1979 United Kingdom general election in Scotland
These are the results of the 1979 United Kingdom general election in Scotland. The election was held on Thursday 3 May 1979 and all 71 seats in Scotland were contested.
This article relies largely or entirely on a single source. (April 2021)
All 71 Scottish seats to the House of Commons
Results of the 1979 election in Scotland
The 1979 Scottish devolution referendum, held on 1 March, had resulted a majority of those voting casting their votes in favour of the creation of a Scottish Assembly, but the rules of the referendum required at least 40% of the total electorate supporting the proposal, a total which was not reached. The minority Labour government, knowing that many of its own MPs would rebel if they pressed on with the legislation to create the Assembly, refused demands form the SNP and Plaid Cymru to do so. On 28 March, the SNP joined the Conservatives, Liberals and others in supporting a motion of no confidence in the Government which passed by one vote, forcing a general election. After the election, Anthony Finlay wrote in The Glasgow Hearld that the SNP's support for the motion of no confidence "seemed an odd move at the time", but was based on the notion that Scottish electors would be so outraged at devolution not being enacted, despite winning the support of 52% who voted, that they would turn to the SNP in protest. As Finlay noted, the SNP's stance was to prove a "fundamental error of judgement". At an election rally in Glasgow at the start of the campaign, Callaghan attacked the SNP's role in joining with the Conservatives to bring his Government down. He described them as "turkeys voting for Christmas" and urged his Scottish supporters to "carve them up in the polling booths."
|Party||Name||Constituency||Office held whilst in Parliament||Year elected||Defeated by||Party|
|SNP||Douglas Henderson||East Aberdeenshire||SNP Spokesman for Employment and Industry||1974||Albert McQuarrie||Conservative|
|Andrew Welsh||South Angus||SNP Spokesperson for Housing||1974||Peter Fraser||Conservative|
|Iain MacCormick||Argyllshire||1974||John Mackay||Conservative|
|Hamish Watt||Banffshire||1974||David Myles||Conservative|
|Margaret Ewing||East Dunbartonshire||1974||Norman Hogg||Labour|
|George Thompson||Galloway||1974||Ian Lang||Conservative|
|Winnie Ewing||Moray and Nairn||SNP Spokesperson for External Affairs and EEC||1974||Alex Pollock||Conservative|
|Douglas Crawford||Perth and East Perthshire||1974||Bill Walker||Conservative|
|George Reid||Clackmannan and East Stirlingshire||1974||Martin O'Neill||Labour|
|Conservative||Teddy Taylor||Glasgow Cathcart||Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland (1976-1979)||1964||John Maxton||Labour|
|SLP||Jim Sillars||South Ayrshire||Leader of the Scottish Labour Party (1976–1979)||1970||George Foulkes||Labour|
Of the 11 SNP MPs elected at the previous election, seven were defeated by Conservatives and two by Labour candidates. The two survivoring SNP MPs were Gordon Wilson in Dundee East and Donald Stewart in the Western Isles. Wilson's survival was attributed by Anthony Finlay as being due to Labour's choice of Jimmy Reid as their candidate to oppose him. Labour also gained Glasgow Cathcart from the Conservative's Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland Teddy Taylor.Jim Sillars, a former Labour MP who had led the breakaway Scottish Labour Party lost his South Ayrshire seat to Labour's George Foulkes.
- "Commons results report" (PDF).
- George Clark (1979). "The nation's choice a Conservative woman Prime Minister". The Times Guide to the House of Commons 1979. London: Times Books Ltd. p. 26. ISBN 0 7230 0225 8.
- Finlay, Anthony (5 May 1979). "Tale of brave soldiers who brought down their own castle". The Glasgow Herald. p. 4. Retrieved 20 June 2021.
- George Clark (1979). "The nation's choice a Conservative woman Prime Minister". The Times Guide to the House of Commons 1979. London: Times Books Ltd. pp. 27–28. ISBN 0 7230 0225 8.
- Elected as a Labour MP
- The Times Guide to the House of Commons 1979. London: Times Books Ltd. 1979. pp. 272–273. ISBN 0 7230 0225 8.
- The Times Guide to the House of Commons 1979. London: Times Books Ltd. 1979. pp. 39 & 273. ISBN 0 7230 0225 8.