burgh constituency
for the Scottish Parliament
Rutherglen shown within the Glasgow electoral region and the region shown within Scotland
Population77,568 (2019)[1]
Current constituency
PartyScottish National Party
MSPClare Haughey
Council areaSouth Lanarkshire

Rutherglen is a constituency of the Scottish Parliament (Holyrood). It elects one Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) by the plurality (first past the post) method of election. Also, it is one of nine constituencies in the Glasgow electoral region, which elects seven additional members, in addition to the nine constituency MSPs, to produce a form of proportional representation for the region as a whole.

Originally called Glasgow Rutherglen, in 2011 the boundaries were redrawn and the new constituency renamed simply Rutherglen.

Electoral region

See also: Glasgow (Scottish Parliament electoral region)

The other eight constituencies of the Glasgow region are Glasgow Anniesland, Glasgow Cathcart, Glasgow Kelvin, Glasgow Maryhill and Springburn, Glasgow Pollok, Glasgow Provan, Glasgow Shettleston and Glasgow Southside.

The region covers the Glasgow City council area and a north-western portion of the South Lanarkshire council area.[2]

Constituency boundaries and council areas

The redrawn seat of Rutherglen consists of the following electoral wards:

Constituency profile

BBC profile for 2016 election:[3]

Rutherglen was once a burgh - the oldest in Scotland - until local government reorganisation in 1975, and lies to the south east of Glasgow city centre. The name Rutherglen is said to come from Gaelic for "reddish glen" after the red clay found here.

At its northern border it blends into Glasgow's suburbs, though the town has always striven to maintain a distinct identity from Glasgow, which it predates by 500 years. The seat includes not only Rutherglen itself but also the town of Cambuslang, Burnside and the housing scheme at Fernhill, as well as Blantyre, all of which lie within the local government control of South Lanarkshire. Steel and pottery have been major industries in the past, but both have been in decline.

Janis Hughes won the seat for the Labour Party in the 1999 and 2003 elections. James Kelly then held the seat in 2007 and 2011.

Member of the Scottish Parliament

Election Member Party
2011 James Kelly Labour
2016 Clare Haughey SNP

Election results

2021 Scottish Parliament election: Rutherglen[4][4]
Party Candidate Constituency Regional
Votes % ±% Votes % ±%
SNP Clare Haughey[a] 20,249 50.5 Increase 4.3 16,970 42.3 Decrease0.8
Labour Co-op James Kelly[b][c] 15,083 37.6 Increase 2.8 11,005 27.4 Decrease1.0
Conservative Lynne Nailon 3,663 9.1 Decrease 2.2 5,903 14.7 Increase1.8
Green 2,883 7.2 Increase2.5
Liberal Democrats Sheila Thomson 1,112 2.8 Decrease 4.9 1,011 2.5 Decrease1.6
Alba 710 1.8 N/A
All for Unity 356 0.9 N/A
Independent Green Voice 273 0.7 N/A
Libertarian 222 0.6 N/A
Scottish Family 204 0.5 N/A
Reform UK 104 0.3 N/A
Abolish the Scottish Parliament 95 0.2 N/A
Freedom Alliance 88 0.2 N/A
Women's Equality 74 0.2 Decrease0.4
Communist 61 0.2 N/A
TUSC 59 0.1 N/A
UKIP 52 0.1 Decrease2.1
Independent Craig Ross 35 0.1 N/A
SDP 17 0.0 N/A
Reclaim 14 0.0 N/A
Independent Daniel Donaldson 10 0.0 N/A
Renew 8 0.0 N/A
Majority 5,166 12.9 Increase1.5
Turnout 40,107 63.2 Increase8.9 40,154 63.3
SNP hold Swing Increase3.6
  1. ^ Incumbent member for this constituency
  2. ^ Kelly stood on a joint ticket on behalf of Scottish Labour and the Scottish Co-operative Party. The regional list vote was for Scottish Labour only.
  3. ^ Incumbent member on the party list, or for another constituency


2016 Scottish Parliament election: Rutherglen[5][6]
Party Candidate Constituency Regional
Votes % ±% Votes % ±%
SNP Clare Haughey 15,222 46.2 Increase6.7 14,256 43.1
Labour Co-op James Kelly[a][b] 11,479 34.8 Decrease11.3 9,372 28.4
Conservative Taylor Muir 3,718 11.3 Increase3.6 4,269 12.9
Liberal Democrats Robert Brown 2,533 7.7 Increase3.3 1,351 4.1
Green 1,555 4.7
UKIP 719 2.2
Solidarity 405 1.2
A Better Britain – Unionist Party 336 1.0
Animal Welfare 213 0.6
RISE 202 0.6
Women's Equality 188 0.6
Scottish Christian 161 0.5
Independent Andrew McCullagh 29 0.1
Majority 3,743 11.4 N/A
Valid Votes 32,952 33,056
Invalid Votes
Turnout 32,952 54.3 Increase6.6 33,056 54.5
SNP gain from Labour Co-op Swing Increase9.0
  1. ^ Kelly stood on a joint ticket on behalf of Scottish Labour and the Scottish Co-operative Party. The regional list vote was for Scottish Labour only.
  2. ^ Incumbent member for this constituency
2011 Scottish Parliament election: Rutherglen
Party Candidate Constituency Regional
Votes % ±% Votes % ±%
Labour Co-op James Kelly[a][b] 12,489 46.1 N/A N/A
SNP James McGuigan 10,710 39.5 N/A N/A
Conservative Martyn McIntyre 2,096 7.7 N/A N/A
Liberal Democrats Lisa Strachan 1,194 4.4 N/A N/A
Independent Caroline Johnstone 633 2.3 N/A
Green N/A
Respect N/A
All-Scotland Pensioners Party N/A
Socialist Labour N/A
Scottish Socialist N/A
Scottish Christian N/A
Pirate N/A
Scottish Unionist N/A
Independent Caroline Johnstone N/A
Scottish Homeland Party N/A
Majority 1,779 6.6 N/A
Valid Votes 27,122
Invalid Votes
Turnout 27,122 47.7 N/A
Labour Co-op win (new seat)
  1. ^ Kelly stood on a joint ticket on behalf of Scottish Labour and the Scottish Co-operative Party. The regional list vote is for Scottish Labour only.
  2. ^ Incumbent member for the Glasgow Rutherglen constituency


  1. ^ Scottish Parliamentary Constituency (SPC) Population Estimates (2011 Data Zone based), National Records of Scotland; retrieved 6 May 2021 (accompanying summary notes)
  2. ^ Boundary changes create new Rutherglen seat, but area remains in Glasgow region, Daily Record, 2 June 2010
  3. ^ "Rutherglen - Scottish Parliament constituency". BBC News. 2016.
  4. ^ a b Council, South Lanarkshire. "South Lanarkshire Council online information | Council and government | Elections".
  5. ^ "Elections".
  6. ^ "Rutherglen Constituency Election Region Results". 5 May 2016.