Winner in 2016: Gil Paterson (SNP)

TO state that Clydebank & Milngavie is a mixed constituency is almost a redundant observation – the clue is in the name.

Leafy Milngavie is another part of Jo Swinson’s former Westminster seat of East Dunbartonshire, but there are precious few LibDem voters to be found in Clydebank, which contains some of the most deprived areas of Scotland.

Unsurprisingly, then, there has been no opportunity for budding tactical voters in Milngavie to use the LibDems as a stick with which to beat either Labour or the SNP.

The LibDem vote in the constituency has typically been even lower than in Strathkelvin & Bearsden and has never exceeded the 12.5% recorded in the inaugural Holyrood election in 1999.

Over the two decades of devolution, the seat has followed a pattern that is reasonably typical for working-class west-central Scotland, with Labour winning easily in 1999 and 2003, the SNP getting a bit closer in 2007 before narrowly making the gain in 2011 and then a huge gap opening up in the SNP’s favour in 2016.

However, the East Dunbartonshire section of the constituency has made its presence felt too in the shape of respectable vote shares for the Tories, who finished third in the last three elections and peaked at 18.4% when Maurice Golden was their candidate. Golden became an MSP anyway thanks to the list ballot.

With a relatively modest 5% gap between Labour in second place and the Tories in third, it’s conceivable that the two parties could swap over this time. Labour still enjoyed a slight advantage over the Tories in the national constituency vote in 2016 and the majority of recent polls suggest that is no longer the case.

But that small side-battle will probably be the only real point of interest in the constituency in May.

New SNP candidate Marie McNair, a West Dunbartonshire councillor who was selected to replace veteran MSP Gil Paterson, has inherited a majority of more than 8000 votes, and it looks very unlikely that she’ll be seriously threatened by any of the Unionist parties.