Paisley and Renfrewshire South (UK Parliament constituency)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Coordinates: 55°48′50″N 4°29′06″W / 55.814°N 4.485°W / 55.814; -4.485

Paisley and Renfrewshire South
County constituency
for the House of Commons
Outline map
Boundary of Paisley and Renfrewshire South in Scotland
Major settlementsPaisley, Johnstone, Kilbarchan, Howwood, Lochwinnoch
Current constituency
Member of ParliamentMhairi Black (SNP)
Created fromPaisley South, Paisley North, and Renfrewshire West

Paisley and Renfrewshire South is a constituency of the House of Commons, located in Renfrewshire, Scotland to the southwest of Glasgow. It elects one Member of Parliament at least once every five years using the first-past-the-post system of voting.

Constituency profile and voting patterns[edit]

Constituency profile[edit]

Covering the southern portion of the Renfrewshire council area, the east of the constituency includes half of Paisley, as well as the smaller town of Johnstone and the villages of Kilbarchan and Elderslie.

This is contrasted with the rural south and west of the seat, containing the villages of Lochwinnoch, Howwood and several hamlets and farms. The constituency also contains the Gleniffer Braes Country Park to the south and Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park to the west, notable for Castle Semple Loch.

Voting Patterns[edit]

This seat had traditionally been considered a heartland for the Labour Party, who had held constituencies containing Paisley and its surrounding towns and villages since 1945.

First used in the 2005 election, this seat was won by Labour politician Douglas Alexander, who had been previously MP for its predecessor constituency of Paisley South since 1997. Alexander was re-elected in the 2010 election with an increased share of the vote and majority.

The aftermath of the Scottish independence referendum 2014 resulted in a substantial increase in support for the SNP. Subsequently, the 2015 election saw the SNP candidate Mhairi Black gain the seat on a 27% swing. Black was re-elected in the 2017 election but only held the seat marginally over Labour. However, in the 2019 election she increased her majority and won over half the vote, making it a safe seat for the SNP.

The seat has also seen support for other parties, with the Conservative Party rising in 2017 and 2019 to around a fifth of the vote share. There is also a Liberal Democrat vote in the seat, with the party achieving 7% at the most recent election. The constituency has also seen several minor parties and independents stand in its history, however individually none of these have won more than 2% of the vote in any election.


This seat was created in 2005 from the bulk of the former Paisley South seat, with minor additions from neighbouring constituencies.[1] Population areas in this seat include Glenburn, Saucel and Hunterhill, Johnstone and Kilbarchan.

Members of Parliament[edit]

The constituency's first MP was Douglas Alexander, who had held the seat since its creation in 2005 and its predecessor Paisley South since 1997. Alexander was the Shadow Foreign Secretary, and has previously held Cabinet posts such as Transport Secretary and Scottish Secretary (2006–07; joint), and International Development Secretary (2007–10).

When SNP candidate Mhairi Black gained the seat in May 2015, she was 20 years and 237 days old, making her the youngest ever Member of Parliament (MP) elected to the House of Commons since at least the Reform Act of 1832, replacing William Wentworth-Fitzwilliam; who was 20 years and 11 months old when elected in 1832.[2] She subsequently held the seat at the snap 2017 general election[3] and 2019 general election.[4]

Election Member Party
2005 Douglas Alexander Labour
2015 Mhairi Black SNP


Elections in the 2010s[edit]

General election 2019: Paisley and Renfrewshire South[5][6]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
SNP Mhairi Black 21,637 50.2 +9.5
Labour Moira Ramage 10,958 25.4 –9.2
Conservative Mark Dougan 7,571 17.6 –1.9
Liberal Democrats Jack Clark 2,918 6.8 +3.6
Majority 10,679 24.8 +18.7
Turnout 43,084 66.9 –1.1
SNP hold Swing +9.4
General election 2017: Paisley and Renfrewshire South[7][8][9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
SNP Mhairi Black 16,964 40.7 –10.2
Labour Alison Dowling 14,423 34.6 –4.0
Conservative Amy Thomson 8,122 19.5 +11.9
Liberal Democrats Eileen McCartin 1,327 3.2 +1.0
Independent Paul Mack 876 2.1 New
Majority 2,541 6.1 –6.2
Turnout 41,712 68.0 –7.4
SNP hold Swing –3.1
General election 2015: Paisley and Renfrewshire South[10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
SNP Mhairi Black 23,548 50.9 +32.8
Labour Douglas Alexander 17,864 38.6 –21.0
Conservative Fraser Galloway 3,526 7.6 –2.3
Liberal Democrats Eileen McCartin 1,010 2.2 –7.3
Scottish Socialist Sandra Webster 278 0.6 –0.3
Majority 5,684 12.3 N/A
Turnout 46,226 75.4 +10.0
SNP gain from Labour Swing +26.9
General election 2010: Paisley and Renfrewshire South[11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Douglas Alexander 23,842 59.6 +7.0
SNP Andrew Doig 7,228 18.1 +0.5
Conservative Gordon McCaskill 3,979 9.9 +1.5
Liberal Democrats Ashay Ghai 3,812 9.5 –8.1
Independent Paul Mack 513 1.3 New
Scottish Socialist Jimmy Kerr 375 0.9 –1.1
Independent William Hendry 249 0.6 New
Majority 16,614 41.5 +6.5
Turnout 39,998 65.4 +2.5
Labour hold Swing +3.3

Elections in the 2000s[edit]

General election 2005: Paisley and Renfrewshire South[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Douglas Alexander 19,904 52.6 -4.4
Liberal Democrats Eileen McCartin 6,672 17.6 +8.0
SNP Andrew Doig 6,653 17.6 -3.3
Conservative Thomas Begg 3,188 8.4 ±0.0
Scottish Socialist Iain Hogg 789 2.1 -0.7
Pride in Paisley Party Gordon Matthew 381 1.0 New
Independent Robert Rodgers 166 0.4 New
Socialist Labour Howard Broadbent 107 0.3 New
Majority 13,232 35.0 N/A
Turnout 37,860 62.9 N/A
Labour win (new seat)


  1. ^ "Paisley and Renfrewshire South: Aristotle". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 18 June 2008. Retrieved 28 May 2008.
  2. ^ Rix, Kathryn (11 May 2015). "The youngest MP? The 'baby' of the first Reformed Parliament". The Victorian Commons.
  3. ^ "Mhairi Black defies exit poll odds by holding Paisley & Renfrewshire South". The National.
  4. ^ "2019 UK General Election Results".
  5. ^ "2019 - UK General Election". Renfrewshire Council. Renfrewshire Council. Retrieved 13 December 2019.
  6. ^ "Paisley & Renfrewshire South parliamentary constituency - Election 2019". BBC News. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
  7. ^[bare URL PDF]
  8. ^ "SNP to meet over election candidates". BBC News. 22 April 2017.
  9. ^ "Mhairi Black confirms she will stand in General Election".
  10. ^ "Election Data 2015". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 17 October 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
  11. ^ "Election Data 2010". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 26 July 2013. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
  12. ^ "Election Data 2005". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.