The Liberal Democrats can win East Dunbartonshire
The new East Dunbartonshire constituency is a key battleground for the next General Election. The Liberal Democrats are targeting the seat to win. With a swing of just 3.1% required for local Lib Dem campaigner Jo Swinson to capture the seat, Labour are already worried. The Conservatives and SNP can’t win the seat. It is clear that the choice at the General Election in East Dunbartonshire is between a Labour MP and strong local campaigner Jo Swinson.
Jo Swinson – the local choice
Milngavie woman Jo Swinson is the local choice in East Dunbartonshire. Her opponent, the Labour MP, dos not live in the constituency. The SNP and Conservatives have shown they are not serious about winning the seat – the SNP candidate lives in Glasgow while the Conservative candidate lives in London.
Jo Swinson, a former Douglas Academy pupil, lives in Milngavie and is a well known local campaigner. She has supported the campaign to Save Stobhill Hospital and is leading the campaign to Save Bishopbriggs Post Office.
The notional results from 2001 show that East Dunbartonshire is a two horse race between the Lib Dems and Labour. Labour are just 2601 votes ahead of the Lib Dems.
2001 Notional Result
- 13,792 Labour
- 11,191 Liberal Democrat
- 9,290 Conservative
- 6,099 SNP
- 1,066 SSP
Labour under pressure in East Dunbartonshire
The number of Scottish MPs is being reduced from 72 to 59. As a result, the Scottish constituency boundaries have been redrawn. This creates the new seat of East Dunbartonshire out of large parts of Strathkelvin & Bearsden and the Milngavie part of Clydebank & Milngavie.
The new East Dunbartonshire constituency includes Milngavie, Bearsden, Torrance, Bishopbriggs, Lenzie and part of Kirkintilloch. Of the 19 wards in the seat, 12 are currently held by Lib Dems, with 4 Labour and 3 Conservative.
Locally Labour are in trouble. At the 2003 Scottish Parliament elections Labour lost the formerly safe constituency of Strathkelvin & Bearsden to Independent candidate Jean Turner. Recently two of the nine Labour Councillors in East Dunbartonshire Council area broke away from the main Labour group. Now Labour are under pressure from the Lib Dem challenge to take the Westminster seat. The Labour MP said “The Lib Dems are a threat.” (Milngavie & Bearsden Herald 23.07.2004