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

Winner in 2017: David Linden (SNP)

ONE of the oddities of recent Glasgow politics is that the city voted in a much more uniform way in the independence referendum than it did in the EU referendum. The eight Glasgow constituencies in the Scottish Parliament all returned Yes votes in 2014 of between 51% and 57%. Contrast that with the Westminster constituency of Glasgow East producing a Leave vote of 44%, twice as high as the 22% recorded in Glasgow North, and well above the 28% and 29% in Glasgow South and Glasgow Central respectively. That disparity may go some way towards explaining why Glasgow East was one of the seats in which the SNP unexpectedly got into a spot of bother in the 2017 election. It’s not so much that people there were voting Labour as an endorsement of Brexit, but rather that there may have been fewer people voting SNP as an endorsement of Remain than was the case in constituencies like Glasgow Central.

A bumper swing of 12% to Labour left Glasgow East as an ultra-marginal, with the SNP’s David Linden clinging on by 75 votes. That means he’ll be staring down the barrel this time if there is even the tiniest further swing to Labour. But as in all the other SNP-Labour marginals, the threat appears on the face of it to have evaporated, because opinion polls point to a substantial swing in the opposite direction. On the other hand, YouGov’s projection for the constituency suggests that the SNP have only a 7% advantage – lower than in any other seat in the city, including even Glasgow North-East which is currently held by Labour. Could the Brexit effect be making this unusually tough territory for the SNP once again?

Linden will be hoping for a quieter election night than he had two years ago. But if YouGov are right, his safety margin is limited, and any sort of late swing back to Labour could subject both him and us to yet another nail-biter.