8 May 2011

SP11: Those Glasgow Southside results...

Regular readers will know that I voted in the Glasgow Southside constituency and the Glasgow region in last Thursday's Scottish Parliament elections. For a spot of local colour, I thought I'd briskly summarise the results in this notionally close-run race - and cast an eye over how Glaswegians used their "second vote" on the regional lists. It is weel-kent that  the older, more familiar constituency of Glasgow Govan was extinguished by the boundary commission during the last parliament, replaced by a rejigged Glasgow Southside, excluding some parts of Govan while encompassing elements of previous, Labour-held Glasgow constituencies. Undaunted, Nicola Sturgeon swept aside the Labour candidate's slim notional majority on Thursday night, romping to a comfortable triumph. The votes cast were as follows: 

Glasgow Southside 2011 results (%)
  • Nicola Sturgeon (SNP) ~ 12,306 (54.4%)
  • Stephen Curran (Labour) ~ 7,957 (35.2%)
  • David Meikle (Tory) ~ 1,733 (7.7%)
  • Ken Elder (Liberal Democrat) ~ 612 (2.7%)

Total poll: 22,608
Majority: 4,349

A second point of interest is what transpired on the Glasgow list. Faced with an austere fiscal outlook, would voters turn to socialist alternatives? How appallingly would the Liberal Democrats do, and critically, who would capitalise on their deflation? I took a close look at Glasgow's 2007 regional results before the elections. Here is how the parties fared this time around, with percentage polled - and how many votes they gained or lost on their 2007 performance.

Glasgow Region 2011 results (%) (+/- change from 2007)
  • SNP ~ 83,109 (39.8%) (+27,277)
  • Labour ~ 73,031 (35%) (-5,807)
  • Tory ~ 12,749 (6.1%) (-1,032)
  • Green ~ 12,454 (6.0%) (+1,695)
  • George Galloway (Respect) ~ 6,972 (3.3%)(-)
  • Liberal Democrat ~ 5,312 (2.5%) (-9,455)
  • Senior Citizens ~ 3,750 (1.%) (+47)
  • BNP ~ 2,424 (1.2%) (-1,441)
  • Socialist Labour ~ 2,276 (1.1%) (-404)
  • Scottish Christian ~ 1,501 (0.7%) (-490)
  • Scottish Unionist ~ 1,447 (0.7%) (-165)
  • Scottish Socialist ~ 1,362 (0.7%) (-1,217)
  • UKIP~ 1,123 (0.5%) (+718)
  • Pirate ~ 581 (0.3%) (-)
  • Caroline Johnstone ~ 338 (0.2%) (-)
  • Scottish Homeland ~ 283 (0.1%) (-)

Total turnout: 208,712

Interestingly, Glasgow City Cooncil have also published the data on regional votes, arranged by  the constituency in which they were cast. Similar data is available from 2007, which I've mentioned in previous postings. Glasgow Southside's contribution to the Glasgow region was as follows...

Glasgow Southside's Region 2011 results (%)
  • SNP ~ 9,548 (42%)
  • Labour ~ 6,648 (29.3%)
  • Green ~ 1,779 (7.8%)
  • Tory ~ 1,518 (6.7%)
  • George Galloway (Respect) ~ 1,359 (6.0%)
  • Liberal Democrat ~ 497 (2.2%)
  • Senior Citizens ~ 319 (1.4%)
  • BNP ~ 261 (1.2%)
  • Socialist Labour ~ 200 (0.9%)
  • Scottish Socialist ~ 149 (0.7%)
  • Scottish Christian ~ 119 (0.5%)
  • UKIP~ 114 (0.5%)
  • Pirate ~ 68 (0.3%)
  • Scottish Unionist ~ 68 (0.3%)
  • Caroline Johnstone ~ 17 (0.08%)
  • Scottish Homeland ~ 16 (0.07%)

Total turnout: 22,680

Finally, and in another interesting result, in contrast with the crashing "no" delivered across the country, Southside only narrowly voted against introducing the Alternative Voting system for Westminster elections. The constituency divided...

AV Referendum 2011: Glasgow Southside (%)

  • Yes: 10,972 (49.7%)
  • No: 11,114 (50.3%)

Total votes cast: 22,086

The detailed breakdowns of Glaswegian results in constituencies, regional voting by constituency and AV referendum results by constituency can be examined here.


  1. LPW

    Are the postal votes figures available in each constituency?

    I would like to see those, especially for the seats reoccupied by Jackie Baillie,Iain Gray and Johann Lamont as well as those vacated by Juan Kerr, etc, the other big beasts.

    I smell skullduggery.

  2. Oops,

    I forgot to say that should that be the case it would be the stake into the heart of the Parasitic Party.

  3. Lord Snooty,

    I'm unaware of any source of information on postal votes cast (though can confirm that I employed one!) In the absence of actual evidence of ill-doing, I am strongly disinclined to entertain general allegations of impropriety.

  4. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like one it probably is so.

    Let us collect the evidence first but I smell a rat or is it a duck?

  5. LS,

    Certain elements of a legal education die hard.

  6. There are those who smell and dig and those who cook the truffles. We all enjoy them.

  7. Good morning, Mr Worrier. Firstly, I'm (almost) as pleased as you are about your party's triumph, and look forward to joining you on the stump, on the soapbox, in the blogosphere or in the cold-calling booths when the referendum comes around. Well done. Secondly, however, I thought I would probe you further on an issue we discussed a while ago and on which I'm not sure I've had an entirely satisfactory reply: SNP penal policy, specifically the question of automatic early release from prison (which we can now safely assume will continue).

    I can accept the idea that, prisons being what they are, minor offenders are better dealt with elsewhere — the efficacy of the alternatives of community sentences and restorative justice seems an open question, but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt. I can see that people who behave badly are often likely to behave more badly after a short spell in prison (perversely, therefore, I might have to change my mind if prisons ever manage to do a better job of rehabilitating offenders and bringing down the recidivism rates). So, I'm tentatively supportive of the presumption against short prison sentences.

    However... I'm still struggling to understand the logic behind automatic early release of people serving longer sentences for serious and violent offences. I assume we can at least agree that the status quo, for whatever reason, isn't working: neither rehabilitating offenders nor protecting the public. Ideally, the latter would follow from the former. But can you explain to me why it is humane or wise automatically to release unreformed violent offenders, say, halfway through their sentences, rather than keep them inside for the alloted duration? Assuming (logically, looking at the reoffending rates) that a great many of those released will soon go on to commit further crimes and violence against the public, why is it desirable to release them automatically, rather than as a reward for good behaviour? Presumably, they are either (a) capable of rational and reasonable behaviour, in which case they will respond to such an incentive and mend their ways, or (b) not capable of it, in which case why are we prioritising their interests (if indeed liberty, rather than treatment and restraint, can be said to be in their interest) above the interests of everyone else in society? This seems a solution to the problem of bulging prisons and creaking budgets, but not a solution to the rather greater (and rather more expensive) problem of crime.

    Are these points reasonable, or am I missing something entirely? Your insightful clarifications would be most welcome.

    On another specific point, Ken Clarke's policy of payment by results seems an idea worth exploring (the payment being to those running the prison, the result being a reduced reoffending rate) though I don't know whether the targets are particularly ambitious. Do you have a view on the policy and its likely effectiveness?

    Finally, just for fun, I'd be quite tickled by your thoughts on this point of view, which seems the opposite of yours... http://www.city-journal.org/2011/eon0106hm.html

    Your pal,

    P. Z.

  8. As far as postal vote are concerned, this would be an odd election if the opposition didn't cheat with them.

    The potal vote system needs changed to be made more strict.

    Speaking of that, the Ian Gray seat is just not believable.

    He won by 151 votes.

    Apparently some 200 votes went missing.

    Something stinketh in the dodgy East Lothian.

  9. Thee should be a long posting about sentencing law on the way, but I received a series of bizarre messages suggesting I should re-set my password, so it may vanish.

  10. natha


  11. Apologies for your technical trouble the_voice_of_reason - I fear your comment has indeed been consumed in the digital ether.

  12. Philosophical Zombie,

    Many thanks for that fulsome question. I'll have to give it a little thought. Shall revert!

  13. My second attempt was also eaten. The answer to Philosophical_zombie's question is, to my mind, fairly clear though not wholly straightforward, but your comment function will not allow me to answer in detail. Suffice to say there is no such thing as wholly unconditional release in terms of the Prisoners and Criminal Proceedings (Scotland) Act 1993 as introduced by Michael Forsyth, but the different provisions cannot be sumarised in the number of words I seem to be allowed

  14. How annoying — it allowed me plenty (too many!) of words. I look forward to both or either of your replies, gremlins permitting. VoR: if you still have no luck then feel free to try leaving it as a comment on my blog, linked to in my name above. Thanks for your brief summary: as a non-legalist I hope you'll forgive me, in the absence of very little useful background information on these matters in mainstream media discussions or from mainstream politicians, for badgering those who know more about it than I do.

  15. The great blogger plague inhibited a rather fat answer I had worked up, Philosophical Zombie. However, given its chubbiness, it may be worth deferring to a future blog. I should add that the SNP manifesto did commit the party to looking again at automatic early release, in the overall context of the Scottish Prison Commission's report, which is worth reading on the subject in any case. Hardly an example of vigorous position-taking, but at least puts to the question the assumption that automatic early release will continue under the new SNP majority.