That Astonishing Tory Ferguslie Park Super Triumph 176

A Google news search returns 5,240 results for “Ferguslie Park” over the last 24 hours. As compared to 0 mentions in the previous 24 hours.

The media have, with an incredible level of unanimity, seized upon a Tory being elected to represent Ferguslie Park, “the most deprived area of Scotland”, as the leading evidence of a Tory resurgence into areas of Scotland “they could not previously venture into”. I have heard this recounted on every available broadcast platform this evening.

I have two bits of news for the unionist media. Firstly, Ferguslie Park is in Paisley. Most of you think it is in Glasgow. Secondly there is no ward called Ferguslie Park. There is a place called Ferguslie Park, and it is less than half of a ward called Paisley Northwest. Now here is the result of that stunning Tory super-victory amazing spectacular miraculous shocking earth-shattering mould-breaking Tory triumph in Paisley Northwest.

My, how the ground shook. In future years, everybody will recall just exactly where they were at the moment the Conservatives polled 13% in Paisley North West, when that vast uprising of 657 voters swept their candidate to victory on the 10th set of transfers into the fourth available slot in a multi-member constituency.

Now, this will come as a shock to some people. Paisley North West is not a dreadful slum, and contains some distinctly prosperous areas. Much of the ward looks like this.

Here are some statistics for the entire ward.

65% of households in Paisley North West are owner occupied
67% of the population of Paisley North West are employed, self employed or full time students
5.1% of the population of Paisley North West are unemployed
23% of the population of Paisley North West are pensioners
4.9% are housewives/husbands/carers or not in the labour force

In a local election poll with a low turnout, there is a disproportionately high turnout from pensioners and from the wealthier districts. Very few indeed of those measly 657 Tory votes came from the Ferguslie Park estate.

The real story is that in a ward with 65% owner-occupiers and 67% economically active, the Tories could still only manage a measly 13% of the vote. That the large majority of £350,000 owner occupiers do not vote Tory. The real story is that the SNP took 44% to the Tories 13%. But no, the march of Ruth’s 13%ers has apparently changed the course of history. As Tom Robinson once sang, “It’s there in the papers, must be the truth”.

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176 thoughts on “That Astonishing Tory Ferguslie Park Super Triumph

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  • Russ

    Seems like ‘vote till you boak’ was not the best tactic in that ward then?

    • craig Post author

      Just the opposite Russ, if all the SNP voters had used all of their latter preferences for non-Tories, the Tory would not have been elected. It was the minority of SNP voters who voted nothing but SNP in this instance who let the Tory in.

      • Russ

        You could be right mate, I’d have to see the full count breakdown to see if there’s any pattern.

        • Russ

          But looking at that it appears that the quota would have been around 1250 so not a lot of excess votes from SNP voters to be floating around. I’d suggest it looks more likely that the Tory picked up lower preference votes from Lab and the other parties.

          • craig Post author

            The quota is more like 1,000. For STV you divide not by the number of posts, but by the number of posts plus 1, then add a single vote.

            I grant you that still leaves few SNP excess votes to distribute, but the margin by which the Tory squeaked in was tiny.

          • Dominic

            If they used Droop then it’s 998. floor(4989/(seats+1))+1

            I said this earlier but I think is worth repeating…

            I would hazard an educated guess that the vote required to win a seat was – floor(4989/(seats+1))+1 = 998.
            Round 1. Kenny (SNP) wins a seat and 305 votes got distributed to his voters 2nd choices.
            Round 2. Mags (SNP) wins a seat having received at least 187 of the transferred votes.

            – Speculation. If Mags got all the transferred votes and all her supporters next preference was Sandra (SSP) then in the next round Sandra would have 160+ votes and Jack (LD) would probably be the candidate with the lowest vote. It’s possible – but highly unlikely so I think it’s a fairly safe bet that…

            Round 3. Sandra (SSP) gets eliminated and her 42+ votes get transferred to her voters next available choices (not Kenny or Mags)

            After that… is wild speculation as Sandra’s votes could have gone to anyone or been discarded if a ballot had no next preference.

      • Valerie

        Exactly what I thought when I heard the result. They didn’t rank them all right down. Down to lack of engagement so they were informed enough how to vote to keep Tories out. They will be as shocked as us. I also heard they had changed the boundaries, and places like Craw Road are full of old people. Castlehead is well to do in Paisley terms, which is why Tories put up a candidate.

    • Fraser

      This is wrong. The whole idea of “vote until you boke” was to place the tories in last place. If this system failed, then SNP members didn’t put the candidate in last place as they should have! It’s those who either didn’t put them last, or left all remaining boxes blank that gave the tory candidate a helping hand.

      • Muscleguy

        I didn’t put the Tories last (we had two standing, both elected), I put the Kipper last. My wife and I tried to keep the deeply anal and annoying LibDem from getting back in after he was booted out last time but we failed.

        A reporter for the Courier in the Dundee Liveblog tried to pretend that Broughty Ferry returning a Tory to Dundee council was part of the surge before there were any results published for this ward. We ALWAYS send at least one Tory, ALWAYS the first to be elected. Every other election we send another one. It waxes and wanes.

        Such is life. We had a Green and a TUSC person here too for the first time. Yes is no longer monolithically SNP. Neither was elected. Both the Holyrood and WM seats encompassing this ward are solidly SNP held. Stuart Hosie in Westminster has the safest seat in Scotland, 38.6% majority (majority note, not vote share).

        We are the wealthiest part of Dundee with a lot of well to do elderly folk. Who come out for local elections and a lot of them vote Tory.

  • David

    That seems a proportionally high amount of rejected ballot papers, would be interesting to see if that percentage held up nationally..

  • Al Dossary

    And if the SNP voters in unison had voted SNP 1,2 Green 3 presumably that would have seen the Greens elected?

    SNP head office really need to do some serious thinking about their tactics this time around. They allowed the Tories to Ulsterise this election and ultimately failed in every one of their goals for council control.

    I am still trying to fathom out how North Lanarkshire could even contemplate electing a Tory – let alone 10 of the bastards.

    The county of Ravenscraig steelworks, the Clyde Alloy, Gartcosh and Dalziel finishing mills, Clydesdale and Imperial tube works. Plus a myriad of supporting industries.

    All gone in my lifetime, their memory cast aside by personal greed and a misguided belief that Lizzie the German and Phil the Greek actually give a Shit about their chappy little bigoted lives.

    • Duncan

      Not necessarily because the greens could have been eliminated before any SNP votes were transfered to them by being the lowest number of votes. But your vote would have continued down the line and could have affected some candidate other than the Tory.

  • Stuart Dickson

    Thanks Craig. We Paisley Buddies can hold our heads up high. Fantastic result yesterday throughout Renfrewshire, with the SNP ousting Labour as the largest party: SNP 19 seats (+4), Lab 13 seats (-9), Con 8 seats (+7), Ind 2 seats (+1), LD 1 seat (n/c). Renfrewshire is not some poverty-stricken black hole: the majority of households have a good standard of living. And the pockets of dire poverty are the result of decades of Unionist neglect.

    • Nicola Salmond

      And what is the reason that “the majority of households have a good standard of living”? Decades of unionist neglect?

      • Muscleguy

        That support suggests a lot of the people give credit for that to the SNP who have after all been in government in Scotland for 10 years now.

        You might think that a government in power for that long might suffer in the polls as voters tire of them, but they keep increasing their vote share.

        But your username suggests you are blind to such realities and think all SNP voters are blind cybernats.

        Unionists try to pretend our NHS in Scotland is on its knees yet people who use it find it works pretty well. They watch the TV news which are filled with stories about the NHS in England and Wales and they think ‘why isn’t it like that here?’ and they know the answer.

        So long as you continue to make the mistake that the SNP’s support is all about independence and there is no route to independence support through good governance, increasing people’s confidence that a Scottish government can run a country then Unionism will continue to languish in the polls.

        Neither Kezia or Ruth make a credible First Minister and neither can command anything like enough support to achieve that office.

        Glasgow is going to have a Yes majority council to reflect how the city voted in Sept 2014.

        Suck it up.

  • T cross

    Thank you. We need rationality the morning after. The Tories are the party of the Union and played that game over a declining hopeless and hapless labour

  • Sandra Bennett

    We all know Ruth Davidson tells porkies always talking down SNP and talking up the Tory Party, even the Media believes her hype but there again we have a woman that would rather support a Unionist Government of Austerity and downright neglect of the UK than support her own Country, tell me again why she’s sitting in the Scottish Parliament and running about like a scalded cat.

  • Kerch'ee Kerch'ee Coup

    Around 26% of votes cast in South Korea’s two- day window forpre-election voting across the country and at airports , regardless of constituency polling stations. In some areas 36+. Mamy of these votes might well not have been used in normal voting procedures. Certtainly this innovation bears study.

    • Muscleguy

      In New Zealand for a long time you have been able to cast a special vote in any constituency for your home constituency. So you don’t need a postal vote unless you are overseas and even then you can vote in the Embassies and High Commission.

      My first ever vote, while away in first year at university. A long line formed in front of the poor person manning the special vote section. They had a big book of ballots from everywhere else in the country and would hand write you a ballot. I expect they print you one now.

      In tight races a result may have to wait for special votes to be delivered and counted.

      Oh and elections and referenda are always on a Saturday. Makes it easier to vote and you don’t have to close the schools to use them as polling stations.

  • Dave

    As a supporter of the Woodrow Wilson liberal creed, at the time, of self-determination of nations, I am not in principle against Scottish independence, and if it was on offer, it would be interesting to know how many Scots supported it, but as a British Unionist I’m in practice against it because I support the idea of a Britain and Ireland independence that means we have a Union big enough to be independent and serve the combined interests of its members. Whereas an EU is a Union too far that undermines the interests of its members particularly due to the Euro.

    For this reason I welcome the success of the Conservative candidate, because it strengthens the Union outside the EU, and the lesson for Labour, which its now learnt, is you need proportional representation to ensure the survival of the Labour Party and to knock out the Conservative Westminster majority.

    Therefore when Labour announces its manifesto support for PR it should point to the conservative candidates success as reason for the public and the conservatives to support it and turn Tory triumphalism to their advantage.

    Finally the MSM coverage is designed to defeat Labour at all costs, as it was previously used against BNP, UKIP and defence of the deep state. And its so blatant its embarrassing, but considering the failure of the Jo Cox event to halt Brexit, their anti-Corbyn narrative may flounder too, in the long run.

    • Muscleguy

      Right, so Scotland can’t be Independent because rUK is too small to make a success of Brexit? We have to stay in an abusive relationship so it can stagger on pretending to world it is all happy families.

      That is what you are proposing.

      Well then you should have been working to stop the abusive relationship. When you vote in England do you consider Scotland’s interests? Or do you just continue as usual thinking what is good for England (meaning the SE and the Establishment) is good for the rest of the country?

      Last time Salmond proposed that after Independence we should form development banks in the big Northern English cities and use some of our oil money to improve the economy in Northern England. It is not in Scotland’s interest to be bordered by a depressed area. It means our goods and services have to travel further before finding a market in England and there will be fewer people within an easy drive who might want to shop in Scotland.

      If Britain is so wonderful how come the North, the SW, Wales are so economically depressed while the SE booms and sucks up ever more of the national wealth?

      You are like the abusive spouse who insists the abused partner must stay for ‘the sake of the family’.

      Not all families are worth saving. We voted by a huge margin to remain in the Union you denigrate. A much bigger margin, very much bigger than that by which we voted No in Sept 2014.

      The Union hangs on a shoogly peg and it is because of the Union itself. The Union no longer works to the benefit of all. Northern Ireland works and is peaceful because there was a peace dividend of prosperity and free movement in the whole of Ireland. Brexit threatens that. This was flagged during the Brexit campaign, as was the prospect of a Brexit vote causing a second IndyRef and endangering the Union.

      Yet you voted Brexit regardless, thinking only of England, which you think is the same as Britain. To you Britain is a sort of Greater England. Well Scotland dissents from that as does Northern Ireland. Wales is conflicted because they are heavily Settled by the English.

      • Muscleguy

        Shorter Muscleguy: Scotland does not exist to save England from itself. England will have to learn to save itself. Without us.

  • David Royle

    Thanks Craig for giving perspective to the hype. We should be worrying about the 70 per cent non-voters and the damage FPTP does in wasting votes

    • Muscleguy

      1. The lowest turnout I saw was 38% and most were in the mid to high 40s.

      2. Here in Scotland we use STV for local elections, not FPTP.

      We could certainly do with getting the turnouts up, but we are not as bad as in England.

  • Dave

    That said, following comments above. I can see the merits of a list system rather than STV system, as its seems STV encourages you to vote for parties you don’t support!

    • Muscleguy

      No it doesn’t. You rank the parties you wish to elect as well as those you do not want to elect.

      Our ward had 4 members, so only numbers 1 to 4 were positive votes, the rest were negative votes. My wife and I both ranked Labour above the LibDem (at 5 and 6 on my ballot) to try and stop the LibDem getting elected without going so far as to rank him below the Tories or the Kipper. He is annoying prat who used to represent us. We got rid of him last time. We failed and he is back but the point is we could use the full rankings to try and influence who DOESN’T get elected.

      That Tory who got elected in Paisley NW likely did so because not enough SNP voters used the full range of their votes for which the SNP are to blame. They told people to just vote SNP 1 and 2. Belatedly they suggested people might put the Green at 3. If they had pushed the Vote Till You Boak meme the Tory would not have been elected. They had to go to round 10 to do so which means he was vulnerable to negative voting. If more SNP voters had ranked more parties and put the Tory last someone less objectionable would have been elected.

      Here we had both a Green and a TUSC person in our ward as well as two SNP so I was able to positively vote for Yes candidates with all my positive votes. In other wards only 3 members are elected meaning they have only 3 positive votes. Such is life.

  • Sharp Ears

    Good to have the lies exposed. How many more?

    Our mother told my brothers and me not to tell lies.

    The new director of BBC Scotland is Donalda McKinnon (who replaced McQuarrie) controlling 1450 staff in the glitzy £188m HQ. North Korea has nothing on the BBC,

    In 2009, that is 8 years ago, she was:
    ‘The second-highest earner in Scotland is Donalda MacKinnon, the head of BBC Scotland’s programmes and services, whose salary is between £130,000 and £160,000.’

    How many Scottish shillings now Donalda?

  • Rob Royston

    Figi, that brings back memories. Back in the sixties I lived in a youth hostel in Paisley when I was an apprentice living away from home. There were over twenty of us and quite a few were police cadets. Probably because of this we were always being hired to stand in police Identity Parades, mostly on Sundays but sometimes during the week as well. We got paid two shillings and sixpence which I remember would buy you a fish supper in Pirriottes excellent chip shop, so there was never a shortage of guys available. In fact, the police used to select us based on our heights, hair colour etc. to try and get a balance in the line-up.
    There was one miscreant from Figi who was a one man crime wave, still in his teens he was in the line-ups every second week if he was not already in jail. I’ve never forgotten his name as he was so notorious in the area. On one line-up he was there because he had allegedly attacked someone with an axe in the railway station.
    The last time I saw or heard of him he was up for stealing a woman’s bag by pulling it from her in the street. When we lined up a policeman brought in the woman as the first witness and explained the procedure to her, if she identified anyone she was to let the policeman know and he would then accompany her while she put her hand on the persons shoulder.
    When the lady walked down the line and looked at our hero, I’m not sure if he smirked or whatever but the next thing he was sent reeling by the hardest slap across the face that you could imagine. I’ve always wondered if it brought him to his senses as I have never seen his name in the newspaper court proceedings again.

  • Brian McHugh

    Just posted this on Wings:

    Just checked Glasgow Calton (Ward 9), where the BBC were salivating over a Tory seat gained…
    Total (1st Pref) votes:
    SNP 2590 (1389 + 690 + 511)
    Lab 1524 (922 + 602)
    Tory 627
    Green 491
    NoRef 150
    Lib Dem 102
    TOTAL 5484
    SNP elected round 1 (1389)
    Lab elected round 6 (922)
    SNP elected round 6 (690)
    Tory elected round 9 (627)
    Total 1st pref Indy votes: 3081 (56.2%)
    Total 1st pref Un’ist votes: 2403 (43.8%)
    The Tory got elected on 11.4% of first preference votes… hardly the breakthrough that the BBC and MSM were trying to portray.

  • David

    Craig – just a quick note to say “thank you” for the high quality of the anti-propaganda work you do. You and Stuart Campbell are providing an invaluable service. I hope history will recognise the significant contribution your blogs made to Scotland achieving Independence.

  • Catriona

    A good clear analyse on this how do we get this out there to counter the rubbish The STV system is not understood by voters and ignored by the media

  • Duncan

    Same applies to Shettleston. Tory only beat the 2nd Labour candidate by 164 votes. If vote til you boak was used here all the way down, snp votes would have transferred to the 2nd Labour candidate and could have stopped the Tory getting in.

  • Eilidh

    Thanks for this info, I live in Wales now and was searching for the facts on the intranet because I knew there must be affluent housing in this ward to affect this result. I also wanted to know how many votes he actually received, it’s as I suspected, a lot of hype about nothing, but scary how effective the Tory media circus is, it’s all were hearing about down here.
    Come on the SNP at the general election, wish I could vote!
    I’m actually in a very well paid job now , living in an affluent area but I will never forget what the Tories did to the mining industry and thousands of hard working people.

  • Hmmm

    Craig-or anyone with brains- can you do the same with the mayoral votes in England? I had a quick look and it seems that Greens 2nd preference was straight to red… what the LD’s do?

  • Hmmm

    Anyhow, if anyone votes tory they’re clearly deprived -deprived of brain cells!

  • Fraser O

    Excellent analysis based on fact, unlike the crass inanity shouted out by BBC Scotland. It really is time the BBC stopped trying to broadcast at the level of the Sun or Express.

    • Muscleguy

      They do it because they use the papers to set their editorial line, giving most weight to the most highly selling papers. This is due to the Andrew Gilligan Affair which caused the Corporation to have a failure of nerve over their news editorial line. The solution was to offload that on the papers.

      This more than anything else has led them astray. The problem is far more people buy the Sun for the Sport and the ‘Slebs than for the politics and actual news. Same with the Daily Record here in Scotland. Countless people buy it only for the Fitba and never read the rest of the paper. Many of them now vote SNP/Yes.

      The Record is wobbling, it MIGHT come out for Yes. What will BBC Scotland do then?

  • Andy Lyall

    Very well broken down. Thanks for doing this. Some very healthy perspective. It’s just a damnable pity that the headlines are already written and, as you and TR said, must be the truth…

      • Muscleguy

        Sectarianism is on the decline here in Scotland. Also a great many people in Scotland have been shifting their voting Alliances. Labour’s vote share dropped again. The lion’s share went to the Tories, but some of it increased the SNP’s vote share and the Green’s too.

        SLAB would say the problem is that people are not tribal enough any more. Their voters are deserting them in droves. Those natural Tories who were Labour because this was Scotland have gone home and the No Surrender Orange working class vote has gone there too. Hardly evidence of tribalism. All is in flux. Independence AND Brexit are both rippling through the polity and intersecting with ordinary politics.

        The attitudes and assumptions of the past no longer hold and those who do not adapt will die.

        The SNP will now recalibrate and the fight is no longer with the Scottish Branch office of Labour but with the Conservative and Unionist Party. SNP strategists are confident this is a fight they can win. Polling shows that only a maximum of 30% of people in Scotland are of the Tory/Hard core Unionist persuasion. The votes of those in between the SNP and there are up for grabs and will not happily vote Tory, yet. We must not assume the future.

        Certainly I am rethinking my strategy when we return to campaigning for Yes in IndyRef2. For a start I am not going to mention Europe unless the voter raises the issue themselves. Then I will point out that the degree of sovereignty we cede to Westminster is very much bigger than that we cede to Brussels. So for control coming back a Yes vote gives you more bang for your buck than Brexit does. Especially when the Tories are now saying that they will hold onto returning Farming and Fisheries powers. So there will be no Brexit dividend in powers for Holyrood.

  • Andrew Still

    So the Tories got 13% of the vote, I don’t see the turnout% but can assume it was less than 40% being a council election. So at most, 5% of the population have got out to vote Tory. And that’s in spite of all the lies and a blatantly biased media. This is a Tory victory?

  • John D Monkey

    Only slightly off topic, I recommend the fantastic album “Ferguslie Park” by Paisley’s finest, Steelers Wheel. The track “Over my head” still gives me goosebumps.

  • Anon1

    Labour pounded like a dockside hooker.

    Tories +558
    Labour -320

    And if you thought that was funny, we get to do it all again in a month’s time. 🙂

    • Hmmm

      You’ve no idea, have you? Most of us here don’t give a shit about Labour. As long as Corbyn remains leader we’ll have a proper debate. We have had a Tory government since I was 9. So labour losing elections is no big deal. I hope you are genuine when you said you joined for 3 quid to keep Corbyn as leader. I’d like to thank you for that. We finally have choice in the elections. Hopefully people will start to see the damage tories actually do to the economy year after year. Then, with a real alternative, we can have a decent government at last.

          • Anon1

            That’s not going to get Jeremy into Number 10, dear. That’s a healthy Tory majority.

          • Hmmm

            As I said in the first post I don’t give a flying. You’ve contributed to bringing the centre ground back to the left. That is a start. People, tory voters even, like the idea of nationalising the railways. Wouldn’t be discussed without JC.
            Alternatively we could just voted for which version of the tories we prefer, or in my case never vote. But seeing as tories always bang on about competition you’d have thought they’d be delighted.

  • Allison Murray

    Your research is superb, Craig, and a veritable beacon in the darkness of misleading BBC reporting! Many thanks.

  • Gerard Rochford

    Thank you Craig for the truth. The media cannot be trusted with it.

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