General election 2024: Key battlegrounds in Edinburgh and Lothians as SNP and Labour fight for top spot

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Edinburgh and the Lothians include some key general election battlegrounds as the SNP and Labour fight to emerge with biggest number of seats.

Of the nine seats in the area, the SNP won seven at the last election in 2019, with Labour and the Lib Dems taking one each. The SNP later lost one with the defection of East Lothian MP Kennny MacAskill to Alba.

Rishi Sunak, Keir Starmer, John Swinney - a lot at stake. Rishi Sunak, Keir Starmer, John Swinney - a lot at stake.
Rishi Sunak, Keir Starmer, John Swinney - a lot at stake. | collage

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

But forecasts now predict that when voters go to the poll on July 4 Labour will nearly sweep the board, winning all the seats in the area except for Edinburgh West, which Christine Jardine would hold for the Lib Dems.

Labour's Ian Murray in Edinburgh South - his party's only surviving MP in Scotland after the last election - is expected to retain his seat with a comfortable majority this time.  Election forecasting site Electoral Calculus gives him a 100 per cent chance of winning.

Other seats may not be quite so clear cut. East Lothian and Midlothian are among Labour's top five target seats in Scotland.

Former Labour Cabinet minister Douglas Alexander is tipped to win East Lothian, where candidates for Alba and the SNP will split the nationalist vote. Current MP Kenny MacAskill is switching to be Alba's candidate in Alloa and Grangemouth, but George Kerevan - who was SNP MP for the seat between 2015 and 2017 - is standing for Alba in his place. And the SNP has just chosen Lyn Jardine, leader of the party's group on East Lothian Council, as its candidate instead of Iain Whyte who has stepped down, reportedly for health reasons.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Midlothian SNP MP Owen Thompson is defending his seat, which he won last time with a 5,705 majority last time. But Labour's Kirsty McNeill is given a 91 per cent chance of taking the seat by Electoral Calculus.

In Edinburgh, the SNP currently has three seats. Edinburgh East & Musselburgh and Edinburgh North & Leith were both traditionally safe Labour seats until 2015, but have been held by the SNP since then. However, Labour is now favourite to win both seats back.

North & Leith Labour candidate Tracy Gilbert is given a 76 per cent chance of taking the seat from the SNP's Deidre Brock, while in East & Musselburgh, Chris Murray is said to have a 75 per cent chance of ousting MP Tommy Sheppard.

The tightest race in the area is likely to be in Edinburgh South West, held by Joanna Cherry for the SNP since 2015. She had a comfortable 11,982 majority last time, but Electoral Calculus gives Labour candidate Scott Arthur a 51 per cent chance of winning.     

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

West Lothian's two seats have also been SNP-held since 2015.  Hannah Bardell is defending her Livingston seat, where she won by 13,435 votes in 2019 but Gregor Poynton is predicted to take the seat for Labour.

And similarly, the SNP's Martyn Day is forecast to be ousted in the redrawn and renamed Bathgate & Linlithgow constituency by Labour's Kirsteen Sullivan.   

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.