1992 United Kingdom general election in Scotland

These are the results of the 1992 United Kingdom general election in Scotland. The election was held on 9 April 1992 and all 72 seats in Scotland were contested. Two Scottish seats changed parties during the election; Aberdeen South and Kincardine and Deeside. Both seats were gained by the Conservatives. Kincardine and Deeside had been lost by the Conservatives to the Liberal Democrats in the last by-election of the parliament.[1]

1992 United Kingdom general election

 1987 9 April 1992 1997 

All 72 Scottish seats to the House of Commons
Turnout75.5%, 0.4%
  First party Second party
Leader Neil Kinnock John Major
Party Labour Conservative
Leader since 2 October 1983 28 November 1990
Seats before 50 10
Seats won 49 11
Seat change 1 1
Popular vote 1,142,911 751,950
Percentage 39.0% 25.6%
Swing 3.4% 1.6%

  Third party Fourth party
Leader Paddy Ashdown Alex Salmond
Party Liberal Democrats SNP
Leader since 16 July 1988 22 September 1990
Seats before 9 3
Seats won 9 3
Seat change
Popular vote 383,856 629,564
Percentage 13.1% 21.5%
Swing 6.1% 7.4%

Results of the 1992 election in Scotland

The results of the 1992 election were largely unexpected, and nowhere more-so than in Scotland. Conservative results in Scottish local elections since the 1987 election had been largely poor, and the Conservatives had sunk as low as 15% in a March 1990 opinion poll by the Herald. Polling throughout the campaign had suggested little movement towards the Conservatives, and instead support for Scottish independence appeared to be rising. Local polls in individual constituencies had even suggested that the Secretary of State for Scotland Ian Lang would lose his seat of Galloway and Upper Nithsdale to the SNP and that Under-Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Forsyth would lose Stirling to Labour.[1]

Most surprising was the difference between the Scottish results and the wider UK results. The tendency had historically been for larger swings to Labour in Scotland where there was a national swing to Labour. In 1992 the wider swing in the UK was from the Conservatives to Labour, yet Scotland saw a swing from Labour to the Conservatives.[1] This was the last election until 2017 in which the Conservatives were the second largest party in Scotland (in the election held 25 years later, the Scottish Conservatives were the beneficiaries of a much larger swing against the trend elsewhere in the UK).


List of MPs for constituencies in Scotland (1992–1997)


Party Seats Seats
Votes  %  %
Labour 49 1 1,142,911 39.0 3.4
Conservative 11 1 751,950 25.6 1.6
Liberal Democrats 9 383,856 13.1 6.1
SNP 3 629,564 21.5 7.4
Other 0 23,417 0.8 0.5
Turnout 2,931,698 75.5 0.4

Votes summary

Popular vote
Liberal Democrats
Parliament seats
Liberal Democrats


  1. Bochel, John; Denver, David (1 November 1992). "The 1992 general election in Scotland". Scottish Affairs. 1 (First Series) (1): 14–26. doi:10.3366/scot.1992.0005. hdl:1842/9159 via Edinburgh University Press Journals.