Ross, Skye and Lochaber

The winner in 2010 was Charles Kennedy (Lib Dem). The votes cast for the four main parties were as follows:

PartyVotes
SNP5263
Labour5265
Lib Dem18335
Conservative4260

The 2011 Holyrood election was conducted using different constituencies, but we can calculate the equivalent Westminster result. We can do something similar for the independence referendum result, mapping the Yes votes to SNP votes and the No votes to Labour, LD and Conservative votes according to their distribution at the last UK election. If we do this, the results were as follows:

Party20112014
SNP1495621292
Labour43354522
Lib Dem960315748
Conservative29043659

The latest opinion poll by YouGov (8th-9th April) gave Labour 25%, the SNP 49%, the Tories 18% and the Lib Dems 4%. If we apply the swing implied by these figures to the 2010 results for this constituency, we get:

PartyVotes
SNP15401
Labour0
Lib Dem13144
Conservative4713

Lord Ashcroft conducted some constituency polls earlier this year which seemed to show that the swing to the SNP was 4% greater in Labour-held seats (and as a consequence smaller in seats held by the Tories and the Lib Dems.) The 2010 winner in this seat was the Lib Dems, so we should apply a smaller swing. If we do this, we get:

PartyVotes
SNP14007
Labour736
Lib Dem13144
Conservative4713

Finally, another opinion poll has shown that voters will to some extent vote tactically in seats where there is a clear opponent to the SNP. This seat was won by the Lib Dems in 2010, and this party is still the SNP's main opponent if we apply uniform swing. We should therefore expect tactical voting:

PartyVotes
SNP14583
Labour257
Lib Dem16158
Conservative1602

This prediction is the best we can do at the moment. This blog therefore predicts the constituency of Ross, Skye and Lochaber will be won by the Lib Dem candidate.

The size of the predicted majority is so small, however, that SNP activists should by no means give up – this seat is very much winnable!

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