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Scottish Parliament election, 2007

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The composition of the Scottish Parliament following the 2007 election.█ Scottish National Party (47)█ Scottish Labour Party (46)█ Scottish Conservative Party (17)█ Scottish Liberal Democrats (16)█ Scottish Green Party (2)█ Independent (1)
The composition of the Scottish Parliament following the 2007 election.
 Scottish National Party (47)
 Scottish Labour Party (46)
 Scottish Conservative Party (17)
 Scottish Liberal Democrats (16)
 Scottish Green Party (2)
 Independent (1)
Scotland

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The 2007 Scottish Parliament election was the third general election[1] to the devolved Scottish Parliament since it was created in 1999. Polling took place on Thursday, May 3, 2007. Local elections in Scotland fell on the same day.

The Scottish National Party emerged as the largest party with 47 seats, closely followed by the incumbent Scottish Labour Party with 46 seats. The Scottish Conservatives won 17 seats, the Scottish Liberal Democrats 16 seats, the Scottish Green Party 2 seats and one Independent (Margo MacDonald) was also elected. The Scottish National Party formed a minority government as a result of the election, with support from the Greens on certain issues.

The Scottish Socialist Party and the Scottish Senior Citizens Unity Party, which won seats in the 2003 election, lost all of their seats. Former MSP Tommy Sheridan's new party, Solidarity, also failed to win any seats. Margo MacDonald was the only independent MSP to be returned: Campbell Martin and Dr Jean Turner both lost their seats, and Dennis Canavan and Brian Monteith retired.

Contents

[edit] Background

The main issues during the campaign trail were healthcare, education, council tax reform, pensions, the Union, Trident (the submarines are based in Scotland), the Iraq War and more powers for the Scottish Parliament. Some parties are planning to raise the school leaving age from 16 to 18 and raising the minimum age to purchase tobacco products from 16 to 18.

Jack McConnell, as First Minister, entered the election defending a small overall majority of five seats via a coalition of Labour and the Liberal Democrats. The Scottish Executive coalition government had been in power, with three different First Ministers, since the first Scottish Parliament election in 1999. Opinion polls suggested its majority could be lost in 2007, due to falling support for the Labour Party and rising support for other parties, in particular the Scottish National Party (SNP). The polls suggested that no single party was likely to acquire an overall majority, nor is there an obvious alternative coalition ready to form a new Executive.

Polls suggested that the SNP, second place behind Labour in terms of numbers of Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs), would gain seats while Labour's support would decline. Based on pre-election projections, there could have been some possibility of an SNP-Liberal Democrat coalition, which might have extended to include the Scottish Green Party.[2][3][4][5]The other parties represented in the Parliament before the election were the Scottish Conservative Party, the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP), Solidarity and the Scottish Senior Citizens Unity Party. (Solidarity is a new party, having broken away from the SSP in 2006.)

Other parties that campaigned for seats in Holyrood included the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), the British National Party (BNP), the Scottish Unionist Party, the Scottish Socialist Labour Party, the Christian Peoples Alliance and the Scottish Christian Party.

[edit] Election system

Scanners counting votes in Glasgow's SECC.
Scanners counting votes in Glasgow's SECC.

There are 73 constituencies, each electing one Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) by the plurality (first past the post) system of election, which are grouped into eight regions. These regions each elect seven additional member MSPs so as to produce an overall proportional result. The D'Hondt method is used to calculate which additional member MSPs the regions elect. Each constituency is a sub-division of a region; the additional members system is designed to produce proportional representation for each region, and the total number of MSPs elected to the parliament is 129.

The election was the first using constituencies (see Scottish Parliament constituencies and regions) that are not identical to constituencies of the House of Commons (Parliament of the United Kingdom). Scottish Westminster constituencies were replaced with a new set of generally larger constituencies, fewer in number, in 2005.

The Arbuthnott Commission reported in January 2006, concerning the multiplicity of voting systems and electoral divisions in Scotland. Council elections on the same day used Single Transferable Vote for the first time, but there was no change to the Holyrood election system, except regarding use of vote-counting machines, before the 2007 election. Scanners supplied by DRS Data Services Limited of Milton Keynes, in partnership with Electoral Reform Services, the trading arm of the Electoral Reform Society, were used to electronically count the paper ballots in both the Scottish Parliament general election and the Scottish council elections, which took place on the same day.[6][7]

[edit] Election results

[discuss] – [edit]
Scottish Parliament election, 2007
Parties Additional member system Total seats
Constituency Region
Votes % +/− Seats +/− Votes % +/− Seats +/− Total +/− %
  Scottish National Party 664,227 32.9 +9.1 21 +12 633,401 31.0 +10.2 26 +8 47 +20 37.0
  Labour 648,374 32.2 -2.5 37 −9 595,415 29.2 -0.1 9 +5 46 −4 36.2
  Conservative 334,743 16.6 0 4 +1 284,005 13.9 -1.6 13 −2 17 −1 13.4
  Liberal Democrats 326,232 16.2 +0.9 11 −2 230,671 11.3 -0.5 5 +1 16 −1 12.6
  Scottish Green 2,971 0.2 +0.2 0 - 82,584 4.0 -2.8 2 −5 2 −5 1.6
  Independents 25,047 1.2 -1.2 0 −2 21,320 1.0 -0.7 1 1 1 −2 0.8
  Scottish Senior Citizens 1,702 0.1 +0 0 - 38,743 1.9 +0.4 0 −1 0 −1 0
  Solidarity - - - - - 31,066 1.5 +1.5 0 0 0 0 0
  Scottish Christian 4,586 0.2 +0.2 0 0 26,575 1.3 +1.3 0 0 0 0 0
  British National Party - - - - - 24,616 1.2 +1.1 0 0 0 0 0
  Christian Peoples - - - - - 14,745 0.7 +0.7 0 0 0 0 0
  Socialist Labour - - - - - 14,244 0.7 -0.4 0 0 0 0 0
  Scottish Socialist 525 0.0 -6.2 0 - 12,731 0.6 -6.1 0 −6 0 −6 0
  UK Independence - - - - - 8,197 0.4 −0.2 0 0 0 0 0
  Publican Party - - - - - 5,905 0.3 +0.3 0 0 0 0 0
  Scottish Unionist - - - - - 4,401 0.2 -0.1 0 0 0 0 0
  Scottish Voice 2,827 0.1 +0.1 0 0 5,955 0.3 +0.3 0 0 0 0 0
  Action to Save St John's Hospital 2,814 0.1 +0.1 0 0 - - - - - 0 0 0
  Save Our NHS Group - - - - - 2,682 0.1 +0.1 0 0 0 0 0
  Free Scotland Party 575 0.0 +0.0 0 0 664 0.0 +0.0 0 0 0 0 0
  Had Enough Party 498 0.0 +0.0 0 0 670 0.0 +0.0 0 0 0 0 0
  Scottish Enterprise Party 409 0.0 +0.0 0 0 616 0.0 +0.0 0 0 0 0 0
  Adam Lyal's Witchery Tour Party - - - - - 867 0.0 −0.0 0 0 0 0 0
  Scottish Jacobite Party 309 0.0 +0.0 0 0 446 0.0 +0.0 0 0 0 0 0
  Scotland Against Crooked Lawyers - - - - - 615 0.0 +0.0 0 0 0 0 0
  Peace 577 0.0 +0.0 0 0 - - - - - 0 0 0
  Communist 251 0.0 +0.0 0 0 260 0.0 −0.0 0 0 0 0 0
  Independent Green Voice - - - - - 496 0.0 +0.0 0 0 0 0 0
  Anti-Trident Party 187 0.0 +0.0 0 0 - - - - - 0 0 0
  Socialist Equality - - - - - 139 0.0 +0.0 0 0 0 0 0
  Equal Parenting Alliance 124 0.0 +0.0 0 0 - - - - - 0 0 0
  Nine Per Cent Growth Party - - - - - 80 0.0 +0.0 0 0 0 0 0
  Total 2,016,978 51.8 +2.5 73     56 129  


Notes: Independents contested 17 seats and three regions. Scottish Greens contested 1 seat, Scottish Socialist Party contested 1 seat, Scottish Christian Party, Scottish Voice etc contested a small number of seats. A number of local issue parties also stood in single constituencies.

[edit] Constituency and regional summary

[edit] Central Scotland

Scottish parliamentary election, 2007: Central Scotland
Constituency Elected member Result
Airdrie and Shotts Karen Whitefield Labour hold
Coatbridge and Chryston Elaine Smith Labour hold
Cumbernauld and Kilsyth Cathie Craigie Labour hold
East Kilbride Andy Kerr Labour hold
Falkirk East Cathy Peattie Labour hold
Falkirk West Michael Matheson Scottish National Party gain from Independent
Hamilton North and Bellshill Michael McMahon Labour hold
Hamilton South Tom McCabe Labour hold
Kilmarnock and Loudoun Willie Coffey Scottish National Party gain from Labour
Motherwell and Wishaw Jack McConnell Labour hold
Scottish parliamentary election, 2007: Central Scotland
Party Elected candidates Seats +/− Votes % +/−%
Scottish National Party Alex Neil
Linda Fabiani
Jamie Hepburn
Christina McKelvie
John Wilson
5 +2 89,210 31.4% +8.8%
Conservative Margaret Mitchell 1 ±0 24,253 8.5% -0.6%
Liberal Democrats Hugh O'Donnell 1 ±0 14,648 5.2% -0.7%

[edit] Glasgow

Scottish parliamentary election, 2007: Glasgow
Constituency Elected member Result
Glasgow Anniesland Bill Butler Labour hold
Glasgow Baillieston Margaret Curran Labour hold
Glasgow Cathcart Charles Gordon Labour hold
Glasgow Govan Nicola Sturgeon Scottish National Party gain from Labour
Glasgow Kelvin Pauline McNeill Labour hold
Glasgow Maryhill Patricia Ferguson Labour hold
Glasgow Pollok Johann Lamont Labour hold
Glasgow Rutherglen James Kelly Labour hold
Glasgow Shettleston Frank McAveety Labour hold
Glasgow Springburn Paul Martin Labour hold
Scottish parliamentary election, 2007: Glasgow
Party Elected candidates Seats +/− Votes % +/−%
Scottish National Party Bashir Ahmad
Sandra White
Bob Doris
Bill Kidd
4 +2 55,832 27% +9.9%
Liberal Democrats Robert Brown 1 ±0 14,767 7.2% -0.1%
Conservative Bill Aitken 1 ±0 13,751 6.7% -0.8%
Scottish Green Patrick Harvie 1 ±0 10,759 5.2% -1.9%

[edit] Highlands and Islands

Scottish parliamentary election, 2007: Highlands and Islands
Constituency Elected member Result
Argyll and Bute Jim Mather Scottish National Party gain from Liberal Democrats
Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross Jamie Stone Liberal Democrats hold
Inverness East, Nairn and Lochaber Fergus Ewing Scottish National Party hold
Moray Richard Lochhead Scottish National Party hold
Orkney Liam McArthur Liberal Democrats hold
Ross, Skye and Inverness West John Farquhar Munro Liberal Democrats hold
Shetland Tavish Scott Liberal Democrats hold
Western Isles Alasdair Allan Scottish National Party gain from Labour
Scottish parliamentary election, 2007: Highlands and Islands
Party Elected candidates Seats +/− Votes % +/−%
Scottish National Party Rob Gibson
David Thompson
2 ±0 63,979 34.4% +11.0
Labour Peter Peacock
Rhoda Grant
David Stewart
3 +1 32,952 17.7% -4.6
Conservative Mary Scanlon
Jamie McGrigor
2 ±0 23,334 12.6% -3.4

[edit] Lothians

Scottish parliamentary election, 2007: Lothians
Constituency Elected member Result
Edinburgh Central Sarah Boyack Labour hold
Edinburgh East and Musselburgh Kenny MacAskill Scottish National Party gain from Labour
Edinburgh North and Leith Malcolm Chisholm Labour hold
Edinburgh Pentlands David McLetchie Conservative hold
Edinburgh South Mike Pringle Liberal Democrats hold
Edinburgh West Margaret Smith Liberal Democrats hold
Linlithgow Mary Mulligan Labour hold
Livingston Angela Constance Scottish National Party gain from Labour
Midlothian Rhona Brankin Labour hold
Scottish parliamentary election, 2007: Lothians
Party Elected candidates Seats +/− Votes % +/−%
Scottish National Party Fiona Hyslop
Ian McKee
Stefan Tymkewycz
3 +1 76,019 26.5% +10.2
Labour George Foulkes 1 +1 75,495 26.3% +0.8
Conservative Gavin Brown 1 ±0 37,548 13.1% -2.0
Scottish Green Robin Harper 1 -1 20,147 7.0% -5.0
Independent Margo MacDonald 1 ±0 19,256 6.7% -3.5

[edit] Mid Scotland and Fife

Scottish parliamentary election, 2007: Mid Scotland and Fife
Constituency Elected member Result
Dunfermline East Helen Eadie Labour hold
Dunfermline West Jim Tolson Liberal Democrats gain from Labour
Fife Central Tricia Marwick Scottish National Party gain from Labour
Fife North East Iain Smith Liberal Democrats hold
Kirkcaldy Marilyn Livingstone Labour hold
North Tayside John Swinney Scottish National Party hold
Ochil Keith Brown Scottish National Party hold
Perth Roseanna Cunningham Scottish National Party hold
Stirling Bruce Crawford Scottish National Party gain from Labour
Scottish parliamentary election, 2007: Mid Scotland and Fife
Party Elected candidates Seats +/− Votes % +/−%
Scottish National Party Chris Harvie 1 -1 90,090 33.0% +10%
Labour John Park
Claire Brennan-Baker
Richard Simpson
3 +3 71,922 26.3% +1.0%
Conservative Murdo Fraser
Elizabeth Smith
Ted Brocklebank
3 ±0 44,341 16.2% -1.3%

[edit] North East Scotland

Scottish parliamentary election, 2007: North East Scotland
Constituency Elected member Result
Aberdeen Central Lewis Macdonald Labour hold
Aberdeen North Brian Adam Scottish National Party hold
Aberdeen South Nicol Stephen Liberal Democrats hold
Angus Andrew Welsh Scottish National Party hold
Banff and Buchan Stewart Stevenson Scottish National Party hold
Dundee East Shona Robison Scottish National Party hold
Dundee West Joe Fitzpatrick Scottish National Party gain from Labour
Gordon Alex Salmond Scottish National Party gain from Liberal Democrats
West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine Mike Rumbles Liberal Democrats hold
Scottish parliamentary election, 2007: North East Scotland
Party Elected candidates Seats +/− Votes % +/−%
Scottish National Party Maureen Watt
Nigel Don
2 +1 105,265 40.5% +13.2%
Labour Richard Baker
Marlyn Glen
2 ±0 52,125 20.0% -0.1%
Conservative Alex Johnstone
Nanette Milne
2 −1 37,666 14.5% -2.9%
Liberal Democrats Alison McInnes 1 +1 40,934 15.7% −3.1%

[edit] South of Scotland

Scottish parliamentary election, 2007: South of Scotland
Constituency Elected member Result
Ayr John Scott Conservative hold
Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley Cathy Jamieson Labour hold
Clydesdale Karen Gillon Labour hold
Cunninghame South Irene Oldfather Labour hold
Dumfries Elaine Murray Labour hold
East Lothian Iain Gray Labour hold
Galloway and Upper Nithsdale Alex Fergusson Conservative hold
Roxburgh and Berwickshire John Lamont Conservative gain from Liberal Democrats
Tweeddale, Ettrick and Lauderdale Jeremy Purvis Liberal Democrats hold
Scottish parliamentary election, 2007: South of Scotland
Party Elected candidates Seats +/− Votes % +/−%
Scottish National Party Christine Grahame
Michael Russell
Adam Ingram
Alasdair Morgan
Aileen Campbell
5 +2 77,053 27.8% +9.4%
Conservative Derek Brownlee 1 -1 62,475 22.6% -1.7%
Liberal Democrats Jim Hume 1 +1 28,040 10.1% -0.1%

[edit] West of Scotland

Scottish parliamentary election, 2007: West of Scotland
Constituency Elected member Result
Clydebank and Milngavie Des McNulty Labour hold
Cunninghame North Kenneth Gibson Scottish National Party gain from Labour
Dumbarton Jackie Baillie Labour hold
Eastwood Kenneth Macintosh Labour hold
Greenock and Inverclyde Duncan McNeil Labour hold
Paisley North Wendy Alexander Labour hold
Paisley South Hugh Henry Labour hold
Strathkelvin and Bearsden David Whitton Labour gain from Independent
West Renfrewshire Patricia Godman Labour hold
Scottish parliamentary election, 2007: West of Scotland
Party Elected candidates Seats +/− Votes % +/−%
Scottish National Party Stewart Maxwell
Gil Paterson
Bill Wilson
Stuart McMillan
4 +1 75,953 28.3% +8.7%
Conservative Annabel Goldie
Jackson Carlaw
2 ±0 40,637 15.2% -0.5%
Liberal Democrats Ross Finnie 1 ±0 22,515 8.4% -3.9%

[edit] Incidents

[edit] Delayed counts

Some counts in the Western Isles (Barra & the Uists) were delayed because the chartered helicopter sent to pick up the ballot boxes was delayed by bad weather. The boxes were instead transfered by sea and road to be counted in Stornoway. The votes were announced around 12.00 on Friday May 4.

[edit] Vandalism

A man smashed ballot boxes with a golf club at a polling station at Carrick Knowe in Corstorphine in Edinburgh. About 100 ballots were damaged, some having to be taped back together. The man was arrested on the scene.[8]

[edit] High number of rejected votes

The number of 'invalid' ballot papers has increased dramatically from previous elections, and the BBC reported that almost 142,000 (or 7% of the total votes cast) were rejected.[9] . The Herald reports that this includes both constituency and regional votes, and hence the number of individual voters is likely to be considerably less. Nevertheless there have been calls for an independent enquiry into the implementation of the new voting system. The BBC Scotland Chief Political Editor, Brian Taylor, described the situation as "a disgrace" during their Election Night coverage.[10]

Almost certainly the biggest reason for the increase in invalid ballots was that in the vote for the parliament, the ballot papers for the constituency elections were combined with that for the regional lists. A large-type instruction at the top indicated "you have two votes." Being told that they had two votes, far too many voters used both votes on parties in the regional list. [11] This misleading ballot was made more complicated by two additional features of the balloting: several small parties like the Green Party ran one or fewer candidates in the constituency seats and parties were able to choose to put the name of their leader in the party label for the list seats. Such poor ballot design decisions contributed to a similarly higher rate of spoiled ballots in the 2000 United States presidential election in areas of Florida such as Miami-Dade and Duval counties.

Another reason presented is that voters were given two papers with two different systems and a different design - one for the parliamentary election where voters marked a cross and one for local councils where they placed numbers as the council elections were being done under the single transferable vote sytem. Undercutting this theory, however, is the fact that the invalid rate in the local elections was far lower despite being the single transferable vote being a new system for most voters.

A third proposed reason has been that this was the first election where electronic counting of papers has taken place. Many blame e-counting for the increase in rejected papers, in part because the new machine counting did not go smoothly, with many counts abandoned during the early hours of Friday morning before all results had been counted. The main company concerned has been DRS Ltd.[1] Nevertheless nearly all invalid ballots would have been spoiled no matter how they were counted. However, the last minute redesign of ballot papers that is blamed for the high number of rejections in two electoral regions was done to make electronic voting easier[2].

[edit] Potential legal action

On 5 May 2007, the BBC reported that Labour were considering legal action against some results (particularly Cunninghame North, where the SNP beat Labour by just 48 votes) due to the high number of rejected votes.[12] Labour withdrew this legal action on 25 May 2007. [13] A further challenge is expected from Mike Dailly from the Govan Law Centre on behalf of voters in the Glasgow region. He said that the result should be challenged because there were 10,000 rejected ballots which could have caused a different result if they had counted. Solidarity were close to electing one MSP (Tommy Sheridan) and the Greens were a little short of what they needed to gain a second MSP.[14]

[edit] Party leaders

[edit] Major parties

At time of dissolution of the Scottish Parliament at midnight on Monday 2 April 2007, there were five party 'groups' represented on the Parliament's Bureau: Labour (50), SNP (25), Conservative (17), LibDem (17), and the Greens (7). There was also one 'mixed' administrative grouping comprised of 5 independent MSPs and 1 Scottish Senior Citizens Unity Party MSP.

2007 Scottish Parliament Election - Party Leaders
Scottish National Party Labour Party Conservative Party Liberal Democrats
Alex Salmond
Leader of the Scottish National Party
Jack McConnell
Leader of the
Scottish Labour Party
Annabel Goldie
Leader of the Scottish Conservative Party
Nicol Stephen
Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats
Age 52 Age 46 Age 57 Age 47
Parliament Scottish Parliament - 2 years (1999-2001)
& UK Parliament - 19 years (1987-present)
Parliament 7 years Parliament 7 years Parliament Scottish Parliament - 7 years
& UK Parliament - 5 months (1991-1992)
Leader since 1990-2000
& 2004
Leader since 2001 Leader since 2005 Leader since 2005
Profession Economist Profession Teacher Profession Solicitor Profession Solicitor


Of the major party leaders in the Scottish Parliament, only one, Jack McConnell, of the Scottish Labour Party fought the 2003 Scottish Parliamentary election as leader. Nicol Stephen succeeded Jim Wallace as Deputy First Minister and Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats in June 2005, after the latter announced that he would not be contesting the 2007 election.[15] Alex Salmond was elected leader of the Scottish National Party in 2004, with his deputy Nicola Sturgeon.[16] Salmond previously led the SNP between 1990 and 2000, but stood down and was replaced by his preferred successor John Swinney, who headed the party between 2000 and 2004. After Swinney's resignation in 2004, Salmond announced that he would, once again contest the leadership and won the ballot of members in June 2004. Annabel Goldie was elected leader of the Scottish Conservatives in November 2005[17] after the resignation of the incumbent David McLetchie on 31 October 2005 after a row surrounding taxi expenses.[18]

[edit] Minor parties

Robin Harper and Shiona Baird were elected as Scottish Green Party Co-convenors in 2004, but as the sole Green MSP Robin Harper was effectively party spokesperson from 1999.[19]

Colin Fox was elected as the Scottish Socialist Party Convenor in 2005.

[edit] Opinion polls

The first figure for each party is for the 1st, first-past-the-post, constituency, vote; the second figure is for the 2nd, proportional representation, regional, vote. The Scottish Green Party and the Scottish Socialist Party ran only one constituency candidate each in the 2007 election - Greens in Glasgow Kelvin, SSP in Paisley North - so constituency values in polls for those parties have little meaning.

ICM, Ipsos MORI, Populus, YouGov and TNS System Three (a subsidiary of Taylor Nelson Sofres) are all members of the British Polling Council (BPC), and therefore fully disclose the methodology used, and publish tables of the detailed statistical findings. Scottish Opinion (a brand of Progressive Partnership) and mruk are not BPC members.

First (Constituency) Vote
Firm/Client Date Labour Scottish
National
Conservative Liberal
Democrats
Scottish
Socialist
Scottish
Green
Others
YouGov/Daily Telegraph 2 May 2007 31% 37% 13% 14% - - 5%
ICM/Guardian/Scotsman 30 April 2007 32% 34% 13% 16% - - 5%
Populus/Times 30 April 2007 29% 33% 13% 15% - - 10%
YouGov/Daily Telegraph 26 April 2007 30% 39% 13% 15% - - 4%
YouGov/ESRC 23 April 2007 30% 38% 12% 15% - - -
YouGov/Sunday Times 20 April 2007 30% 37% 14% 15% - - 4%
mruk/Herald 19 April 2007 34% 38% 11% 13% - - -
Populus/Times 17 April 2007 30% 34% 13% 18% - - 6%
Scottish Opinion/Mail on Sunday 15 April 2007 35% 32% 13% 15% - - -
Scottish Opinion/Mail on Sunday 5 April 2007 28% 40% 17% 13% - - 3%
ICM/Scotsman 3 April 2007 27% 32% 13% 19% 5% - 4%
TNS System Three/STV 1 April 2007 34% 39% 13% 11% - - 3%
YouGov/Daily Telegraph 28 March 2007 29% 35% 13% 14% - - 9%
mruk/Herald 27 March 2007 38% 34% 10% 15% - - 3%
Scottish Opinion/Daily Mail 26 March 2007 28% 34% 11% 11% - 9% -
Populus/Times 25 March 2007 28% 38% 14% 15% - - 6%
ICM/Scotsman 26 February 2007 29% 34% 16% 16% 1% - -
ICM/Scotsman 29 January 2007 31% 33% 13% 17% 3% - 3%
YouGov/Sunday Times 12 January 2007 29% 35% 13% 18% 1% 2% 2%
YouGov/Channel 4 8 January 2007 31% 33% 14% 14% 1% 5% 4%
ICM/Scotsman 23 November 2006 29% 34% 13% 17% 3% 2% 2%
ICM/Scotsman 30 October 2006 30% 32% 14% 15% 4% 3% 3%
Scottish Opinion/Sunday Mail 20 October 2006 32% 35% 11% 16% 2% - 2%
YouGov/Sunday Times 7 September 2006 30% 29% 14% 18% 2% 5% 4%
TNS System Three/Herald 29 August 2006 36% 28% 12% 17% 4% 3% -
TNS System Three/Herald 1 August 2006 37% 29% 13% 14% 3% 2% -
TNS System Three/Herald 4 July 2006 37% 31% 11% 14% 3% 3% -
Ipsos MORI 1 July 2006 28% 30% 15% 19% 1% 4% 3%
2003 Election 34.9% 23.8% 16.5% 15.1% 6.2% - 3.5%
Second (Regional) Vote
Firm/Client Date Labour Scottish
National
Conservative Liberal
Democrats
Scottish
Green
Scottish
Socialist
Others
YouGov/Daily Telegraph 2 May 2007 27% 32% 13% 10% 9% - 9%
ICM/Guardian/Scotsman 30 April 2007 29% 30% 13% 16% 4% 3% 5%
Populus/Times 30 April 2007 28% 31% 14% 15% 4% 1% 7%
YouGov/Daily Telegraph 26 April 2007 27% 31% 13% 11% 9% 3% 7%
YouGov/ESRC 23 April 2007 27% 32% 14% 12% - - -
YouGov/Sunday Times 20 April 2007 28% 35% 13% 13% - - 11%
mruk/Herald 19 April 2007 36% 37% 11% 11% 3% - -
Populus/Times 17 April 2007 27% 34% 14% 18% 3% 1% 3%
Scottish Opinion/Mail on Sunday 15 April 2007 34% 31% 12% 13% 5% - -
Scottish Opinion/Mail on Sunday 5 April 2007 28% 39% 14% 10% 4% 1% 4%
ICM/Scotsman 3 April 2007 27% 31% 12% 17% 5% 5% 3%
TNS System Three/STV 1 April 2007 25% 36% 11% 13% 6% 3% 7%
YouGov/Daily Telegraph 28 March 2007 27% 33% 15% 12% 6% 2% 5%
mruk/Herald 27 March 2007 37% 35% 10% 14% 3% - 1%
Scottish Opinion/Daily Mail 26 March 2007 28% 32% 10% 11% 10% - -
Populus/Times 25 March 2007 30% 35% 14% 14% 4% 1% 2%
ICM/Scotsman 26 February 2007 28% 32% 15% 17% 4% 2% -
ICM/Scotsman 29 January 2007 27% 33% 14% 17% 5% 3% 2%
YouGov/Sunday Times 12 January 2007 30% 32% 14% 14% 5% 1% 4%
YouGov/Channel 4 8 January 2007 28% 33% 15% 11% 7% 1% 4%
ICM/Scotsman 23 November 2006 26% 31% 12% 19% 6% 4% 2%
ICM/Scotsman 30 October 2006 28% 28% 14% 17% 6% 4% 3%
Scottish Opinion/Sunday Mail 20 October 2006 25% 28% 11% 26% 4% 5% 1%
YouGov/Sunday Times 7 September 2006 27% 29% 14% 15% 8% 2% 5%
TNS System Three/Herald 29 August 2006 28% 27% 11% 19% 8% 6% -
TNS System Three/Herald 1 August 2006 29% 32% 10% 15% 8% 4% -
TNS System Three/Herald 4 July 2006 29% 33% 9% 17% 5% 5% -
Ipsos MORI 1 July 2006 26% 28% 16% 19% 6% 1% 4%
2003 Election 29.3% 20.9% 15.5% 11.8% 6.9% 6.7% 9.0%

The Scotsman stated that the findings of their April 3 poll would produce a seat distribution as follows: SNP 44 MSPs (+17), Labour 39 MSPs (-11), Liberal Democrats 24 MSPs (+7), Conservative 15 MSPs (-3).

The Sunday Times (12 January) stated that the findings of their poll would produce a seat distribution as follows: Labour 42 MSPs (-8), SNP 38 MSPs (+11), Liberal Democrats 19 MSPs (+2), Conservative 17 MSPs (-1), Scottish Greens 9 MSPs (+2), others 4 MSPs (-6).

[edit] Constitutional issue

Several polls have been carried out on whether voters would support independence for Scotland, a key issue in this election and a central policy of the SNP. However, the results of such polls have historically been proven to be sensitive to the wording of the question used.

  • On 10 September 2006 The Sunday Times Scotland published an opinion poll[20] conducted by YouGov. 1176 respondents were interviewed between 5 September and 7 September 2006.[21] The survey found that 44% were in favour when asked "If there were a referendum tomorrow on whether Scotland should become an independent country, separate from the rest of the United Kingdom, how would you be inclined to vote?" 42% were against, and 15% did not know. 64% were in favour of giving the Scottish Parliament more powers, with 19% disagreeing.
  • A September 2006 poll by the research agency Yougov showed that 44% of respondents said they would back a separate Scotland in an independence referendum compared with 42% who did not.[22][23][24]
  • A poll by The Scotsman in October 2006 suggested that 51% of Scots would be in favour of independence, with 39% against.[25]
  • A Daily Telegraph poll shows that a significant proportion of Britons would accept the breakup of the UK.[26]
  • On 1 November 2006, The Scotsman published an opinion poll[27] conducted by ICM. The survey found that 51% were in favour of Scottish independence, with 37% against.

When polls give three options, including an option for greater devolution but stopping short of independence, support for full independence is much lower. In a poll by The Times, published on 20 April 2007, given a choice between independence, the status quo, or greater powers for the Scottish Parliament within the United Kingdom, the latter option had majority supprt (56%) with only 22% supporting full independence.[28] Even among SNP voters, more (47%) supported a more powerful Parliament than full independence (45%).

[edit] Other issues

The result for the Kelvin constituency in Glasgow being declared.
The result for the Kelvin constituency in Glasgow being declared.

On 4 April the BBC published the findings of a poll it had commissioned from ICM. The 1001 respondents were asked to rank a given list of issues, in the order which they thought "should be the priorities of the new parliament?"[29][30] The respondents ranked the main issues as follows:

  1. Schools/health
  2. Police on streets
  3. Council tax for 65s+
  4. Local hospitals
  5. Farming/fishing
  6. Young offenders curfew
  7. Free school meals
  8. Buses/trains (not roads)
  9. Scrap tuition fees
  10. Community sentences

[edit] Top target seats of the main parties

Below are listed all the constituencies which required a swing of less than 5% from the 2003 result to change hands.

Many of the seats that changed hands are not listed here. For example, the Scottish National Party gained several seats (Stirling, Edinburgh East & Musselburgh, Gordon, Livingston and Argyll & Bute) with very large swings, yet did not gain any of their top three targets.

[edit] Labour targets

Rank Constituency Winning party 2003 Swing to gain Labour's place 2003 Result
1 Dundee East Scottish National Party 0.17 2nd SNP hold
2 Edinburgh South Liberal Democrats 0.26 2nd LD hold
3 Ochil Scottish National Party 0.49 2nd SNP hold
4 Strathkelvin and Bearsden Independent 0.62 2nd Lab gain
5 Aberdeen North Scottish National Party 0.92 2nd SNP hold
6 Inverness East, Nairn and Lochaber Scottish National Party 1.51 2nd SNP hold
7 Tweeddale, Ettrick and Lauderdale Liberal Democrats 2.70 3rd LD hold
8 Ayr Conservative 2.99 2nd Con hold
9 Edinburgh Pentlands Conservative 3.16 2nd Con hold
10 Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross Liberal Democrats 4.96 2nd LD hold

[edit] SNP targets

Rank Constituency Winning party 2003 Swing to gain SNP's place 2003 Result
1 Galloway & Upper Nithsdale Conservative 0.17 2nd Con hold
2 Tweeddale, Ettrick & Lauderdale Liberal Democrats 1.01 2nd LD hold
3 Cumbernauld & Kilsyth Labour 1.07 2nd Lab hold
4 Kilmarnock & Loudoun Labour 1.92 2nd SNP gain
5 Dundee West Labour 2.13 2nd SNP gain
6 Western Isles Labour 2.91 2nd SNP gain
7 Glasgow Govan Labour 2.92 2nd SNP gain
8 Aberdeen Central Labour 2.96 2nd Lab hold
9 Linlithgow Labour 3.56 2nd Lab hold
10 West Renfrewshire Labour 4.41 2nd Lab hold
11 Paisley South Labour 4.91 2nd Lab hold

[edit] Conservative targets

Rank Constituency Winning party 2003 Swing to gain Con place 2003 Result
1 Perth Scottish National Party 1.15 2nd SNP hold
2 Dumfries Labour 1.71 2nd Lab hold
3 Tweeddale, Ettrick & Lauderdale Liberal Democrats 2.83 4th LD hold
4 Eastwood Labour 4.76 2nd Lab hold
5 Stirling Labour 4.86 2nd SNP gain
6 West Renfrewshire Labour 4.96 3rd Lab hold

[edit] Liberal Democrat targets

Rank Constituency Winning party 2003 Swing to gain LD's place 2003 Result
1 Edinburgh Central Labour 4.75 2nd Lab hold
2 Aberdeen Central Labour 4.99 3rd Lab hold

[edit] MSPs who retired at the general election

[edit] Labour

[edit] Scottish National Party

[edit] Conservative

[edit] Liberal Democrats

[edit] Scottish Socialist Party

[edit] Independents

[edit] References

  1. ^ Scotland Act 1998 - Part I - Section 2 - General elections. www.opsi.gov.uk.
  2. ^ Somewhere over the Rainbow Coalition... Scotsman 12 May 2005. Retrieved on 2007-05-07.
  3. ^ Panic within Labour as membership falls Scotsman 5 March 2006. Retrieved on 2007-05-07.
  4. ^ Lib Dems open door to coalition with SNP Scotsman 7 March 2006. Retrieved on 2007-05-07.
  5. ^ Is this the end of Lab-Lib Dem pact? Scotsman 24 March 2006. Retrieved on 2007-05-07.
  6. ^ "Electronic counting to take over from tellers at elections", The Scotsman, 19 April [2006]]
  7. ^ "Green light for DRS & ERS to deliver e-Count for 2007 Scottish Elections", press release, DRS Data Services Limited
  8. ^ Polling clerk tells of 'bedlam', BBC News website, 2007-05-03
  9. ^ Rejected ballots '7% of the vote', BBC News website, 2007-05-09
  10. ^ Elections marred by vote problems, BBC News website, 2007-05-03
  11. ^ The Scotsman
  12. ^ Labour may challenge Scots vote, BBC News. Retrieved on 2007-05-07.
  13. ^ No Labour challenge over election BBC Online, 25 May 2007
  14. ^ Holyrood vote may face challenges, BBC News. Retrieved on 2007-05-07.
  15. ^ Lib Dems choose Stephen as leader. BBC News. BBC (23 June 2005). Retrieved on 2006-10-11.
  16. ^ Salmond is SNP leader again with Sturgeon as No 2. Edinburgh Evening News. Scotsman (3 September 2004). Retrieved on 2006-10-11.
  17. ^ Tories have their 'coronation' as Goldie becomes leader unopposed. Scotsman (3 November 2005). Retrieved on 2006-10-11.
  18. ^ McLetchie finally quits over taxi row. The Scotsman. Scotsman (1 November 2005). Retrieved on 2006-10-11.
  19. ^ SCOTTISH GREEN PARTY ELECTS NEW PARTY CO-CONVENERS. Scottish Green Party (30 October 2004).
  20. ^ "Labour turmoil as Scots back independence", The Sunday Times - Scotland, 10 September 2006
  21. ^ YouGov / Sunday Times (Scotland) Survey Results, YouGov plc
  22. ^ The Sunday Times Online, September 10, 2006 Support Doubles for Scottish independence
  23. ^ Epolitix, September 2006 Support for Scottish independence rises
  24. ^ The Sunday Times Online, September 10, 2006 Labour in turmoil as Scots back independence
  25. ^ politics.guardian.co.uk/scotland/story/0,,1937975,00.html. Retrieved on 2007-05-07.
  26. ^ www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/11/26/nunion26.xml. Retrieved on 2007-05-07.
  27. ^ "Vital gains forecast for SNP in swing from Labour", The Scotsman, 1 November 2006
  28. ^ How SNP could win and lose at the same time, The Times, 2007-04-20
  29. ^ 'Voters get behind public services', BBC News website, 4 April 2007
  30. ^ Detailed statistics from ICM

[edit] See also

[edit] External links


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