Thursday, 20 November 2008

Argyll & Bute

2005 result:
Alan Reid LD – 15,786 (36.6%)
Jamie McGrigor CON – 10,150 (23.5%)
Carolyn Manson LAB – 9,696 (22.4%)
Isobel Strong SNP – 6,716 (15.5%)
Liberal Democrat HOLD
Majority: 5,636 over CON


Alan Reid MP (LD)
Carolyn Brodie* Cllr Gary Mulvaney (CON)
Mike MacKenzie (SNP)
* Carolyn Brodie stood down as candidate for CON in February 2008

Swing required: CON – 6.55% LAB – 7.1 % SNP – 10.55%

Council area: -
Argyll & Bute (Other-SNP coalition)

Scottish Parliament: -
Argyll & Bute: SNP (majority - 815 over LD - GAIN)
Dumbarton: LAB (majority - 1,611 over SNP)

Electorate: 69,571
of Scottish Parliament Constituencies -
Argyll &
Bute: 49,839 (71.6%)
Dumbarton: 19,732 (28.4%)

The first of what could legitimately be classed “four-way marginals” if Scottish Parliament election results are taken into account. The SNP’s Jim Mather won the corresponding Holyrood seat from third while second to fourth places in the Westminster seat have shuffled constantly since 1992. The SNP’s presence on the Council plus as MSP in the area must make them favourites to become the main challenger, but whether that will be enough to oust Alan Reid remains to be seen. I think the Lib Dem vote will hold up here, and they’ll hold on by around 1,500 votes. LID DEM HOLD

UPDATE - My first instinct (when I wrote this two months ago!) was to retain this as a Lib Dem hold. However, I am swaying towards a LID DEM LOSS. Who wins it – whether CON or SNP – I’m still not sure. Depending on who has the better night, it could go either way, though I’d suggest the SNP are probably better placed to take the seat, based on 2007 Holyrood performance and the fact that 2005 was a low point. However, sources are telling me that it will be pretty tight, and that it is most likely one from three - LD, CON or SNP, with the Labour vote falling and (potentially) transferring to the SNP. Truth in this, I don't know. Depending who you talk to, you get a different read.

If you want a guess at the moment, aaaaargh... I'll go with the SNP having enough from Jim Mather's presence in the Scottish Government to win this. Though I'm not convinced... as I said before, the Lib Dems might have enough to hold on. For the moment though...


The Watcher,  20 November 2008 at 18:16  

This will be a cliffhanger though! Whoever wins there won't be much between first and third.

Holyrood Patter 20 November 2008 at 19:36  

You have yet to predict asnything but a hold
Im hoping you are saving all the esciting ones to last

Malc 20 November 2008 at 19:48  

Watcher - yeah. I'd say first to fourth could be as little as 10% between them. I think Lab are probably out of it... but who knows.

HP - I've put this one down as an SNP GAIN... which isn't a "hold". And I'm doing them alphabetically... so the exciting ones, I guess, are somewhere in the middle!

Holyrood Patter 20 November 2008 at 23:36  

i posted this before you updated it
and now I look silly

Malc 21 November 2008 at 08:51  

No you didn't. The update has been there since the post was put up. You just look silly!

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