Thursday, 21 May 2009

New SP Constituencies revisited

Remember last year, when the Boundary Commission for Scotland published its proposals for changes to the Scottish Parliament constituencies? Well, they've taken a second stab at it - after the consultation process (read "opportunity for those with a vested interest to change their minds") closed and new plans were drawn up.

You can see the proposals in ful here.

Couple of the headline stories to come out of it:
  • Central belt seats - having taken a bit of a shuffle in their first take - return to boundaries more like they are at the moment. Which means that Ochil still looks like a Lab-SNP marginal, as opposed to an opportunity for the Tories. The whole Whitburn/Airdrie seat disappears.

  • The "Mearns" seat south of Aberdeen remains an opportunity for the SNP to pick up another seat in heartland territory - and put them in range of gaining another couple at the expense of the Lib Dems (Nicol Stephen & Mike Rumbles).

  • Edinburgh East shuffles round, arc-like, further to the south of the city but still looks like a Kenny MacAskill SNP-hold while the Edinburgh South becomes "Southside" and a solid Lib Dem hold. Central looks slightly less Lib Dem-my than the previous take at the boundaries, but will be a difficult fight for Sarah Boyack to hold for Labour, with both Lib Dems and SNP handily placed to challenge.

  • Ken Macintosh looks like the biggest loser out of it all. The boundaries of his Eastwood seat get a savage cut and the seat looks notionally Tory. An opportunity to shift Annabel Goldie over a seat (not too far away from Renfrewshire) and win a constituency seat perhaps?

  • On the regional side of the ball, how's this for crazy. Highlands region will now include... Dumbarton. Really. Highland MSPs will represent everywhere from Lerwick to Dumbarton.

  • Kilmarnock & Loudoun - an SNP gain in 2007 - moves into the South of Scotland region (from Central Scotland). Which, coupled with a notional SNP gain of Tweedale etc (bye bye Jeremy Purvis) would have a knock on effect on the South of Scotland list (currently 5 of the 7 are SNP MSPs, which would change if constituencies were won).
There's more, much more. But you can probably work stuff out for yourselves. Times like this, you wish Adam Smith was a Socialist still blogged.


GD 21 May 2009 at 11:30  

Surely Jackson Carlaw would be better placed to take the seat from Ken McIntosh. Rumour has it that Goldie wouldn't want the work of a constituency MSP.

Neil,  21 May 2009 at 13:26  

GD, your comment unhelpfully suggests that constituency members have more casework, or work in general, to deal with than regional members - which is absolute rubbish. I would suggest that any member, list or constituency, gets the amount of casework their reputation, work ethic and reputation allows them.

Anonymous,  21 May 2009 at 13:47  


GD seems to be repeating a much punted rumour re Ms. Goldie.

Holyrood Patter 21 May 2009 at 19:13  

dont think there will be any changes to which tory stands were in the west of scotland

The Watcher,  21 May 2009 at 19:23  

That rumour may well be true but it should be borne in mind that Eastwood minus Barrhead, looks like a seat that a Tory wouldn't have to put in too much work to win!

Anonymous,  21 May 2009 at 19:54  

East Lothian, Iain Gray loses heartland area of Musselburgh East, Wallyford and Whitecraig.
He's got a majority of only 2500.
This will hurt.

Holyrood Patter 22 May 2009 at 15:47  

The Watcher
Dont forget kilmacolm is added to eastwood.
More millionaires per 100 people than anywhere else in scotland

Anonymous,  3 June 2009 at 03:27  

Lib Dems going down the toilet in Euro elections, so all bets are off for seats where they have had a good vote in the past.

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