2010 United Kingdom general election in Scotland
All 59 Scottish seats to the House of Commons
Colours on map indicate winning party for each constituency
These are the results of the 2010 United Kingdom general election in Scotland. 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 the Labour Party took back two seats that it had lost in by-elections. This was the last general election at which the Labour Party won a majority of seats in Scotland.
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 had 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 had 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 had 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. 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 had been used, and hypothetically there was no change in voter behaviour, then the Labour Party would have had 25 seats, the SNP would have had 12, the Liberal Democrats would have had 11 and the Conservatives would have had 10.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
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:
- Scottish Labour Party – Jim Murphy, Secretary of State for Scotland, MP for East Renfrewshire
- Scottish Conservative Party – David Mundell, Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland, MP for Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale
- Scottish Liberal Democrats – Alistair Carmichael, Liberal Democrat Spokesman on Northern Ireland and Scotland, MP for Orkney and Shetland
- Scottish National Party – Angus Robertson, SNP leader at Westminster, MP for Moray
|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
|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|
|Rank||Constituency||Winning party 2005||Swing Required||Liberal Democrat's place 2005||Result|
|1||Edinburgh South||Labour||0.48%||2nd||LAB hold|
|2||Aberdeen South||Labour||1.62%||2nd||LAB hold|
|3||Edinburgh North and Leith||Labour||2.53%||2nd||LAB hold|
|Rank||Constituency||Winning party 2005||Swing Required||Conservative's place 2005||Result|
|1||Perth and North Perthshire||SNP||1.66%||2nd||SNP hold|
|3||Dumfries and Galloway||Labour||2.87%||2nd||LAB hold|
|Seats contested||Lost deposits||Votes||%||%|
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
Winning party in each constituency is marked in bold.
|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%|
|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 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 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 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|
|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 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 West||19,863||62.5%||2,870||9.0%||5,192||16.3%||2,084||6.6%||1,772||4.9%|
|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|
|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%|
- 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
- Highest share of vote – Na h-Eileanan an Iar, 45.7% of vote
- Lowest share of vote – Edinburgh South, 7.7% of vote
- Highest share of vote – Orkney and Shetland, 62.0% of vote
- Lowest share of vote – Glasgow East, 5.0% of vote
- 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
- 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
- Election 2010 United Kingdom - National Results BBC News
- "William Hague predicts Tory election "breakthrough" in Scotland". www.newstatesman.com.
- "Twitter abuse candidate removed". BBC News. 9 April 2010.
- "Tory suspended over gay comments". BBC News. 27 April 2010.