Scottish Parliament forecast: the Glasgow region

The Scottish Parliament election is now less than a week away. In this series of posts, we’ll be describing the state of play in each region.

We start in Glasgow, where the SNP looks to clean up.

According to our forecasts on www.electionforecast.scot, the Scottish National Party look likely to win all nine constituency seats. In each seat, the SNP has the highest probability of winning – often by some considerable distance.

The constituency with the lowest probability of electing an SNP MSP is Glasgow Maryhill and Springburn, where the probability of an SNP win is “just” 58%. In contrast, in Glasgow Provan there is a 98% chance of the voters electing an SNP MSP, with Labour with the remaining one-in-fifty chance.

If the SNP were to win all these contests – as our forecasts predict – they would have increased their tally of constituency MSPs in the Glasgow region from five seats in the 2011 election to nine.

Success in constituency contests means the SNP can expect to win fewer list seats. In 2011 the SNP won two additional member seats; this year the probability that they will win more than one seat is just 22%.

Instead it is the Labour Party who look likely to do best out of the additional member seats. While the party could lose every constituency seat in the region, they may increase their share of the regions additional member seats from three in 2011 to four or five next Thursday. We are predicting there is a 77% chance that Labour will win at least four additional member seats in the Glasgow region and there is a 52% chance of them winning five.

Labour’s predicted increase share of additional member seats in the Glasgow means that while Johann Lamont is expected to lose her Glasgow Pollok seat to the SNP, she is still likely to be elected to the Scottish Parliament because she is second on Labour’s party list for the region. However, Patricia Ferguson fighting for Maryhill and Springburn, and Paul Martin fighting for the set of Glasgow Provan, are unlikely to be returned to parliament under the list system should they lose their constituency battles. Ferguson is 6th on the region’s party list, while Martin is 9th.

In 2011 the Conservative Party won just one seat in the Glasgow region, elected to an additional member seat. However, whether the Tories will be able to once again send an MSP representing Glasgow to Holyrood is touch and go. The chances of the Conservative party winning at least one additional member seat in Glasgow next week is 51%.

by Dan Falvey and Chris Hanretty

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