Free Trial

Real-time Actionable Insight

Get the latest on Central Bank Policy and FX & FI Markets to help inform both your strategic and tactical decision-making.

Free Access

SNP Expected To Hold Onto Seat In Today's Westminster By-Election


A Westminster by-election in the Airdrie and Shotts constituency in Scotland is unlikely to cause much of a political stir, with the separatist Scottish National Party (SNP) very likely to hold onto the seat. The result will not be know until later on Friday, with the vote count not beginning until tomorrow morning.

  • The by-election was caused by the resignation of sitting SNP MP Neil Gray, who ran for and was elected to the corresponding Airdrie and Shotts seat in the Scottish Parliament on 6 May. SNP rules prohibit an individual from sitting as an MP and MSP at the same time.
  • Up until 2015, the seat was safely held by the centre-left Labour Party, but since the SNP's breakthrough in that year's general election the separatist party has held the central Scottish seat in each vote since then.
Chart 1. Results in Airdrie and Shotts Elections Since 1997, % by Party

Source: North Lanarkshire Council, MNI

  • In the 2017 general election, the SNP only held on narrowly by a margin of 195 votes, making it one of the most marginal seats in the UK. However, this majority was expanded to 5,201 in the 2019 general election.
  • Following the SNP's relatively good performance in the Scottish Parliament election on 6 May (winning an additional seat but falling short of a majority), and the relatively poor performance of Labour (losing two seats), expectations are that the SNP will hold onto the Airdrie and Shotts seat relatively comfortably.
  • A particularly poor performance by Labour could heap some more pressure onto embattled national leader Sir Keir Starmer, who has had a torrid week following the local elections of 6 May, dealing with much internal criticism. A good result for Labour on the other hand is likely to be viewed in the light of the relative popularity of Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar, who despite the party's loss of support in last week's election, has faced little criticism for the result.

To read the full story

Why Subscribe to


MNI is the leading provider

of intelligence and analysis on the Global Fixed Income, Foreign Exchange and Energy markets. We use an innovative combination of real-time analysis, deep fundamental research and journalism to provide unique and actionable insights for traders and investors. Our "All signal, no noise" approach drives an intelligence service that is succinct and timely, which is highly regarded by our time constrained client base.

Our Head Office is in London with offices in Chicago, Washington and Beijing, as well as an on the ground presence in other major financial centres across the world.