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Results & Constituencies
 
 Paisley South
Other Labour hold
Name Party Votes % +/- %
Douglas Alexander Labour 17,830 58.4 +0.9
Brian Lawson SNP 5,920 19.4 -4.0
Brian O'Malley Liberal Democrat 3,178 10.4 +1.0
Andrew Cossar Conservative 2,301 7.5 -1.2
Francis Curran Scottish Socialist 835 2.7  
Patricia Graham ProLife Alliance 346 1.1  
Terence O'Donnell Independent 126 0.4  
Majority 11,910 39.0
Turnout 30,536 57.2 -11.9
Swing
Against 1997 General Election 2.5% from SNP to Labour
Lab-Con (against 1997) 1.0% from Conservative to Labour
Against 1999 devolution poll 12.2% from SNP to Labour

Description
Considering its location in industrial Clydeside, it is no surprise that Labour should, in the past, have found such success in both of the Paisley seats. The town grew up on the linen trade, and textiles is still an important, if declining, industry today. The spectre of unemployment, however, has blighted the lives of many of Paisley's inhabitants in recent years. This seat includes just over half of the city centre, as well as the smaller town of Johnstone, but apart from Johnstone Castle there is little that might attract a tourist to this part of Scotland.

Paisley South was the scene of a by-election on 6 November 1997 caused by the suicide of MP Gordon McMaster. The by-election campaign was dominated by allegations of misconduct in Renfrewshire Council. Douglas Alexander succeeded in holding the seat for Labour, albeit with a substantially reduced majority.

Renfrewshire councillor Hugh Henry won the seat for Labour in the Scottish Parliament with a majority of more than 4,000 votes over his SNP challenger.

Past Results

1997 General Election
 Paisley South
Labour hold
Name Party Votes %
Gordon McMaster Labour 21,482 57.5
Bill Martin SNP 8,732 23.4
Eileen McCartin Liberal Democrat 3,500 9.4
Robert Reid Conservative 3,237 8.7
James Lardner Referendum 254 0.7
Sean Clerkin Other 146 0.4
Majority 12,750 34.1
Turnout 37,351 69.1
Parliamentary By-Election
 Paisley South
Labour hold
Name Party Votes %
Douglas Alexander Labour 10,346 44.2
Ian Blackford SNP 7,615 32.5
Eileen McCartin Liberal Democrat 2,582 11.0
Sheila Laidlaw Conservative 1,643 7.0
John Deighan ProLife Alliance 578 2.5
Frances Curran Independent 306 1.3
Charles McLauchlan Independent 155 0.7
Christopher Herriott Socialist Labour 153 0.7
Kenneth Blair Natural Law 57 0.2
Majority 2,731 11.7
Turnout 23,435 42.9
1999 Scottish Parliamentary Election
 Paisley South
Labour win
Name Party Votes %
Hugh Henry Labour 13,899 45.3
Bill Martin SNP 9,404 30.7
Stuart Callison Liberal Democrat 2,974 9.7
Sheila Laidlaw Conservative 2,433 7.9
Paul Mack Independent 1,273 4.0
Jackie Forrest Scottish Workers 673 2.2
Majority 4,495 14.6
Turnout 30,656 56.5
 
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