Thursday, August 6, 2015

SNP vote surges by 25% as heroic Hepburn is confirmed as Calton champion

As you probably know, there have been five local government by-elections in Scotland today - four in the City of Glasgow, and one in South Lanarkshire. We already have a result from one of the Glasgow wards...

Calton by-election, Glasgow (6th August) :

SNP 55.5% (+25.5%)

Labour 30.0% (-24.6)
Conservatives 4.7% (+2.1)
UKIP 3.8% (n/a)
Greens 3.6% (+0.6)
Independent - Ramsay 1.7% (n/a)
Liberal Democrats 0.7% (-0.2)

The SNP's candidate Greg Hepburn was comfortably elected on the first count, albeit on an abysmal turnout of 16%. Glasgow in August - what do you expect?  I'll try to update this post as and when more information becomes available...

UPDATE I : The SNP's Eva Bolander has won the Anderston/City ward on the sixth count.

Anderston/City by-election, Glasgow (6th August) : 

SNP 48.1% (+18.5)
Labour 28.6% (-21.7)
Greens 13.8% (+3.3)
Conservatives 5.5% (+0.8)
Liberal Democrats 2.2% (+0.5)
UKIP 1.4% (n/a)
Libertarian 0.4% (n/a)

UPDATE II : The SNP's John Ross has won the Hamilton South by-election - looking good for a clean sweep so far.

Hamilton South by-election, South Lanarkshire (6th August) : 

SNP 48.0% (+15.4)
Labour 35.6% (-15.9)
Conservatives 8.9% (-0.3)
Greens 3.2% (n/a)
Christians 2.0% (-1.1)
UKIP 1.1% (n/a)
Liberal Democrats 0.8% (n/a)
Pirates 0.3% (n/a)

UPDATE III : The SNP's Anna Richardson has won the Langside ward.  Just one more to go for the full house.

Langside by-election, Glasgow (6th August) : 

SNP 49.9% (+12.3)
Labour 21.8% (-14.0)
Greens 13.5% (+5.0)
Conservatives 8.9% (+1.5)
Liberal Democrats 2.9% (-4.4)
UKIP 1.5% (n/a)
TUSC 1.4% (-1.0)

UPDATE IV : And it's the full house!  The SNP's Alex Wilson wins on the first count at Craigton.

Craigton by-election, Glasgow (6th August) :

SNP 54.2% (+22.8)
Labour 33.3% (-20.1)
Conservatives 6.1% (+2.5)
Greens 2.8% (+0.7)
UKIP 1.9% (+0.9)
Liberal Democrats 1.8% (+0.9)

Believe it or not, the end result of all that effort for the SNP is a net gain of just one seat - and the gain is from the Greens rather than Labour, in spite of the fact that Labour won the popular vote on first preferences in four out of the five wards in 2012.  Welcome to the mad, mad world of by-elections conducted under STV.

I make it an average swing of just over 19% from Labour to the SNP across the five wards, which is only a couple of points lower than the impressive average swing of 21% we saw in the two Aberdeen by-elections a week ago.  As always, bear in mind that swing in local by-elections is measured from the baseline of the 2012 result, when the SNP already had a national lead of 1% over Labour.  So a 19% swing tonight is the rough equivalent of a 30% or 31% swing at the general election, which is pretty typical of what we saw in Labour's former heartlands on May 7th.

It's been a moderately good night for the Greens, and ironically their first preference vote surged by 5% in the seat they "failed to defend".  Ian Smart will also be excited to see that the Conservative vote is up across the board in Glasgow (but not in Hamilton).  Clearly all that was needed for a Tory renaissance was for Ruth Davidson to announce she was leaving the city for good.


  1. I was concerned that considering the first preferences in 2012 that Labour would hold their Glasgow seats but from what I see on twitter that fear was unfounded.

  2. Calton Workers PartyAugust 7, 2015 at 12:15 AM

    The good thing is the life expectancy of the Calton people will increase under the SNP. Roll on 2020 for the results. Maybe the punters think the GIRO will still be in the post.

  3. Pretty low-key campaigns here in Calton - only the SNP, Greens and the independent had any kind of visibility at all. I think SLAB have given up on anywhere that doesn't have a significant number of Tories from whom they can cadge tactical votes.

  4. Opal Fruits are great.August 7, 2015 at 1:28 AM

    Not a good night for the Labour party. Hang on I've just run out of toilet paper..Where's my Daily Record?

  5. Oh, good; message finally seeping through to Scotland and Scots that Labour are very much the enemy of the people.
    Perhaps now - under inevitable independence and flushing-out of anti-Scots parties - Scotland can be allowed to flourish.
    Scotland's in good hands - we like this.

  6. The Glasgow conservatives are starting from a very low base, and given that low turnouts tend to favour the tory vote, I would not put too much meaning on the slight increase in their vote observed yesterday.

  7. Glasgow Working ClassAugust 7, 2015 at 12:35 PM

    Aye, but what about the really difficult higher maths exam??? The pass rate had to be dropped to 34%, FFS! Why aren't we having this debate?

    All this irrelevant talk about Labour failing to win council seats that were already held by the SNP anyway is only a distraction from what we should be talking about, namely the maths exam failures of the SNP.

    1. For the benefit of the genuinely uninitiated, the SNP may have technically "held" four of the five seats, but they were also well behind in the popular vote in all but one ward in 2012. Enormous swings were required simply to "hold" the seats.

    2. GWC - another bullshit statement of yours blown out of the water. You really are a sack of shit.

      SNP demand Labour apology over exam scaremongering
      Tue, 04/08/2015 - 09:58

      Labour should apologise for the their shameless scaremongering in the midst of this year’s school exam diet as the results published today reveal a pass rate consistent with previous years.

      Speaking as it is revealed that 70.8 per cent of candidates passed the exam, SNP MSP George Adam, applauded the hard work of young people and teachers but called on Kezia Dugdale to apologise for her deliberate attempt to scaremonger.

      Ms Dugdale used FMQs and media articles to raise fears over the exam including stating in May that the results were a “coming storm”. Her approach was slated by her leadership rival Ken Macintosh who branded Ms Dugdale as “obsessed with the SNP, almost rabidly anti-SNP” and ridiculed the attacks on the Scottish Government saying: “At FMQs every week we stand up, take whatever the issue of the day is and say it is all the SNP’s fault. Take a few recent examples: the Higher maths exam or Scottish students’ inability to learn more than one language – are we really saying that is the fault of the SNP?”

      Overall, young people across Scotland have achieved a record number of Higher passes with 156,000 attaining A to C qualifications this year, including Higher English up 17.7 per cent and Higher Modern Languages up 15.2 per cent compared to 2014.

      Commenting, SNP MSP George Adam said:

      “These figures are great news for Scotland’s young people but disastrous for Kezia Dugdale.

      “She set out to scaremonger and deliberately ignored the simple fact that the exam varies in difficulty between years. The system then accounts for that fact in deciding what grade to award. Instead of recognising this reality, she attempted to use the exams for political purposes even while they were still going on.

      “Even Ken Macintosh realised how badly wrong she had got this. Now the figures are out and we can see that her scaremongering for the shabby political posturing it was. She owes the young people of Scotland an apology.

      “Candidates have delivered a record number of Higher passes. And this comes against a background of a record percentage of school leavers in employment, education or training.

      “These results are down to the hard work and ability of school pupils, the support of their families, the dedication of their teachers and the professionalism of the Scottish Qualifications Authority. Politicians of every stripe should back their efforts. I hope Labour learns that lesson in future.”

    3. Fred Dibnah The YoungerAugust 7, 2015 at 4:31 PM

      See! What did I tell you! This just proves me right. None of you are willing to have the debate about the SNP Maths Exams Failure, just like you ignored me on the bus debate issue.

      Distraction, distraction, distraction, keeping on about the council elections and ignoring the real SNP Maths Exam Failure Debate.

    4. The subject of the blog entry was the council by-elections. Inevitably, most responses will be on that subject. Perhaps you should write your own blog, that you might address the issues you raise to your satisfaction.

      Coolheads Prevail

    5. Fred Dibnah The YoungerAugust 7, 2015 at 7:31 PM

      See! What did I tell you! This just proves me right. None of you are willing to have the debate about the SNP Maths Exams Failure, just like you ignored me on the bus debate issue.

      Distraction, distraction, distraction, keeping on about the council elections and ignoring the real SNP Maths Exam Failure Debate.

  8. More than anything else unionists in Scotland work for, and if necessary invent, failure in all aspects of Scotland's ecomony and society; any excuse to do Scotland down.

  9. Excellent results for the SNP last night.

    You have to laugh though. I've seen on Twitter a few Labour hacks saying this is the start of a comeback. Haha - every seat they lost votes, and as James reported a 19/20% to the SNP across all the seats.

    I don't think the Greens will do anywhere as good as expected (by some). They will get squeezed next year for the SNP.

    Labour's only hope for any sort of comeback, if it's not too late, is for a Corbyn win. I was out in Glasgow last weekend and speaking to cabbies, bar staff, locals a lot about politics - and again, this is not a lie, the message was clear from many

    "I was Labour all my life. Never again. They've done nothing for this city."

    And then the subject of a second referendum. 90% of them believed another referendum will happen in next 5-10 years, and it'll return a Yes this time.

  10. Congratulations to all involved on some very well deserved and impressive wins. Very rewarding to see all the hard work done by SNP campaigners and activists in the area paying off big time.

    All done while the westminster bubble media was wittering away cluelessly to itself completely oblivious to the actual issues on the ground and on the doorsteps for so many of Glasgow's citizens and indeed everywhere else come to that.

    We all knew Labour are still nowhere near being trusted again, and as for the lib dems, LOL. :-D

  11. Question time. I know the SNP only won an one extra seat, even in spite of the 25% swing in first preference votes. Does that mean that in the other four seats, the SNP had previously won them due to second, third etc preference votes?

    1. Well, lower preferences were part of it, but it's mostly because these are multi-member wards and the sitting SNP councillor was not the first to be elected.

    2. It can be very unfair. If the third-placed councillor in a three-member ward resigns or dies, and voting patterns remain much the same, his party will lose the by-election to the party that came first in the general election, even though that party still has its sitting councillor. Proportionality is destroyed.

  12. The 2012 election results by ward in Glasgow can be found here .

  13. Glasgow Working ClassAugust 8, 2015 at 1:44 AM

    Listen up, losers, I've got four words for you: Maths Exams Failure.

    1. After weeks and weeks of trolling, you've finally said something genuinely witty. Well, you know what they say will happen if you let a monkey have a typewriter for long enough...

    2. 34% for a C, 60% for an A.

      The SNP dumbing down of Scottish society continues unabated.

      A sample of some of the questions:

      1) Which is greater:

      A) 45%


      B) 55%?

      2) How long does it take a crocodile to swim across a river, to escape some Yes campaigners?

  14. GWC. Maths Exams Failure. That's three words by my calculation. 0/10 do try harder.

  15. More like epic Troll failure. I suppose Sturgeon set the exam and did the marking. Believe it or not the SNP don't set the curriculum you twit. Some body called SED oversee and set the exams. So blame if there is any primarily falls with the administrator. It is then up to the government to ask the administration to report to them if an investigation is required. Blaming every glitch on an individual minister is deliberately missing the facts.

  16. Prof Curtice just can't help himself.

    He told The National: “The 2012 local elections were, of course, not the SNP’s finest hour,

    First in votes and seats in the local elections for the first time ever and he comes out with this bilge. Is he related to M Smithson the racist purveyor of racism on Political Racism who endlessly repeats the same lie?

    1. Curtice didn't lose the plot in 2012 to quite the extent that Smithson did, but he did say on radio during the early stages of the results that Labour would end up winning the popular vote, and most councillors. Alex Salmond immediately challenged that - and probably most people expected that Salmond would be proved wrong, as Paddy Ashdown was when he challenged Curtice's exit poll in May. But in 2012, Curtice was wrong and Salmond was right - the SNP won narrowly on both measures.

  17. Did BBC cover any of these results - failing in their charter?

  18. But, elsewhere, trouble is brewing...

    The SNP leadership have effectively banned discussion of further independence referenda at their upcoming October conference.

    The separatist, socialist, political evangelical firebrands who joined the SNP last year will be forced to discuss such compelling issues as equal rights for women and climate change.

    This despite endless SNP stirring of the pot since the referendum last September. It's ok for Sturgeon and Salmond to hit out with provocative statements every few days but heaven forbid the party membership should discuss it - or vote on it, especially in public.

    The wheels are coming off.

  19. Are you still here "Aldo"? Get a life. One day you will realise just what a prat you are making of yourself.

  20. So in one ward it took a sixth count to elect one SNP who had taken 48% of the first preference votes. Clearly most if not all of the Brit Nat votes were transferring to the anti Scottish Party option. Six counts to get elected is a bloody joke and is another reason why I detest STV as a voting system.