#sp11 Regions revisited – the totaliser

Trailing them all the way to the finish line, anything Jeff and Malc at Better Nation can do, the burd can do better.

Only not.  It must be a boy thing but there will be nae glossy, coloured tables on this blog.  Ye’ll get yer round-up plain and simple and like it.

So, eight regions:

Highlands and Islands;   North East Scotland;    Lothians;    Mid Scotland and FifeWest of Scotland Central Scotland South of Scotland;   Glasgow

I used the ICM poll and stuck to my task, ignoring the newcomers, and not having my own predictor to play with, used ScotlandVotes.  If you’ve not visited Weber Shandwick’s election website, do.  It’s a great resource and there’s great fun to be had playing with the predictor. 

A wee mention too for the Scottish Politics website, which is by far and away the most useful compendium of election results for Holyrood, Westminster and councils.  It hasn’t been updated in a while which is a shame and I hope it hasn’t run out of steam due to a lack of funding.  There is everything the political anorak needs here, and more.  I used the site to compare and contrast previous results against the poll ratings and current predictions.

Anyway, the scores on the burdz doors were as follows:

  H & I 

North East 

Lothians 

M Sco & Fife 

West 

Central 

South 

Glasgow 

Labour 

SNP 

Lib Dems 

Consv 

Greens 

   

       

Ind 

   

         
  15 

17 

16 

16 

17 

16 

16 

16 

 I had thought I’d mislaid a Highlands and Islands seat but it turns out they just have 15 in total.  Sometimes I’m not the brightest burd in the box….

But never mind the breakdown, what of the totals?

  Totals 

2007 

Change 

ScotVotes 

Labour 

54 

46 

+8 

57 

SNP 

46 

47 

-1 

45 

Lib Dems 

10 

16 

-6 

10 

Consv 

15 

17 

-2 

14 

Greens 

+1 

Ind 

  129 

129 

  129 

To be helpful, I’ve included the 2007 results to show the change.  And to try to prevent guffawing or alternately, the ire of the Nats – please remember this was based on the ICM poll and look, ScotlandVotes predictor suggests I’ve actually called it light for Labour.  Of course, what with the tightening polls, I’ll have to have another go at this (at the totals anyhow).  But my earlier analysis that this election is all about the big two, with everyone else being squeezed on the margins, holds true.

And yes, the Lib Dems seem to be in meltdown with both the SNP and Labour picking off constituency seats.  But note also that the Conservatives will be struggling to hold their ground.  Any slippage at all surely spells the end for Annabel Goldie.  I am probably being generous to the Scottish Greens, but think they could pull off an extra seat even on 4 – 5% share of the vote, as that national average is likely to rise steeply in regions like the Lothians.

There will indeed be a lot of new faces, courtesy of defeats and retirements, which is a very good thing.  As for gender balance, well I think the boys at Better Nation have been too generous.  If we get 35% of MSPs being women, I’ll buy them cake/beer.  Because that would be a result against the best efforts of the parties, and definitely something worth celebrating.

So, regions to watch then?  With shifting and tightening polls, which areas are likely to see seats continue to change hands right up until polling day?  The ones I said right at the start actually – Mid Scotland and Fife and South of Scotland, but also Lothians and Highlands and Islands.  It all really depends on two poll trends:  whether the SNP can keep up its charge on Labour and how low can the Liberal Democrats go? 

Thank you Malc and Jeff at Better Nation, and to everyone who has commented on these posts – it has been fun.  More to come!

10 thoughts on “#sp11 Regions revisited – the totaliser

  1. Hey,

    Loved all your posts on these predictions, but hw to i get to follow the guys at Better Nation. If the SNP lose Glenrothes (which is highly unlikley) then Trish is not on the list so she wont be back!!!

    Ricky

  2. My views on Annabel exactly.. She is a personable politician but I think she has done nothing to improve the Tories electoral fortunes because she is seen as a nice enough messenger with the wrong message or,in fact, no political message at all..
    I think once again she will do no more than slow down the relentless slide of Scotland’s Tory fortunes.
    I suspect the LibDems may end up with 8 or 9 which is cataclysmic on political terms and a collapse almost unprecedented in UK politics. You have to go back to the collapse of the Liberals in the early parts of last century to see such a failure. Their vote is migrating mostly to the SNP.
    In the real world in which I politically operate on an everyday basis I see and have reported to me an amazing evaporation of the base Labour vote.
    I say amazing because despite the most relentless campaign I have ever seen in this country by all of the media against one party I am collecting messages of support for the SNP from ex Labour voters on a daily basis. Significantly these endorsements are coming from mainly a professional cadre of people who are aghast at the banal, unprincipled and frankly desperate Labour campaign and I think the boat is finally going out on the Labour Party in Scotland.
    Allowing for residual traditional if unenthusiatic support staying with Labour I still believe Labour is on track to drop below 50 seats on May 5th and the SNP to take 58 plus.
    Mark my words.

    As of 6th May the long awaited and well deserved implosion of the “Scottish ” Labour Party will accelerate.
    With already more members, more activists, more able elected repesentatives and a vastly superior organisation the SNP in the next two to three years will supplant Labour as the natural party of government in Scotland.

  3. I’m not sure Annabel’s done that badly. Certainly not enough to be decapitated (though the party does like a good knifing). The Tories main problem is that their base is.. uhm.. how to put this sensitively… They’ve kicked the bucket, they’ve shuffled off this mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin’ choir invisible! They’re an ex-electorate.

    They were down 3 in 2003, and down 1 in 2007 so down 2 isn’t catastrophic particularly given the national party is in government and behaving as viciously as ever. I mean, they were essentially down to bed-rock vote anyway. This was never going to be a breakthrough year for them and she can point to real Scottish Conservative achievements over the last few years and, if the SNP form a government, substantial influence.

    The other problem, of course, is who to replace her? Derek Brownlee is the only one that springs to mind, Ruth Davidson is presumably a bit new to succeed in an immediate challenge and… errr… return of the Mac(letchie)?

    • How can a downward trend under her watch – reductions in successive elections – be heralded as anything other than poor? So her team has punched above its weight in the Parliament but that is because the SNP was receptive to that as a minority government.

      Their vote is down to bed rock and declining. Annabel has done nothing to reverse that trend, nothing to de-toxify the Scottish Tory brand, and nothing to grow and modernise the party.

      Yet everybody loves her??!

      • I think it’s largely regarded as playing a rubbish hand pretty well. They’re bereft of ideas, the paleo-Thatcherite policies the Westminster party is pursuing won’t help them and their best Scottish talent is singularly uninterested in Scottish politics.

        It’s a bit poor, but I think “a bit poor” electorally and being able to exercise a reasonable amount of influence is as best as can be expected.

      • Possibly. But an opportunity for right of centre votes going a begging!

  4. I’ll try to work out the plausible “best-case” scenario for female representation… as well as “worst-case”. But if our figures are anywhere near it, that’s what we’ll have.

    As I mentioned on Jeff’s post on Lothians, its on track as a region for a 50-50 split, which may in fact end up 9-7 in favour of women if Angela Constance wins Livingston & Sarah Boyack wins Central, since Kez Dugdale would replace a male SNP MSP on the list (I think…). So that’d be a “better case”.

    But equally, if Elaine Murray wins Dumfriesshire, there’d be one less women, since Derek Brownlee would take the list seat she’d win and Gillian Dykes wouldn’t be elected. That’d be a “less good case”.

    Honestly, this is a fairly complex business. Good work on yer predictions. May the best man win (and I say “man” since I hope it’s me!).

    • I think my earlier work based on polls reckons on between 30 and 33% ie about the same as now. So we’re not too far away!

      Other regions where change might dent the balance are Mid Scotland and Fife. If Labour takes back Glenrothes, not sure SNP get Tricia back anyway on the list. If SNP holds Stirling and Clacks, more men in on seats and that might squeeze Annabel out on the list. Margaret Smith holding Edinburgh Western results in another Labour list seat which I think would go to a bloke.

      It’s marginal stuff but could have an impact on the final gender split. Whatever, the balance is declining or at best static. Not good enough.

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