of this is debatable.

In 2007 Angela Constance gained the Livingston seat in the Scottish Parliament (which has slightly different boundaries) from Labour.

See also[edit]

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