How well will the SNP tsunami of 2015 fare in key seats two years on from its triumph?
NEARLY THREE YEARS since the historic campaign on Scottish independence ended, the people of Scotland will go to the polls once again.
In the aftermath of that campaign the SNP galvanised one of the highest democratic votes in the country’s history to win a landslide of 56 out of 59 seats. Yet with Brexit, the emergence of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, and the issue of a fresh independence referendum, the three main unionist parties are looking to cut that huge SNP lead.
CommonSpace outlines the main seats in contention in the 2017 snap General Election
Tory challenge to the SNP
The main Tory challenge to SNP dominance comes in the three South of Scotland seats, and in the North, North-East, and Perthshire. The Tory’s expect to win at least the top target seats - but will they meet expectations of winning seats across the country?
1. Calum Kerr SNP (Berwickshire Roxburgh & Selkirk) Majority 308 v Tory’s John Lamont
2. Richard Arkless SNP (Dumfries and Galloway) Majority 6,514 v Tory’s Alister Jack
3. Stuart Donaldson SNP (Aberdeenshire West and Kincardine) Majority 7,033 v Tory’s Andrew Bowie
4. Callum McCaig SNP (Aberdeen South) Majority 7,230 v Tory’s Ross Thomson
5. Angus Robertson SNP (Moray) Majority 9,065 v the Tory’s Douglas Ross
6. Pete Wishart SNP (Perth and North Perthshire) Majority 9,641 v Tory’s Ian Duncan
7. Tasmina Ahmed Sheikh SNP (Ochil and South Perthshire) Majority 10,168 v Tory’s Luke Graham
8. Kirsten Oswald SNP (Renfrewshire East) Majority 10,548 v Tory’s Paul Masterton.
Liberal Democrat target seats
The Liberal Democrats were cut back to just one MP in 2015 - but the party has a history of successful ‘target to win’ campaigns in seats where it is strongest. In 2016 it won constituency races in North East Fife and the West of Edinburgh. The Liberal’s are aiming for a repeat - as well as a return for ex-UK Government minister Jo Swinson in Dunbartonshire East.
1. John Nicolson SNP (Dunbartonshire East) Majority 2,167 v LibDem’s Jo Swinson
2. Toni Giugliano SNP (Edinburgh West) Majority 3,210 v LibDem’s Christine Jardine
3. Stephen Gethins SNP (Fife North East) Majority 4,344 v LibDem’s Elizabeth Riches
SNP hopes for victory against three unionist survivors of 2015
The 2015 result was an unprecedented triumph for the SNP - but the party is in contention in the three seats it failed to win last time. Straight contests between Tory minister David Mundell and senior LibDem Alistair Carmichael with young candidates Mairi McAllan and Miriam Brett provide outside chances of success. In Edinburgh South, a split unionist vote could let Jim Eadie win Edinburgh South.
1. David Mundell Tory (Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale & Tweeddale) Majority 798 v SNP’s Mairi McAllan
2. Alistair Carmichael LibDem (Orkney & Shetland) Majority 817 v SNP’s Miriam Brett
3. Ian Murray Labour (Edinburgh South) Majority 2,167 v SNP’s Jim Eadie
Labour’s limited hopes for breakthroughs
It’s unclear where Labour’s best hopes of redemption could be. The party is targeting Renfrewshire East (alongside the SNP and Tories) with unionist campaign leader Blair McDougall. The party has outside hopes from East Lothian to Edinburgh North and Leith. But holding onto Edinburgh South is Labour’s top target in the election north of the border.
Picture: BBC Live
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