Glasgow - Region Overview

As the name suggests, the Glasgow region covers Scotland’s largest city. It also extends somewhat beyond current city boundaries to take in the Rutherglen constituency, which lies in South Lanarkshire Council. Between the 1973 and 1994 Local Government (Scotland) Acts, Rutherglen and Cambuslang were part of the City of Glasgow District Council, so the region effectively maintains that old structure, and has done since creation in 1999.

Glasgow has long been an important economic hub for Scotland, dating to the early days of the British Empire. The opulent Merchant City still stands today as testament to the riches the Glaswegian elite accrued via involvement in the violently racist Slave Trade. Through the Industrial Revolution the city would grow massively, with the Clyde shipyards renowned the world over, and becoming one of the first European cities in the modern era to surpass a million residents.

Economic and social change continued to sweep the city after the war, as both slums and historic boulevards were swept away by motorways and many residents were moved to new suburbs or even out of the city into New Towns. Although suffering from the decimation of its industrial base late in the 20th Century, Glasgow went through something of a renaissance, which though it has not solved endemic poverty has helped transform the city from one reputed for gloom to a vibrant and diverse cultural centre. 

Throughout the democratic era, Labour grew to become the dominant political force in the city. The last Conservative seat in the city, Hillhead, was lost to the Lib Dem’s predecessor party the SDP in a 1982 by-election. Once Labour gained that seat from the SDP in 1987, no other party would win a seat at a Westminster General Election in Glasgow until 2015, and that was the political context the Scottish Parliament was born into.

Unsurprisingly, Labour won all 10 of the city’s constituencies at this first election. The list seats helped ensure the city’s natural political diversity was better represented however. Not only was there a clutch of SNP MSPs plus one from each of the Conservatives and Lib Dems, but the well-known and (then) popular Tommy Sheridan won a seat under the Scottish Socialist Party banner. PR had meant to make representation more diverse, but to elect an MSP from outside the four main parties? That was a surprise.


10 Labour (all Constituency)
4 SNP (all Regional)
1 Conservative (Regional)
1 SSP (Regional)
1 Liberal Democrat (Regional)

Labour kept their grip on the constituencies in 2003, but the Rainbow Parliament showed itself in Glasgow by replacing 2 SNP MSPs with a second SSP MSP, plus a Green.


10 Labour (all Constituency)
2 SNP (all Regional)
2 SSP (all Regional)
1 Conservative (Regional)
1 Liberal Democrat (Regional)
1 Green (Regional)

With the SSP having collapsed extremely dramatically in the 2003 session, 2007 saw the party lose both MSPs and Tommy Sheridan relatively narrowly fail to be re-elected under his new Solidarity banner. Those two seats went instead to the SNP, who also inflicted the first constituency defeat in the city on Labour as then-Depute Leader Nicola Sturgeon won the Glasgow Govan constituency.


9 Labour (all Constituency)
5 SNP (4 Regional, 1 Constituency)
1 Conservative (Regional)
1 Liberal Democrat (Regional)
1 Green (Regional)

As the SNP swept to a majority across Scotland, Glasgow was no different, as Labour lost their lead in the city for the first time in decades, at any election. Their success saw them win five of the now nine constituencies, most notably including a wafer-thin majority of just seven (7!) votes in Glasgow Anniesland. Nonetheless, both parties tied for seats overall after regional MSPs were distributed, whilst the Lib Dem collapse saw them lose their MSP.


7 SNP (5 Constituency, 2 Regional)
7 Labour (4 Constituency, 3 Regional)
1 Conservative (Regional)
1 Green (Regional)

As the SNP vote continued a trend of concentrating in the West Central Belt, at this election they made a clean sweep of all nine constituencies in the city. Labour’s vote dropped so severely they couldn’t make their losses back up on the list, whilst even in their weakest region the Conservatives put in a strong enough show to win two MSPs. Although they didn’t grow enough to win a second seat, the Greens inflicted a further defeat on Labour by pushing the party into third in the Glasgow Kelvin constituency.


9 SNP (all Constituency)
4 Labour (all Regional)
2 Conservative (all Regional)
1 Green (Regional)

Given the strength of the SNP vote at the moment, it’s vanishingly unlikely that Labour will regain any of the constituencies. Though they face a decidedly uphill struggle in the current context, the Greens have the best shot at a non-SNP constituency victory, if they can do their best Caroline Lucas and claim Glasgow Kelvin from the SNP.

The real battleground is therefore likely to be the list seats. Labour are likely to lose one of theirs, whilst the Conservative success in 2016 wasn’t quite to the level that their second seat is secure. As an extremely strong region for the SNP, this is one they could be in line for list seats even with a clean constituency sweep. The Greens will also be looking to improve on the last election and could pick up a second MSP on a good day.

Glasgow - Overall Regional Results

Total MSPs Elected 2016


9 SNP (all Constituency)
4 Labour (all Regional)
2 Conservative (all Regional)
1 Green (Regional)

Regional List MSPs Elected 2016


#1: Labour - Anas Sarwar
#2: Labour - Johann Lamont
#3: Conservative - Adam Tomkins
#4: Green - Patrick Harvie
#5: Labour - James Kelly
#6: Labour - Pauline McNeill
#7: Conservative - Annie Wells

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Regional List Candidates 2021

Glasgow Anniesland

Constituency MSP Elected 2016, Majority and Turnout


SNP: Bill Kidd
Majority: 6153 (21.2%)
Turnout: 50.4%

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Constituency Candidates 2021

TBC

Glasgow Cathcart

Constituency MSP Elected 2016, Majority and Turnout


SNP: James Dornan
Majority: 9390 (30.6%)
Turnout: 50.5%

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Constituency Candidates 2021

TBC

Glasgow Kelvin

Constituency MSP Elected 2016, Majority and Turnout


SNP: Sandra White
Majority: 4048 (14.2%)
Turnout: 45.8%

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Constituency Candidates 2021

TBC

Glasgow Maryhill and Springburn

Constituency MSP Elected 2016, Majority and Turnout


SNP: Bob Doris
Majority: 4602 (23.7%)
Turnout: 44.3%

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Constituency Candidates 2021

TBC

Glasgow Pollok

Constituency MSP Elected 2016, Majority and Turnout


SNP: Humza Yousaf
Majority: 6482 (23.2%)
Turnout: 45.7%

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Constituency Candidates 2021

TBC

Glasgow Provan

Constituency MSP Elected 2016, Majority and Turnout


SNP: Ivan McKee
Majority: 4783 (19.9%)
Turnout: 43.1%

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Constituency Candidates 2021

TBC

Glasgow Shettleston

Constituency MSP Elected 2016, Majority and Turnout


SNP: John Mason
Majority: 7323 (28.9%)
Turnout: 43.9%

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Constituency Candidates 2021

TBC

Glasgow Southside

Constituency MSP Elected 2016, Majority and Turnout


SNP: Nicola Sturgeon
Majority: 9593 (38.5%)
Turnout: 48.2%

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Constituency Candidates 2021

TBC

Rutherglen

Constituency MSP Elected 2016, Majority and Turnout


SNP: Clare Haughey
Majority: 3743 (11.4%)
Turnout: 54.5%

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Constituency Candidates 2021

TBC