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Results & Constituencies
 
 Falkirk West
Other Labour hold
Name Party Votes % +/- %
Eric Joyce Labour 16,022 51.9 -7.4
David Kerr SNP 7,490 24.2 +0.8
Simon Murray Conservative 2,321 7.5 -4.6
Hugh O'Donnell Liberal Democrat 2,203 7.1 +2.0
Billy Buchanan Independent 1,464 4.7  
Mhairi McAlpine Scottish Socialist 707 2.3  
Hugh Lynch Independent 490 1.6  
Ronnie Forbes Socialist Labour 194 0.6  
Majority 8,532 27.6
Turnout 30,891 57.7 -14.9
Swing
Against 1997 General Election 4.1% from Labour to SNP
Lab-Con (against 1997) 1.4% from Labour to Conservative
Against 1999 devolution poll 13.3% from SNP to Labour

Description
Falkirk threw off reliance upon agriculture in the eighteenth century when it became an iron-founding town. Today the iron industry is no more, but the seat is still home to industrial towns and villages, including Denny, Dunipace and Larbert, which are involved in heavy vehicle assembly, distilling and new light industries.

Left-winger Dennis Canavan held this seat from 1983 until 2000, when he finally hung up his Westminster gloves. He had failed to win the Labour nomination for the seat in the Scottish Parliament election, but refused to accept this and stood as an independent. This got him expelled from the party in March 1999.

His successful election to the Scottish Parliament, with a commanding 55% of the vote, was a major embarrassment to Labour, which mustered only 18.8% of the vote.

Mr Canavan gave up his Westminster seat in 2000, triggering a by-election which was won for Labour by former army major Eric Joyce with a slim majority of 705 votes over the SNP. The turnout was an unsurprisingly low turnout of 36% in a poll held just days before Christmas.

Past Results

1997 General Election
 Falkirk West
Labour hold
Name Party Votes %
Dennis Canavan Labour 22,772 59.3
David Alexander SNP 8,989 23.4
Carol Buchanan Conservative 4,639 12.1
Derek Houston Liberal Democrat 1,970 5.1
Majority 13,783 35.9
Turnout 38,370 72.6
Parliamentary By-Election
 Falkirk West
Labour hold
Name Party Votes %
Eric Joyce Labour 8,492 43.5
David Kerr SNP 7,787 39.9
Craig Stevenson Conservative 1,621 8.3
Iaian Hunter Scottish Socialist 989 5.1
Hugh O'Donnell Liberal Democrat 615 3.1
Majority 705 3.6
Turnout 19,504 35.9
1999 Scottish Parliamentary Election
 Falkirk West
Independent win
Name Party Votes %
Dennis Canavan Independent 18,511 55.0
Ross Martin Labour 6,319 18.8
Michael Matheson SNP 5,986 17.8
Gordon Miller Conservative 1,897 5.6
Andrew Smith Liberal Democrat 954 2.8
Majority 12,192 36.2
Turnout 33,667 62.3
 
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