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Results & Constituencies
 Edinburgh Pentlands
Other Labour hold
Name Party Votes % +/- %
Lynda Clark Labour 15,797 40.6 -2.4
Malcolm Rifkind Conservative 14,055 36.1 +3.7
David Walker Liberal Democrat 4,210 10.8 +0.8
Stewart Gibb SNP 4,210 10.8 -2.2
Jimmy Mearns Scottish Socialist 555 1.4  
Bill McMurdo UK Independence 105 0.3 +0.1
Majority 1,742 4.5
Turnout 38,932 65.1 -11.6
Against 1997 General Election 3.1% from Labour to Conservative
Against 1999 devolution poll 1.4% from Labour to Conservative

Taking in some affluent suburbs and picturesque countryside south west of Edinburgh, Pentlands was the safest Tory seat in the Lothian region until 1997. This is a socially diverse seat, though the majority of inhabitants are comfortably-off and many are engaged in well-paid non-manual jobs. The problem Wester Hailes council estate is situated here. Though much of that estate was restructured in the 1980s it still houses many people in less than salubrious surroundings. It is in stark contrast to the smart owner-occupied residences of Fairmilehead, the middle-class districts of Colinton and Balerno, and the rustic charm of communities in the shadow of the Pentland Hills.

Former Cabinet Minister Malcolm Rifkind was first elected Conservative MP for Pentlands in February 1974. He managed to hold onto it until 1997 despite never winning a majority of more than 4,309 votes. Repeated predictions that he would lose his seat were finally proved right in 1997 when he lost to Labour's Lynda Clarke in the Tory wipe-out in Scotland.

This is one of the Conservative Party’s key target seats in Scotland, and their candidate is Malcolm Rifkind, attempting his Westminster comeback.

Past Results

1997 General Election
 Edinburgh Pentlands
Labour gain from Conservative
Name Party Votes %
Lynda Clark Labour 19,675 43.0
Malcolm Rifkind Conservative 14,813 32.4
Stewart Gibb SNP 5,952 13.0
Jenny Dawe Liberal Democrat 4,575 10.0
Malcolm McDonald Referendum 422 0.9
Robin Harper Green 224 0.5
Alistair McConnachie UK Independence 81 0.2
Majority 4,862 10.6
Turnout 45,742 76.7
1999 Scottish Parliamentary Election
 Edinburgh Pentlands
Labour win
Name Party Votes %
Iain Gray Labour 14,343 36.2
David McLetchie Conservative 11,458 28.9
Stewart Gibb SNP 8,770 22.1
Ian Gibson Liberal Democrat 5,029 12.7
Majority 2,885 7.3
Turnout 39,600 65.2