Every day until the election, James Kelly of ScotGoesPop is profiling Scotland ’s UK Parliament constituencies


Winner in 2017: Chris Law (SNP)

The two Dundee constituencies act like political twins these days – one is the safest SNP seat in percentage terms, the other is the third-safest. It would be just as unthinkable for Dundee West to fall to a Unionist party as it would be for Dundee East. But it certainly wasn’t always like that.

In the period between 1974 and 1987 when Dundee East was an SNP fortress, the neighbouring constituency remained stubbornly in Labour hands. Indeed, by 1983 the SNP had slumped to fourth place in Dundee West, and at that point the two halves of the future Yes City couldn’t have looked more different from each other. What finally brought the seats into harmony in 2015 was the same political realignment that occurred throughout Labour’s former heartlands.

People who had loyally voted Labour all their lives, but who had also become committed Yes supporters during the indyref, started to realise that the two parts of their political identity were in direct conflict. For the most part, they resolved that conflict by ditching Labour and not their support for independence.

READ MORE: General Election analysis: Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross

Given the unusually high Yes vote in the city, Dundee West changed overnight from being safe Labour territory to a complete lost cause for the party. Even after a large swing against the SNP in 2017, Labour remain 14 percentage points behind in the constituency, which means on a uniform trend they would need to be slightly ahead of the SNP across Scotland before they’d make the gain. To put that in perspective, the Panelbase poll at the weekend actually gave the SNP a gigantic national lead over Labour of 20 points.

And the other parties? The Conservatives managed only half as many votes as Labour in Dundee West two years ago and the LibDems barely troubled the scorer. There is simply no credible threat to the SNP’s Chris Law from anywhere at all. His re-election for a third successive term is virtually assured.