Friday, June 24, 2011

SNP vote share doubles in key Aberdeen by-election gain

It's rare for by-elections to have anything more than a psychological effect, but yesterday's vote in the Airyhall, Broomhill and Garthdee ward was one of the exceptions. The SNP had already overtaken the Liberal Democrats as the largest party on Aberdeen Council after a recent by-election victory, and there seems to have been a 'gentlemen's agreement' that the coalition between the two parties would switch to SNP leadership if the Lib Dems failed to make up the gap by winning this one. In the event, not only did the Lib Dems fail to win, it was the SNP who won big -

SNP 33% (+16)
Labour 23% (+10)
Conservatives 19% (-8)
Liberal Democrats 16% (-22)

So absolutely no sign of the SNP's honeymoon period coming to an end, which is cause for encouragement a week out from the Inverclyde by-election. However, with Labour being the main opponents next week, the fly in the ointment is that their support increased significantly as well. The swing from Lib Dem to SNP was a whopping 19%.


  1. James, the myth from the recent Holyrood election was that the LD vote defection went en masse to the SNP. It didn't, it was split between the SNP and Labour although the SNP took the lion share of it. There was a defection from Labour that was masked by the defection from LD to Labour that made the Labour defection look smaller than it was. The Aberdeen result is quite encouraging when you consider the make up of that seat. It is the very well to do area that in the past was very slim pickings for the SNP and where the LD thrived (and to a lesser degree Tories and Blairite Labour types).

    Now to Inverclyde, last year the LD polled 13.3% and I doubt if they will hold their deposit. The net defection from Labour is what counts on polling day. Here's hoping.

  2. Marcia, in a way it's a pity if the Lib Dem vote isn't going en masse to the SNP, because that would go a long way in Inverclyde (especially if the Tories are squeezed as well). But there must have been a huge amount of Labour-to-SNP switchers in Inverclyde six weeks ago, so hopefully for many of them it will start to become a habit.

  3. Excellent result for the SNP.

    Whether or not it can be replicated in Inverclyde is another thing altogether. We are battling a huge majority, and attempting to replace a very popular and first rate constituency MP (who also had the guts to stand up to London Labour), and who died tragically young.

    That's what I call a challenge.

    On the plus said the Labour candidate is not a patch on David Cairns.

  4. Tris, it's just as well for Labour that it isn't just (or even predominantly) about individuals, because if it was I'm not sure Iain McKenzie would even come third.