Friday, June 12, 2009

Scottish results: geek town blues

Last one for the night. This was the best ever result for the Greens in a Euro-election in Scotland but sadly the bar is set quite high to return an MEP here so once again we go home with the organic wooden spoon.

There are 32 regions in Scotland and the turn out varied from 22% to 36%. North Lanarkshire gets the booby prize and East Renfrewshire gets the prize for civic pride. Overall turnout was 28.63%.

See my accurate graph (all those who lost their deposits have been lumped into others).

Edinburgh: ah the memories

I've been to Edinburgh twice. Once as a child and all I remember was an ice cream I had whilst looking at a river. Ooo it was nice. The second time was during the G8 and much of my experiences involved large police constables who'd failed their etiquette examinations a number of times. The city itself was charming, and I have very fond memories of it.

It was probably my visit that led to the city achieving the highest Green vote in Scotland (13.61%). Wouldn't you know it we find Edinburgh has the second lowest BNP vote (1.56%), second lowest Christian vote (1.03%), and the lowest UKIP vote (3.58%). My kind of town.

The SNP topped the poll here despite the fact that this was one of their worst results in the country, which is an indicator of just how well they did.

The Scottish National Party: storming performance

I've got no idea what I think about the SNP. Sort like the Labour Party but without the nuclear weapons and that? Correct me if I'm wrong. Anyway, they had a very good night.

Their lowest result was more than decent in itself at 17.87% in the Shetland Islands. They topped the poll time and again through Scotland and their top ten results range from 34% to 43%.

The three London parties: struggling to keep up

Unlike Labour the Tories did at least manage to top the poll in a few areas; Dunfries and Galloway, East Renfrewshire, Scottish Borders and South Ayeshire. All of them high turnout areas. Even the Lib Dems topped the polls in the Orkney Islands and Highland regions.

Of Labour's top ten results seven are from below average turnout areas which implies, to me at least, that Labour performs best (comparatively) where hostile voters don't positively choose alternatives but rather stay at home. Not a great thought to be honest.

Never the less the three main London based parties found themselves steamrollered by a very strong SNP machine.

What about the right?

The BNP only just scraped over 3% in four areas (Falkirk, North Lanarkshire, West Lothian and Glasgow) but these best results would be among their worst in other UK regions.

UKIP didn't do too badly in some parts polling their best results in Dumfries and Galloway (8.97%) and the Orkney Islands (8.46%). Their worst results were from Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dundee which does rather imply that the further from civilisation you get the UKIP votes begin to surface.

It looks like if you can build a big enough alternative to take on the mainstream parties the right find it far harder to gain purchase with the electorate.

Green shoots

The Greens got their best five results in the following areas.


I realise I shouldn't have been mean about the Orkneys now. I expect the UKIP people have their own islands. The lowest result was 4.3% in North Lanarkshire.

I'm finding discerning any common thread pretty difficult here. Whether an area is urban, Labour, Tory or a set of islands - it doesn't seem to be a significant influence on the vote. It might be that the main influence over how many people vote for us is how many activists we have on the ground - but unless I had a map of the members I've no way of telling. Fascinating.

We were some way off gaining an MEP but it can't be bad getting their highest ever vote in Scotland so well done up there.

And the left?

Like most of the country the left organisations did not poll well with Arthur Scargill's SLP out polling the SSP and No2EU put together (2%, 0.94%, 0.84% respectively). That's slightly galling as the SLP doesn't actually exist in any meaningful sense and the SSP and No2EU both have active socialists who actually do things and improve the world (in a modest way of course).

Curious to see whether there was any correspondence between the parties I've plotted all three left parties' results.

You can see that where the SLP polls well the other two parties do ever so slightly better but most interestingly the Scottish Socialist Party and No2EU votes map onto each other *almost* exactly with the only real difference coming in the SSP's top three polling areas (Glasgow, North Lanarkshire and West Dunbartonshire).

I have no local knowledge so I can't tell you whether the SSP have strong branches in those areas that were able to mount half decent campaigns.


Tim said...

Thanks for all the analysis, Jim --- interesting stuff.

On Labour's strongest areas also being low turnout areas: the traditional explanation is that (potential) Labour voters are feckless proles who might or might not make it to the polling station, depending on whether or not it's raining or there's anything good on the telly.

Adrian Windisch said...

The SNP sit with us in the EU, along with Plaid, in the GREENS/EFA.