Election Prediction Project
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British General Election
Tweeddale, Ettrick and Lauderdale

Current Prediction:
Election Profile:

Candidates:
Labour Party:
Keith T. Geddes
Conservative Party:
Andrew P. Brocklehurst
Liberal Democratic Party:
Michael K. Moore
Scottish Nationalist Party:
Richard Thomson
Scottish Socialist Party:
Norman Lockhart

Incumbent:
Michael Moore

97 Result:
Keith Geddes
10,68927.4%
Alister Jack
8,62322.1%
Michael Moore
12,17831.2%
Ian Goldie
667117.10%
Total Vote Count / Turnout
39,00176.64%

92 Result: (Redistributed)
6,53816.4%
12,21830.7%
13,95335.0%
6,83517.2%
Total Vote Count / Turnout
39,82079.3%

Demographic Profile:

Employment:
Unemployed7.8%

Household SEG:
I - Professional4.6%
II - Managerial/Technical28.7%
III - Skilled (non-manual)23.6%
IIIM - Skilled (manual)20.5%
IV - Partly Skilled14.6%
V - Unskilled6.4%

Misc:
Own Residence59.9%
Rent Residence40.0%
Submissions
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02/05/01 JR Email:
This is one of the most long-standing Liberal Democrat seats, having first been won by the 27-year old David Steel in a 1965 byelection. Steel made a big impact - in 1967 he introduced the Private Members' Bill which legalised abortion, and was leader of the Liberal Party from 1976 to 1988 (he is now Speaker of the Scottish Parliament). The LibDems cannot be complacent here though. Steel's majority had been dwindling at successive elections before he stood down in 1997, and new candidate Michael Moore won by just 1500. The LibDems have more than history on their side here though. The opposition is very divided, and in each of the last three elections a different party has finished second (the Tories in 1992, Labour in 1997, and the SNP in the 1999 Scottish Parliament election).
03/05/01 NG Email:
Now, I'm sticking my neck out slightly on this one and saying that it will be a narrow Lib Dem hold. It is one of the most marginal seats in Scotland and over the last couple of elections has seen the parties yo-yoing around a bit! In 1997, the Lib Dems led with Labour in 2nd, in 1999, the Lib Dems led again in both votes with the SNP in 2nd, in the 1999 Euros, the Tories led (but only by about 2%). The Lib Dems don't appear to be in a strong position but I think it's pretty likely they will hold out. Despite only having 31% of the vote in 1997, the Lib Dems actually managed to increase this in 1999 (and even led in both votes) and even in the rather disatrous (for the Lib Dems at least) 1999 Euros, the Lib Dems were less than 3% behind! It's going to be a tight victory (and fairly hollow one perhaps on 30-ish %) but the one thing the last couple of elections seem to have shown is that the opposition is heavily divided and the Lib Dems (who have effectively held this seat since the 1965 by-election win from the Tories - who were in opposition at the time!) will almost certainly hang on in a tight four-cornered contest.
17/05/01 LP Email:
Tweeddale, Ettrick and Lauderdale is Sir David Steel's old seat, but now also encompasses the town of Penicuik. It is the most marginal seat in Scotland I am lead to believe. I am quite confident in putting a bet on that it will go Labour from the Lib Dems. Why? I'm from the consituency. In the last election, the Lib Dems sent out the message that if Labour voters voted Lib Dem, they would keep the Conservative out. The Conservatives finished a poor third and the SNP a dreadful fourth. Labour jumped from third to just miss out on the seat. I have been told that Penicuik unexpectedly, and because of the Lib Dem leafletting went Lib Dem. Had the town not been in the constituency, the seat would have gone Labour. With the Conservatives not even a close third, I predict that Labour voters who voted tactically in the last election to keep the Conservative out will turn back to Labour and hence Labour would win the seat.
27/05/01 DS Email:
Almost of all the Liberal Democrat campaign in this seat leading up to the 1997 vote included appeals to Labour supporters to vote tactically for them because otherwise the Tory might win. This was based on phony predictions showing a close fight between the LibDems and the Tories with Labour well behind. This was proved wrong when Labour came a very close second - not only did Moore have the smallest majority in Scotland he had the smallest share of the vote of any winning candidate in Britain. If just 1 in 20 of those who voted Lib Dem had been persuaded not to vote Labour because of the dishonest campaign by the Lib Dems then that is what made the difference in 1997. In 2001 Labour campaigners say they are finding many people who voted Lib Dem last time but who will vote Labour this time.
Opinion polls in Scotland show that both overall in Scotland and in the South of Scotland Labour support has increased or stayed steady since 1997 while LibDems have decreased. Most polls show more than the 1.9% swing needed for Labour's Keith Geddes to win this time.
Moore may claim to have built up personal support to help him hang on in 2001 but in 1997 the Lib Dems benefitted from the personal support for David Steel "his predecessor" (although that was for a different seat with the same name). Moore didn't even stand as a "Scottish Liberal Democrat" last time - his description on the ballot paper was "Liberal Democrat (supported by David Steel)". I don't think Moore will get as much support as Steel got.
28/05/01 Finn Pollard Email:
I am very suspicious of the Labour chorus here. It should be born in mind that the Lib Dems in seeking to hold the seat are building on their successful defence in the 1999 Scottish Elections. At that election the majority was increased to 4,478 with a comparatively unknown candidate, and Labour fell to 3rd place behind the SNP. In addition, Michael Moore has been working the constituency assiduously for the last four years and is now well known. Labour had their chances in 1997 and 1999, I cannot see them taking the seat this time.
23/05/01 Malcolm Dickson, lecturer in politics at Strathclyde University The Herald
Labour truly lifted
Indeed, three out of Scotland's top 10 marginal seats has Labour challenging in second place, and they are all held by the Liberal Democrats. If the regional pattern of support indicated by System Three were to be reproduced on polling day, then Labour would pick up all three - Tweeddale, Ettrick and Lauderdale; Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross; and, most significantly of all, Ross, Skye and Inverness West, the seat of LibDem leader Charles Kennedy.
03/06/01 Charly Beagrie Email:charly.beagrie@talk21.com
Labour will win TE&L. For forty years we have had junior opposition MPs, now we will be on the winning side. Like 1997, Labour has the best candidate by far and this time the Liberal lie(a Labour vote lets in the Tories) will not wash! In addition the sitting MP is never here, too busy being campaigns co-ordinator for Scotland. Also, his voting record in Westminster is abysmal:Moore either voted against or failed to turn up to vote for:-Working Families Tax Credit National Minimum Wage New Deal all of which benefit his constituents who are the lowest-paid in UK. Also, he voted against the ban on handguns post-Dunblane.
06/06/01 JL Email:
Do I detect special pleading by interested parties among the submissions? Surely the key indicator here must be the latest available on a reasonable turnout, that to the Scottish Parliament. Scottish public opinion polls are a useless indicator as to LibDem support in individual constituencies, as any pollster would agree. As to Penicuik, sure - it used to be a Labour town. This changed years ago, with the building of the big private estates round about. I have not been around the constituency this election, but I would be surprised if the influence of David Steel is not still a potent force.

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Last Updated 7 June 2001
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