This region ranges from Dumbarton, where the Faslane nuclear base is situated, to Eastwood, which includes the highest value properties in Scotland outside Edinburgh.
IN DEPTH ANALYSIS
New faces will definitely be elected in Cunninghame South where Ruth Maguire is looking to hold on to the seat for the SNP, Renfrewshire South where Labour’s Hugh Henry has been succeeded by Councillor Paul O’Kane – fighting against the SNP tide in the person of Tom Arthur, and also in Strathkelvin and Bearsden where Labour’s Margaret McCarthy is unlikely to unseat Fiona McLeod’s SNP successor, Rona Mackay.
CURRENT CONSTITUENCY MSPs
Clydebank and Milngavie - Gil Paterson SNP
Cunninghame North - Kenneth Gibson SNP
Cunninghame South - Margaret Burgess SNP (standing down)
Dumbarton - Jackie Baillie LAB
Eastwood - Ken MacIntosh LAB
Greenock and Inverclyde - Duncan McNeil LAB (standing down)
Paisley - George Adam SNP
Renfrewshire North and West - Derek MacKay SNP
Renfrewshire South - Hugh Henry LAB (standing down)
Strathkelvin and Bearsden - Fiona McLeod SNP (standing down)
CONSTITUENCIES TO WATCH
Eastwood will perhaps be the most interesting of the West Scotland constituencies to watch on election night. Previously a Conservative / Labour marginal (since a young Jim Murphy took the seat from the Conservatives in 1997), the rise of the SNP sees it become one of the few three-way marginals in this election. Jackson Carlaw is looking to unseat Labour’s Ken Macintosh who won the seat by only 2000 votes last time. The SNP’s Stewart Maxwell is hoping to leapfrog from third place in 2011 to the winners podium this year. Word on the ground is that the Tories might just retake this seat.
Also under threat is Jackie Baillie in Dumbarton, though she is first placed on Labour’s list so will be back at Holyrood regardless. Her staunch support of the Faslane workers may help her defend her 1,639 majority against local SNP councillor Gail Robertson.
CURRENT REGIONAL LIST SEAT ALLOCATION
REGIONAL LIST WATCH
If the SNP dominate the constituency seats as they are predicted to they are very unlikely to win any of the Regional seats unless they win an exceptional number of list votes (ten times as many as the smallest party in fact). What will be interesting is whether the Greens can take more than one seat, and if the Liberal Democrats can stage a come-back.
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