"None of Labour’s six Westminster seats in the South of Scotland should be seriously threatened in the Scottish Parliament elections. The party has a comfortable lead over the Conservatives in the two most marginal, Ayr and Dumfries, and the SNP can only challenge from a considerable distance in all of them. Indeed this was one of the nationalists’ weakest regions in the country in terms of share of the vote in 1992, 1994 and 1997. The SNP will expect to cling on to their general election gain in Galloway and Upper Nithsdale, but otherwise will rely on perhaps three ‘top up’ seats for their representation. Roxburgh & Berwickshire should be safe for the Liberal Democrats, but Tweeddale, Ettrick and Lauderdale promises a tighter contest. The Conservatives are actually closer to victory there than in any of the seats in which they are formally second."