Following Jeff’s lead, I’ve taken a more recent poll (the STV poll published 28 March) for my figures for West Scotland.  This means using regional figures of: Lab – 35%, SNP – 35%, Con – 14%, LD – 8% and Green – 5%.  Using these figures rather than the previous ones makes little or no difference to the outcome (the order of seats distributed through the D’Hondt formula is slightly different using these figures).  And apart from the individuals elected (and the fact the region has 10 constituencies rather than the 9 it previously had) there is no difference to the region’s political make-up.  Here’s the analysis:

Clydebank & Milngavie – This is, I think, relatively straightforward.  Notional majority of over 3,000. Lab hold (Des McNulty – returning)

Cunninghame North – The tightest of marginals in 2007 (48 votes won it for Kenny Gibson, with over 1,000 spoilt ballots).  There was talk of a legal challenge from Allan Wilson which, if the overall result hadn’t been so close, might have materialised.  Nevertheless, Kenny Gibson is a tireless campaigner and the legal chat has likely put some folk off Allan Wilson.  Plus the polls are turning the SNP’s way a little (as evidenced by the numbers above).  Likely to still be tight, but I think Kenny Gibson will sneak home… maybe.  If he doesn’t – its a net loss for the Lib Dems, as the SNP should get another list seat out of it – meaning Ross Finnie would lose out. Suppose that’s a tactical tip for Lib Dems – if you want a list seat, make sure the SNP pick up this constituency! SNP hold (Kenny Gibson – returning)

Cunninghame South – Again, notional majority of over 2,000. Lab hold (Irene Oldfather – returning)

Dumbarton – Last time around Jackie Baillie’s majority was slashed from over 6,000 to 1,600.  May be worth watching out for, and I think the SNP might get closer – but this seat stays red, comfortably I think.  Unless the trends towards the SNP continue… Lab hold (Jackie Baillie – returning)

Eastwood – This is a close one, and a straight fight between popular incumbent Ken Macintosh and list MSP (and heir apparent to the Scottish Conservative  leadership!) Jackson Carlaw.  The boundary changes make this notionally Conservative, but the polls have the Tories slightly down on 2007 while Labour are up on their 2007 mark.  That suggests they’ll hang on here, just as well for Ken Macintosh, since he doesn’t appear on the Labour West of Scotland list. Lab (notional) GAIN (Ken Macintosh – returning) UPDATE – I’m likely wrong here – see below.

Greenock & Inverclyde – Notional majority of over 4,000.  Its a tough ask for the SNP, and probably means that current regional MSP Stuart McMillan doesn’t return to Holyrood, since he’s number 6 on the SNP list.  Looks relatively comfortable. Lab hold (Duncan McNeill – returning)

Paisley – This will be interesting – what impact will Wendy Alexander standing down have?  There is a notional majority of 3,800 on the go here, so Labour have a bit to play with – but how much of that was a personal vote for Wendy? It probably won’t matter that much. Lab hold (Evan Williams – new face)

Renfrewshire North & West – What we have here is a genuine 3-way fight!  Labour’s incumbent, Trish Godman, is retiring so in her place the party are standing Stuart Clark against Scottish Conservative Annabel Goldie and the SNP’s (by all accounts, popular) leader of Renfrewshire Council Derek MacKay.  Last time around there was 0.5% between second and third – with neither the Tories nor the SNP managing to paint themselves as the “only” challenger to Labour – and Labour held a majority of 2,000.  This time though, Labour are without an incumbent – how much of a difference will that make?  It might… and given the high profile of both challengers, this is definitely a seat to watch. However, current polling suggests it will be a Lab hold (Stuart Clark – new face). But not by much.

Renfrewshire South – This has become safe as houses – and Hugh Henry had to win a hard selection battle to get the nod for Labour here.  With boundary changes – including  a large chunk of the former Eastwood seat – it was a good selection contest to win. Lab hold (Hugh Henry – returning)

Strathkelvin & Bearsden – Labour won this seat back from Dr Jean Turner in 2007 and now have a notional majority of 3,500.  Looks likely to stay red. Lab hold (David Whitton – returning)

On the constituencies (with no change from 2007) that would make it:

Labour – 9
SNP – 1

Onto the list, and as detailed above, I’ve used the STV poll figures instead of the previous figures we were using (this is more up to date).  Though, as I mentioned before – it doesn’t make any difference overall.

Seat 1: SNP (Stuart Maxwell – returning)
Seat 2: Conservative (Annabel Goldie – returning)
Seat 3: SNP (Derek MacKay – new face [#3 on SNP list but Kenny Gibson elected in constituency])
Seat 4: SNP (Gil Paterson – returning)
Seat 5: Conservative (Jackson Carlaw – returning)
Seat 6: SNP (Fiona McLeod – new face)
Seat 7: Lib Dem (Ross Finnie – returning)

(Seat 8 would be SNP – Stuart McMillan. On my figures, they’d be 1500 or so votes behind the Lib Dems, which, if the Lib Dem vote collapses, could be overturned).

So, expected West Scotland result (2007 in brackets – remember there’s 1 extra seat this time):

Labour – 9 + 0 = 9 (8)
SNP –1 + 4 =5 (5)
Conservative – 0 + 2 = 2 (2)
Lib Dem – 0 + 1 = 1 (1)

4 female to 13 male
13 returning to 4 new faces (2 already known to us as former MPs or MSPs from a previous session)

UPDATE: For some reason (mea culpa again!) I’d been working on the basis that the notional Conservative majority in Eastwood was not as large as the 3,500 it actually is.  So – to provide a fairer analysis, giving Eastwood to the Tories, here’s the numbers:

If Eastwood goes Conservative and the other seats stay the same, constituency make up is: 8 Lab, 1 SNP & 1 Con.  List breakdown is 5 SNP (so Stuart McMillan gets in as the fifth SNP MSP here) 1 LD and 1 CON (only Annabel Goldie, since Jackson Carlaw would win the constituency).  So instead of Labour being compensated on the list for losing the seat, its actually the SNP who would get an extra seat.

If Eastwood goes Conservative AND Renfrewshire North & West goes to either the SNP or the Conservatives, the net outcome is the same as if only Eastwood goes – the only difference would be the faces and whether they were constituency or list MSPs.  In this case, Labour would get a compensatory list seat and totals would be (Lab 8, SNP 6, Con 2, LD 1).

Tactical voting?
As previously mentioned, the Lib Dem position on the list is precarious, and they are unlikely to win any of the constituencies in the region.  This means that tactical voting considerations should come into play if they want to maintain Lib Dem representation for the region – and that means voting for SNP candidates in constituencies where the SNP are the main challengers to Labour.  If the SNP maintain their one constituency seat – assuming the Lib Dem vote stays where it is – then Ross Finnie would be returned.  But if the SNP managed to gain another seat – possibilities (though unlikely, unless heavily tactically targeted) include Renfrewshire North & West, Dumbarton or Greenock & Inverclyde – that would make the Lib Dems seat on the list more secure.  Equally, Lib Dems assisting Jackson Carlaw to win in Eastwood would have the same outcome – securing the Lib Dem seat (but at the same time giving an extra seat to the SNP on the list, with Labour losing out in the constituency).

Do your worst – but please be nice.