Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale & Tweeddale
Scotland’s lone Conservative MP David Mundell will be fighting to hold on to his seat. If he loses and the Tories fail to gain any other seat north of the Border the result will be deeply symbolic and could leave the country without a single Tory representative in the Commons. Mundell, who is also the Scottish Secretary, regained the seat in 2015 with a slim majority of just 798 votes over the SNP’s Emma Harper, elected to the Scottish Parliament last year.
Labour was third behind Mundell in May 2015, with Ukip fourth and the LibDems fifth while the Scottish Greens came sixth with 839 votes.
Labour’s Ian Murray became the “last man standing” of Scottish Labour when the party lost 40 of its 41 seats in the May 2015 General Election. A critic of Jeremy Corbyn, he stood down as shadow Scottish secretary during the parliamentary coup against the UK leader which followed the EU referendum.
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Murray held on to his seat in 2015, beating the SNP’s Neil Hay by 2637 votes with the Conservatives coming in third.
In an election dominated by the themes of Brexit and the prospect of a second independence referendum Murray will be vulnerable.
In one of the many surprises of the 2015 General Election, the SNP’s Kirsten Oswald beat the then Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy by 23,013 to 19,295 votes. The Tories came third with 12,465 seats.
Jackson Carlaw took the roughly parallel Holyrood seat of Eastwood for the Tories at last year’s Scottish Parliament elections, and the Tories will be campaigning hard to win it in June.
The SNP took this seat off Labour’s Margaret Curran in 2015 with a 30 per cent swing, giving them a majority of 10,387. However, their winning candidate Natalie McGarry has been charged with with several alleged offences, including embezzlement of funds, breach of trust and an offence under the Scottish Independence Referendum Act 2013.
The Crown Office are still considering the case.
McGarry will not be the SNP’s candidate in June. A few names have come forward. Ex-North Lanarkshire councillor Rosa Zambonini, activist and assistant to Alison Thewliss, and David Linden have put themselves forward. The National understands other potential names being discussed are Yes Bar owner Suzanne McLaughlin and Duncan Ross, who lost out to McGarry at the last selection by a handful of votes.
Michelle Thomson has also taken leave from the SNP. She too has been reported to Scottish prosecutors after a police investigation into alleged mortgage fraud. Christopher Hales, who is being investigated by Police Scotland, was struck off by the Scottish Solicitors’ Discipline Tribunal in 2014 in connection with several transactions carried out by a property company in which Thomson was a partner from 2010 to 2011. The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service say the report remains under consideration.
Orkney and Shetland
Alistair Carmichael, the only sitting MP to be found guilty of lying to his constituents, is to ask those same voters to trust him this time and give him their support.
He repeatedly lied about the leak of a civil service memo meant to damage Nicola Sturgeon’s credibility during the last election campaign. He only told the truth after winning by just 817 votes. The resulting court case cost the MP £150,000.
Yesterday, as the dust settled on Theresa May’s surprise announcement he was one of the key faces, appearing on radio and TV, asking voters to choose the LibDems.
Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk
The SNP’s Calum Kerr has the smallest majority in Scotland. There were just 328 votes between him and Tory candidate John Lamont.
This has long been fighting ground between the Liberals and the Tories. Even in their wildest dreams the SNP didn’t expect to win here in 2015.
Kerr, a local boy whose dad was the headmaster at Peebles High School, is standing again. He will have the fight of his life.