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1997 United Kingdom general election

← 1992 1 May 1997 2001 →

All 72 Scottish seats to the House of Commons
Turnout71.3%, Decrease4.2%
  First party Second party
 
Tony Blair in 2002.jpg
ASHDOWN Paddy.jpg
Leader Tony Blair Paddy Ashdown
Party Labour Liberal Democrats
Leader since 21 July 1994 16 July 1988
Seats before 49 9
Seats won 56 10
Seat change Increase7 Increase1
Popular vote 1,283,350 365,362
Percentage 45.6% 13.0%
Swing Increase6.6% Decrease0.1%

  Third party Fourth party
 
Alex Salmond, First Minister of Scotland (cropped).jpg
Prime Minister John Major (cropped).jpg
Leader Alex Salmond John Major
Party SNP Conservative
Leader since 22 September 1990 4 July 1995[n 1]
Seats before 3 11
Seats won 6 0
Seat change Increase3 Decrease11
Popular vote 621,550 493,059
Percentage 22.1% 17.5%
Swing Increase0.6% Decrease8.2%

United Kingdom General Election 1997 in Scotland.svg
Results of the 1997 election in Scotland

These are the results of the 1997 United Kingdom general election in Scotland. The election was held on 1 May 1997 and all 72 seats in Scotland were contested. This would be the last UK general election to be contested in Scotland before the Scottish Parliament was re-established on 1 July 1999 following overwhelming public approval in a referendum.

MPs

List of MPs for constituencies in Scotland (1997–2001)

Top target seats of the main parties

Labour targets

Rank Constituency Winning party 1992 Swing to gain Labour's place 1992 Result
1 Ayr Conservative 0.1 2nd Lab Gain
2 Inverness, Nairn and Lochaber Liberal Democrats 0.45 2nd Lab Gain
3 Stirling Conservative 0.75 2nd Lab Gain
4 Aberdeen South Conservative 1.85 2nd Lab Gain
5 Edinburgh Pentlands Conservative 4.8 2nd Lab Gain

SNP targets

Rank Constituency Winning party 1992 Swing to gain SNP's place 1992 Result
1 Inverness, Nairn and Lochaber Liberal Democrats 0.65 3rd Lab Gain
2 Perth Conservative 2.1 2nd SNP Gain
3 Galloway and Upper Nithsdale Conservative 2.75 2nd SNP Gain
4 North Tayside Conservative 4.6 2nd SNP Gain

Conservative targets

Rank Constituency Winning party 1992 Swing to gain Con place 1992 Result
1 Gordon Liberal Democrats 0.2 2nd LD hold
2 Angus East SNP 1 2nd SNP hold
3 Inverness, Nairn and Lochaber Liberal Democrats 1.7 4th Lab Gain
4 West Renfrewshire Labour 1.85 2nd Lab hold
5 Edinburgh Central Labour 2.7 2nd Lab hold
6 Moray SNP 3.1 2nd SNP hold
7 Strathkelvin and Bearsden Labour 3.1 2nd Lab hold
8 Cunninghame North Labour 3.45 2nd Lab hold
9 Argyll and Bute Liberal Democrats 3.6 2nd LD hold
10 North East Fife Liberal Democrats 3.95 2nd LD hold
11 Tweeddale, Ettrick and Lauderdale Liberal Democrats 4.1 2nd LD hold
12 Banff and Buchan SNP 4.45 2nd SNP hold
13 Edinburgh South Labour 4.7 2nd Lab hold

Liberal Democrat targets

Rank Constituency Winning party 1992 Swing to gain LD's place 1992 Result
1 Edinburgh West Conservative 0.6 2nd LD Gain
2 West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine Conservative 4.3 2nd LD Gain

Results

Below is a table summarising the results of the 1997 general election in Scotland.[2]

Party Seats Seats
change
Votes % %
change
Labour 56 Increase7 1,283,350 45.6 Increase6.6
SNP 6 Increase3 621,550 22.1 Increase0.6
Liberal Democrats 10 Increase1 365,362 13.0 Decrease0.1
Conservative 0 Decrease11 493,059 17.5 Decrease8.2
Referendum 0 New 26,726 0.95 New
Scottish Socialist 0 New 9,740 0.35 New
ProLife Alliance 0 5,750 0.25
Independent 0 2,162 0.08
Natural Law 0 1,979 0.07
Socialist Labour 0 1,945 0.07
Green 0 1,721 0.06
UKIP 0 1,585 0.06
Independent Labour 0 812 0.03
BNP 0 651 0.02
Liberal 0 650 0.02
Socialist (GB) 0 315 0.01
Workers Revolutionary 0 80 0.00
Turnout 2,816,748 71.3 Decrease4.2

Votes summary

Popular vote
Labour
45.56%
SNP
22.06%
Conservative
17.50%
Liberal Democrats
12.97%
Other
1.91%
Parliament seats
Labour
77.78%
Liberal Democrats
13.89%
SNP
8.33%

Outcome

The election saw the Conservatives lose every seat that they held in Scotland, although the party were third in terms of vote share (winning 17.5% of votes cast in Scotland). By contrast the Liberal Democrats won 13% of votes cast, but won ten seats, a net gain of one on the previous election. The SNP finished second in terms of vote share with 22%, but only won six seats. Labour won 45.6% of the vote and 56 seats, a net gain of seven on 1992. The defeated Conservative included three cabinet ministers. The Secretary of State for Scotland, Michael Forsyth lost his seat in Stirling to Labour, while the Foreign Secretary Malcolm Rifkind also lost his Edinburgh Pentlands constituency to Labour. Meanwhile Ian Lang, President of the Board of Trade, lost Galloway and Upper Nithsdale to the SNP.[3]

Notes

  1. ^ Conservative party leader John Major resigned as Leader of the Conservative Party on 22 June 1995 to face critics in his party and government, and was reelected as Leader on 4 July 1995. Prior to his resignation he had held the post of Leader of the Conservative Party since 28 November 1990.[1]

References

  1. ^ "1995: Major wins Conservative leadership". BBC News. 4 July 1995.
  2. ^ "Election 2001 | Results | Scotland". BBC News. 14 August 2001. Retrieved 3 November 2011.
  3. ^ Gillian Bowditch (1997). "Future of the Union:Scotland. Tory Silence in the Glens". The Times Guide to the House of Commons 1997. London: Times Books. pp. 39–40. ISBN 0-7230-0956-2.