27 May 2009

The Boundaries are A-Changin: Overview


East Central Scotland
Highlands & Islands
Mid Scotland & Fife
North East Scotland
South Scotland
West Central Scotland

Well, the figures are done. We have an idea of how people may have voted had the Boundary Commission's revised proposals been in law by May 2007.

In reverse order:

Margo MacDonald would have been re-elected.

The Greens would have two MSPs on my figures.

The LibDems would stay level on 16: they would lose one in South Scotland but gain one in Lothian.

The Tories would go up by one seat to 18: they would stay level everywhere but North East Scotland, where the extra seat would fall in their favour.

Labour would stay on 46: they would gain one in East Central Scotland and the Highlands & Islands as a result of the re-arrangement of constituencies. However, they would lose a seat in Glasgow as a result of one constituency being eliminated, and a seat in West Central Scotland due to Barrhead being taken out of Eastwood.

You'll notice two things: I have the Tories gaining a seat, Labour, the LibDems, Greens and Margo staying where they are and I haven't mentioned the SNP. I think you know where I'm going here. The re-arrangement of constituencies costs them a seat in East Central but wins the party an extra List seat in West Central. In Lothian, however, I project that 324 LibDem votes in Edinburgh Central and 224 Labour List votes will conspire to cost the SNP a Regional seat. That sees the Party defending a notional 46 seats, not 47 as actually happened.

Can you imagine if this had actually been the case?

46-46. Bloody hell.

The words 'ferrets' and 'sack' spring to mind.


Julie said...


I don't want to sound like your mother, but you've done seven posts here and I just wondered; do you get any sleep?

James said...

And then, in that scenario, would the Tories have still been prepared even reluctantly to provide a Presiding Officer?

Will said...

Don't worry, Julie, I get plenty of sleep. Though my co-workers, who had to listen to me muttering that I was going to lamp someone if they said just one more thing out of turn to me today might disagree...

James, interesting question. They would still have had very little to lose but who knows? We could have ended up having a second election after all.

Richard Shields said...

Assuming that tactical voting played no part in the last election, I have no idea if it did mind you, what would be the mechanism for deciding who governs in such a scenario? I think that there would have been a FM election and if that was even, there would then be another election?

Though based upon the tories and SNP voting together at budget time(and Margo) the SNP and AS would have a majority and so things would actually be the same? Of course this assumes that the presiding officer came from elsewhere- the LD's most likely.

Will said...

Richard, it all hinges on whether or not the SNP could get the agreement with the Greens that they secured. If they could, then it would have taken two rounds of voting (as it did in real life) but Alex Salmond would have been elected First Minister. If not, then there would probably have to have been another attempt until either the tie was broken by another party or the 28-day time limit expired, when, as you say, there would have been a fresh election.

So assuming that the Greens and SNP would still have got their agreement, then nothing would have changed: AS would have been elected FM; the 2008 Budget would have passed, the first 2009 Budget would have fallen but the second would have passed.