Current MSP: Malcolm Chisholm (Labour) [MSP website]
Party Candidate Votes +/– % +/–
Labour Malcolm Chisholm * 12858 +2163 41.6 +6.5
SNP Shirley-Anne Somerville ^ 12263 +3772 39.7 +11.8
Conservative Sheila Low 2928 -131 9.5 -0.6
Liberal Democrat Dan Farthling 2836 -5328 9.2 -17.7
Majority 595 Turnout 30885 Swing +2.7% Labour hold

Malcolm Chisholm’s narrow win gave Labour its only constituency victory in Lothian region. The SNP’s other constituency successes meant Shirley Anne Somerville didn’t return via the list either, making her one of only three SNP MSPs to lose their seat. Some argued, based on national results, that Lib Dem votes moved entirely over to the SNP. This seat shows the weaknesses with that argument, although Chisholm clearly has a distinctive personal and anti-establishment appeal. In 2010 the Lib Dems were within 1,800 votes of taking the Westminster seat of North and Leith, although the boundaries are different.

Notes: Given boundary changes since 2007, variations in votes and share between seats with different boundaries would be misleading. We use the Denver figures, essentially a calculation of the 2007 votes cast within 2011 boundaries. More information on this here.

Symbols used:

* – Incumbent
^ – Challenger holding a list seat in previous Parliament
# – Lost deposit