danieldwilliam: (machievelli)
[personal profile] danieldwilliam
My next stop takes me north to the family home in the Northern Isles for a look at the Highlands and Islands. A land of wild winds, huge constituencies and  Liberal Democrat voters. Turn out in the Highlands and Island was 58.9%. Glasgow managed 47.4%. Some people in the Highlands and Islands have to swim to the polling station and they managed a clear 11% better turn out than the Glaswegians who only have to stumble out of the pub in the morning to vote. And, yes, I am going to continue to mock Glasgow for its appalling turnout. When fewer than one in two of you bother to vote you deserve all the mockery you get.


Regional Votes

% of Vote

Constituency Vote

Constituency %

Constituency Seats

Evenutal List Seats

Total Seats

% of Seats
SNP 81,600 40% 91,088 44% 6 1 7 47%
Conservative 44,693 22% 39,493 19% 3 3 20%
Labour 22,894 11% 24,246 12% 2 2 13%
Scottish Green 14,781 7% 0 0% 0 1 1 7%
Liberal Democrats 27,223 13% 47,465 23% 2 - 2 13%
UKIP 5,344 3% 0 0% - 0 0%
Women's Equality 0 0.00% 0 0% - 0 0%
RISE 889 0% 0 0% - 0 0%
Solidarity 793 0% 0 0% - 0 0%
Independent 3,689 2% 1,253 1% - 0 0%
Libertarian 0 0% 0 0% - 0 0%
A Better Britain – Unionist Party 0 0% 0 0% - 0 0%
Animal Welfare 0 0% 0 0% - 0 0%
Scottish Christian 3,407 2% 1,162 1% - 0 0%
205,313 100% 204,707 100% 8 7 15 100%

Looking first at the real votes on the regional list. The order of election was Conservative, Labour, Conservative, Conservative, Green, SNP, Labour.

This is another region where the SNP pick up a disproportionate total of the overall seats, 40% of the vote garnering 47% of the seats.

That Green seat is now held by John Finnie, one of two former SNP MSP's to resign from the SNP over NATO membership and sit as quasi-independents in Holyrood. The other was Jean Urquhart who was the lead candidate for RISE in the Highlands and Islands. Both MSP's, after resigning from the SNP committed themselves to honouring the SNP's manifesto as they had been elected on the regional list in 2011 on that manifesto. A pair of honourable individuals.

The Green's seat is a 5th round pick. So provided that the other honourable duo of McArthur and Scott hold the seats of Orkney and Shetland it should be a good prospect for the Greens to retain the seat.

The last seat to be allocated was for Labour and the margin looks pretty narrow. Some 800 or so more Conservative voters would have cost Labour the seat.

There is the usual leakage of SNP votes in constituencies to the regional vote but in the Highlands and Islands the big swing between region and list is away from the Liberal Democrats who mislay some 20,000 votes between one ballot box and the other. The Conservatives increase their share of the vote in the PR list, the Greens didn't stand in any constituencies and the small parties pick up 14 thousand votes between them. No Better Britain - Unionism party or Animal Welfare Party in the Highlands or, sadly, the Women's Equality Party but the Scottish Christian Party pick 3 thousand votes on the list putting them just behind an independent candidate. Rise and Solidarity barely trouble the scorers.

Looking at counter-factuals. The Conservatives could have won a list seat at the expense of the Labour Party. Perhaps they should have bused in some volunteers. Only one seat was close enough to have perhaps impacted the list race. Moray saw the SNP win by 2,875 votes over the Consertatives. The SNP would have picked up a compensating seat on the regional list.  Na h-Eileanan an Iar looks closer than it is. It's a small seat. The winning margin for the SNP over Labour was 3,496 - which would make this marginal in the big city regions - but turn out in the Western Isles was over 60% and this was the only seat in which the SNP polled more than 50% of the vote.  The SNP did finish first or second in every seat.

Final thoughts on the constituency votes. Both Liam McArthur and Tavish Scott hold their seats of Orkney and Shetland with comfortable, nay epic, majorities. Mcarthur  and Scott gathered 67% of the constituency vote. The Nothern Isles seem to have put the Carmichael business behind them and sent two Lib Dems to Holyrood. I'm personally pleased about this.
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