The National: Yes election 2021 banner image

Winner in 2016: Bob Doris (SNP)

ALTHOUGH the 2011 Holyrood election and the 2015 Westminster election were both SNP landslides, they were different in character.

In 2015 the post-indyref effect kicked in and Labour’s heartlands fell almost entirely to the SNP, but in 2011 Labour were still competitive in many areas, especially Glasgow. The SNP took five of the nine seats in the city’s electoral region, but had to settle for second place in the other four.

Glasgow Maryhill & Springburn fell into the latter category – Labour’s Patricia Ferguson clung on by a margin of 6.3%. She inevitably relinquished the seat in 2016 as her party’s national vote fell through the floor, but nevertheless it must be tempting for Labour activists to believe that this is one of the Glasgow seats they can realistically target if they can just fight their way back.

The snag is that Labour’s 2011 constituency vote share of 31.7%, which seemed catastrophic at the time, is light-years ahead of their recent poll ratings, which have been in the high teens or low 20s. And even if some unexpected factor triggers a rapid comeback between now and polling day, it’s no longer even clear that the Maryhill & Springburn seat would be particularly ripe for the taking.

There was an enormous swing of more than 15% to the SNP’s Bob Doris in 2016, which was significantly bigger than in two of the other three Glasgow seats that changed hands that year, and means that on a uniform swing Labour would now have to more or less draw level with the SNP nationally before they could expect to recapture the constituency.

Such an outcome would appear to be in the realms of fantasy. This ought to be a very routine SNP hold.