2005 United Kingdom general election
The 2005 United Kingdom general election was held on Thursday 5 May 2005, to elect 646 members to the House of Commons. The Labour Party led by Tony Blair won its third consecutive victory, with Blair becoming the only Labour leader beside Harold Wilson to form three majority governments. However, its majority now stood at 66 seats compared to the 160-seat majority it had held; as of 2019, it remains the last general election victory for the Labour Party. The Labour campaign emphasised a strong economy. Despite this, Labour retained its leads over the Conservatives in opinion polls on economic competence and leadership, Conservative leaders Iain Duncan Smith and Michael Howard struggled to capitalise on Blair's unpopularity, with the party trailing Labour in the polls throughout the 2001-5 Parliament; the Conservatives campaigned on policies, such as immigration limits, improving poorly-managed hospitals and reducing high crime rates, all under the slogan "Are you thinking what we're thinking?".
The Liberal Democrats, led by Charles Kennedy, were opposed to the Iraq War, given that there had been no second UN resolution, collected votes from disenchanted Labour voters. Tony Blair was returned as Prime Minister, with Labour having 355 MPs, but with a popular vote of 35.2%. In terms of votes, it was only narrowly ahead of the Conservatives, but still had a comfortable lead in terms of seats; the Conservatives returned 198 MPs, with 32 more seats than they had won at the previous general election, won the popular vote in England, while still ending up with 91 fewer MPs in England than Labour. The Liberal Democrats saw their popular vote increase by 3.7% and won the most seats of any third party since 1923, with 62 MPs. Anti-war activist and former Labour MP George Galloway was elected as the MP for Bethnal Green and Bow under the Respect – The Unity Coalition banner. In Northern Ireland, the Ulster Unionist Party, the more moderate of the main unionist parties, which had dominated Northern Irish politics since the 1920s, was reduced from six MPs to one, with party leader David Trimble himself being unseated.
The more hardline Democratic Unionist Party became the largest Northern Irish party, with nine MPs elected. Following the election, Conservative leader Michael Howard resigned and was succeeded by future Prime Minister David Cameron. Blair resigned as both Prime Minister and Leader of the Labour Party in June 2007, was replaced by then-Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown; the election results were broadcast live on the BBC, presented by Peter Snow, David Dimbleby, Jeremy Paxman and Andrew Marr. The governing Labour Party, led by Tony Blair, was looking to secure a third consecutive term in office and to retain a large majority; the Conservative Party was seeking to regain seats lost to both Labour and the Liberal Democrats since the 1992 general election, move from being the Official Opposition into government. The Liberal Democrats hoped to make gains from both main parties, but the Conservative Party, with a "decapitation" strategy targeting members of the Shadow Cabinet; the Lib Dems had wished to become the governing party, or to make enough gains to become the Official Opposition.
In Northern Ireland the Democratic Unionist Party sought to make further gains from the Ulster Unionist Party in unionist politics, Sinn Féin hoped to overtake the Social Democratic and Labour Party in nationalist politics.. The pro-independence Scottish National Party and Plaid Cymru stood candidates in every constituency in Scotland and Wales respectively. Many seats were contested by other parties, including several parties without incumbents in the House of Commons. Parties that were not represented at Westminster, but had seats in the devolved assemblies and/or the European Parliament, included the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland, the UK Independence Party, the Green Party of England and Wales, the Scottish Green Party, the Scottish Socialist Party; the Health Concern party stood again. A full list of parties which declared their intention to run can be found on the list of parties contesting the 2005 general election. All parties campaigned using such tools as party manifestos, party political broadcasts and touring the country in what are referred to as battle buses.
Local elections in parts of England and in Northern Ireland were held on the same day. The polls were open for fifteen hours, from 07:00 to 22:00 BST; the election came just over three weeks after the dissolution of Parliament on 11 April by Queen Elizabeth II, at the request of the Prime Minister, Tony Blair. Following the death of Pope John Paul II on 2 April, it was announced that the calling of the election would be delayed until 5 April. Thanks to eight years of sustained economic growth Labour could point to a strong economy, with greater investment in public services such as education and health; this was overshadowed, however, by the issue of the controversial 2003 invasion of Iraq, which met widespread public criticism at the time, would dog Blair throughout the campaign. The Chancellor, G
Scottish Parliament Building
The Scottish Parliament Building is the home of the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood, within the UNESCO World Heritage Site in central Edinburgh. Construction of the building commenced in June 1999 and the Members of the Scottish Parliament held their first debate in the new building on 7 September 2004; the formal opening by Queen Elizabeth II took place on 9 October 2004. Enric Miralles, the Spanish architect who designed the building, died before its completion. From 1999 until the opening of the new building in 2004, committee rooms and the debating chamber of the Scottish Parliament were housed in the General Assembly Hall of the Church of Scotland located on The Mound in Edinburgh. Office and administrative accommodation in support of the Parliament were provided in buildings leased from the City of Edinburgh Council; the new Scottish Parliament Building brought together these different elements into one purpose-built parliamentary complex, housing 129 MSPs and more than 1,000 staff and civil servants.
From the outset, the building and its construction have been controversial. The choices of location, architect and construction company were all criticised by politicians, the media and the Scottish public. Scheduled to open in 2001, it did so in 2004, more than three years late with an estimated final cost of £414 million, many times higher than initial estimates of between £10m and £40m. A major public inquiry into the handling of the construction, chaired by the former Lord Advocate, Lord Fraser of Carmyllie, was established in 2003; the inquiry concluded in September 2004 and criticised the management of the whole project from the realisation of cost increases down to the way in which major design changes were implemented. Despite these criticisms and a mixed public reaction, the building was welcomed by architectural academics and critics; the building aimed to achieve a poetic union between the Scottish landscape, its people, its culture, the city of Edinburgh. The Parliament Building won numerous awards including the 2005 Stirling Prize and has been described by landscape architect Charles Jencks as "a tour de force of arts and crafts and quality without parallel in the last 100 years of British architecture".
Comprising an area of 1.6 ha, with a perimeter of 480 m, the Scottish Parliament Building is located 1 km east of Edinburgh city centre on the edge of the Old Town. The large site housed the headquarters of the Scottish and Newcastle brewery which were demolished to make way for the building; the boundary of the site is marked by the Canongate stretch of the Royal Mile on its northern side, Horse Wynd on its eastern side, where the public entrance to the building is, Reid's Close on its western side. Reid's Close connects the Holyrood Road on the southwestern side of the complex; the south eastern side of the complex is bounded by the Our Dynamic Earth visitor attraction which opened in July 1999, Queen's Drive which fringes the slopes of Salisbury Crags. In the immediate vicinity of the building is the Palace of Holyroodhouse, bordered by the broad expanse of Holyrood Park. To the south of the parliamentary complex are the steep slopes of Salisbury Crags and Arthur's Seat; the Holyrood and Dumbiedykes areas, to the west of the site, have been extensively redeveloped since 1998, with new retail and office developments, including Barclay House, the new offices of The Scotsman Publications Ltd.
Before 1707, the Kingdom of Scotland was a sovereign independent state which had its own legislature—the Parliament of Scotland—which met, latterly, at Parliament House on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh. The Treaty of Union, signed in 1707, created an incorporating political union between the Kingdom of Scotland and the Kingdom of England; this created the Kingdom of Great Britain. The two previous Acts of Union had dissolved the previous parliaments; the Treaty of Union created the Parliament of Great Britain, housed in the Palace of Westminster in London. As a consequence, Scotland was directly governed from London for the next 292 years without a legislature or a Parliament building of its own. Pressure for a devolved legislature of some sort grew in the 1970s with the growth of the Scottish National Party, monies were invested into the conversion of the former Royal High School on Calton Hill into an official parliament building. Whilst much of this conversion was completed and the building was renamed New Parliament House it was determined that the facility was too small for its stated purpose.
Following the April 1992 election, when a weakened John Major was re-elected, a campaign group set up adjacent to the Royal High School at the foot of the access road to Calton Hill. Starting informally this became a permanently manned "vigil" to keep the concept in the public mind; this led to the Royal High School being the "popular" choice of site in the public mindset. A referendum of the Scottish electorate, held on 11 September 1997, approved the establishment of a directly elected Scottish Parliament to legislate on most domestic affairs. Following this, the Scottish Office, led by the Secretary of State for Scotland, Donald Dewar, decided that a new purpose-built facility would be constructed in Edinburgh, to house the Scottish Parliament. Three sites in and around Edinburgh were considered as possible locations for the building, including St Andrew's House/New Parliament House St Andrews House being the home of the Scottish Office—later th
Anniesland is a district in the West End of the Scottish city Glasgow. It is situated north of the River Clyde, centres on the major road junction of the Great Western Road and Crow Road/Bearsden Road, known as Anniesland Cross. A farm owned by the Jordanhill estate, it was sold-off during the late Victorian era as Glasgow expanded, its collection of small shops is located near Anniesland railway station, on the Argyle, North Clyde and Maryhill lines, which provides frequent links with the centre of the city. The main road is a significant bus route to the city centre. A large public house/restaurant sits to the east of the Cross, on the opposite side of the road from the district's former cinema, converted into residential apartments in the early 21st century. Meanwhile, set back from the north of Great Western Road, is a small retail park consisting of a large Morrisons supermarket, as well as branches of Mothercare and Poundstretcher; the retail park was the site of the Barr and Stroud optics works, which moved to Govan under the ownership of Thales Optronics.
The retail park, the public library and the local church are adjacent of Anniesland Court, Scotland's tallest listed building. The senior buildings of the independent High School of Glasgow, which had various facilities around the city since the 12th century, have been in the area since 1977, along with the institution's extensive sports grounds; this is adjacent to the sports grounds of the Glasgow Academy which incorporates a rugby ground, New Anniesland, home to Glasgow Academicals. The playing fields have been used for that purpose since the 1880s, reflecting the area's semi-rural character on the periphery of the Glasgow urban area in that era, a situation which changed in the 1930s when the extensive Knightswood residential development was established further west. Knightswood Secondary School and the Anniesland Campus of Glasgow Clyde College are within walking distance of the Cross and train station, while the Gartnavel Hospitals are fairly close to the east, as are the Balgray playing fields owned by a private school which in 2018 became the home of the home of semi-professional rugby team Glasgow Hawks.
A further rugby ground, Hughenden is just beyond Balgray, falling under the Hyndland neighbourhood
2007 Scottish Parliament election
The 2007 Scottish Parliament election was held on Thursday 3 May 2007 to elect members to the Scottish Parliament. It was the third general election to the devolved Scottish Parliament since it was created in 1999. Local elections in Scotland fell on the same day; the Scottish National Party emerged as the largest party with 47 seats followed by the incumbent Scottish Labour Party with 46 seats. The Scottish Conservatives won 17 seats, the Scottish Liberal Democrats 16 seats, the Scottish Green Party 2 seats and one Independent was elected; the SNP approached the Lib Dems for a coalition government, but the Lib Dems turned them down. The Greens agreed to provide the numbers to vote in an SNP minority government, with SNP leader Alex Salmond as First Minister; the Scottish Socialist Party and the Scottish Senior Citizens Unity Party, which won seats in the 2003 election, lost all of their seats. Former MSP Tommy Sheridan's new party, Solidarity failed to win any seats. Campbell Martin and Dr Jean Turner both lost their seats, Dennis Canavan and Brian Monteith retired.
The main issues during the campaign trail were healthcare, council tax reform, the Union, the Iraq War and more powers for the Scottish Parliament. Some parties proposed raise the school leaving age from 16 to 18 and raising the minimum age to purchase tobacco products from 16 to 18. Jack McConnell, as First Minister, entered the election defending a small overall majority of five seats via a coalition of Labour and the Liberal Democrats; the Lab-LD social liberal coalition had been in power, with three different First Ministers, since the first Scottish Parliament election in 1999. Opinion polls suggested its majority could be lost in 2007, due to falling support for the Labour Party and rising support for other parties, in particular the Scottish National Party; the polls suggested that no single party was to acquire an overall majority, nor was there an obvious alternative coalition ready to form a new Executive. A TNS Poll in November 2006 gave Labour an 8% lead over the SNP, second behind Labour in terms of numbers of Members of the Scottish Parliament.
As the election approached the SNP gained support while Labour's support declined. Based on pre-election projections, there could have been some possibility of an SNP–Liberal Democrat coalition, which might have extended to include the Scottish Green Party; the other parties represented in the Parliament before the election were the Scottish Conservative Party, the Scottish Socialist Party and the Scottish Senior Citizens Unity Party. Other parties that campaigned for seats in Holyrood included the United Kingdom Independence Party, the British National Party, the Scottish Unionist Party, the Scottish Socialist Labour Party, the Christian Peoples Alliance, the Scottish Christian Party and the Scotland Against Crooked Lawyers Party. Susan Deacon, Edinburgh East and Musselburgh John Home Robertson, East Lothian Janis Hughes, Glasgow Rutherglen Kate Maclean, Dundee West Maureen Macmillan and Islands list Bruce McFee, West of Scotland list George Reid, Ochil Phil Gallie, South of Scotland list James Douglas-Hamilton, Lothians list Donald Gorrie, Central Scotland list Jim Wallace, Orkney Frances Curran, West of Scotland list Dennis Canavan, Falkirk West Brian Monteith, Mid Scotland and Fife list Gordon Jackson, Glasgow Govan Sylvia Jackson, Stirling Margaret Jamieson and Loudoun Maureen Macmillan and Islands Christine May, Fife Central Alasdair Morrison, Western Isles Bristow Muldoon, Livingston Allan Wilson, Cunninghame North Andrew Arbuckle, Mid Scotland and Fife Nora Radcliffe, Gordon Euan Robson and Berwickshire Dave Petrie and Islands Murray Tosh, West of Scotland Shiona Baird, North East Scotland Chris Ballance, South of Scotland Mark Ballard, Lothians Mark Ruskell, Mid Scotland and Fife Eleanor Scott and Islands Rosemary Byrne, South of Scotland Colin Fox, Lothians Rosie Kane, Glasgow Carolyn Leckie, Central Scotland Tommy Sheridan, Glasgow John Swinburne, Central Scotland Campbell Martin, West of Scotland - Former SNP MSP Jean Turner and Bearsden Turnout in the election was 51.7% in the constituency vote and 52.4% in the regional vote up from 2003 where the turnout was 49.4% in both the constituency and regional vote Notes: Independents contested 17 seats and three regions.
Scottish Greens contested 1 seat, Scottish Socialist Party contested 1 seat, Scottish Christian Party, Scottish Voice etc. contested a small number of seats. A number of local issue parties stood in single constituencies; the Nine Per Cent Growth Party stood candidates on the regional lists, had a candidate for the local council elections of the same year. Standing in the Glasgow Regional List the party finished last of 23 candidates, receiving only 80 votes, a record low; some counts in the Western Isles were delayed because the chartered helicopter sent to pick up the ballot boxes was delayed by bad weather. The boxes were instead transferred by road to be counted in Stornoway; the votes were announced around 12.00 on Friday 4 May. A man smashed ballot boxes with a golf club at a polling station at Carrick Knowe in Corstorphine in Edinburgh. About 100 ballots were damaged; the man was arrested on the scene. The number of'invalid' ballot papers has increased from previous elections, the BBC reported that 142,000 were rejected.
The Herald reported that this included both constituency and regional
2016 Scottish Parliament election
The Scottish parliament election, 2016 was held on Thursday, 5 May 2016 to elect 129 members to the Scottish Parliament. It was the fifth election held since the devolved parliament was established in 1999, it was the first parliamentary election in Scotland in which 16 and 17 year olds were eligible to vote, under the provisions of the Scottish Elections Act. It was the first time the three largest parties were led by women. Parliament went into dissolution on 24 March 2016, allowing the official period of campaigning to get underway. Five parties had MSPs in the previous parliament: Scottish National Party led by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Scottish Labour Party led by Kezia Dugdale, Scottish Conservatives led by Ruth Davidson, Scottish Liberal Democrats led by Willie Rennie, Scottish Greens, led by their co-conveners Patrick Harvie and Maggie Chapman. Of those five parties, four changed their leader since the 2011 election. During the campaign, a series of televised debates took place, including party leaders of the elected parties.
BBC Scotland held the first leaders’ debate on 24 March, STV broadcast the next on 29 March, BBC Scotland hosted the final debate on 1 May. The Scottish National Party won the election and a third term in government, but fell two seats short of securing a second consecutive overall majority; the Conservatives saw a significant increase in support and replaced the Labour Party as the second-largest party and main opposition in the Scottish Parliament. This was the first time; the Scottish Greens won six seats on the regional list and overtook the Liberal Democrats, who remained on five seats. Although the SNP had lost their majority, it was still by far the largest single party in the Scottish Parliament, with more than double the seats of the Conservatives. Accordingly, Sturgeon announced, she was voted in for a second term as First Minister on 17 May. Under the Scotland Act 1998, an ordinary election to the Scottish Parliament would have been held on the first Thursday in May four years after the 2011 election, i.e. in May 2015.
In May 2010, the new UK Government stated in its coalition agreement that the next United Kingdom general election would be held in May 2015. This proposal was criticised by the Scottish National Party and Labour, as it had been recommended after the 2007 election that elections with different voting systems should be held on separate days: a recommendation which all of the political parties had accepted. In response to this criticism, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg offered the right to vary the date of the Scottish Parliament election by a year either way. All the main political parties stated their support for delaying the election by a year; the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011, a statute of the UK Parliament, moved the date of the Scottish Parliament election to 5 May 2016. The date of the poll may be varied by up to one month either way by the monarch, on the proposal of the Presiding Officer. If Parliament itself resolves that it should be dissolved, with at least two-thirds of the Members voting in favour, the Presiding Officer proposes a date for an extraordinary election and the Parliament is dissolved by the monarch by royal proclamation.
It does not require a two-thirds majority to precipitate an extraordinary election, because under the Scotland Act Parliament is dissolved if it fails to nominate one of its members to be First Minister within certain time limits, irrespective of whether at the beginning or in the middle of a parliamentary term. Therefore, if the First Minister resigned, Parliament would have 28 days to elect a successor. If no new First Minister was elected the Presiding Officer would ask for Parliament to be dissolved under s3a; this process could be triggered if the First Minister lost a vote of confidence by a simple majority, as s/he must resign. To date the Parliament has never held a confidence vote on a First Minister. No extraordinary elections have been held to date. Any extraordinary elections would be in addition to ordinary elections, unless held less than six months before the due date of an ordinary election, in which case they supplant it; the subsequent ordinary election reverts to the first Thursday in May, a multiple of four years after 1999.
It was envisaged that the election would still have taken place as scheduled if Scotland had voted in favour of independence in 2014. Changes to the SNP's selection procedures the previous year in order to ensure gender balance of candidates meant that any incumbent constituency MSP who chose to retire would have their replacement selected from an all woman shortlist; the only ways for a new male candidate to receive a constituency nomination would be to stand in a constituency held by an opposition MSP or to run a de-selection campaign against a sitting MSP. For that reason there were far more challenges than normal within the SNP, but only two were successful: The total number of Members of the Scottish Parliament elected to the Parliament is 129; the First Periodical Review of the Scottish Parliament's constituencies and regions by the Boundary Commission for Scotland, was announced on 3 July 2007. The Commission published its provisional proposals for the regional boundaries in 2009; the Scottish Parliament uses an Additional Members System, designed to produce approximate proportional representation for each region.
There are each sub-divided into smaller constituencies. There are a total of 73 constituencies; each constituency elects one MSP by the plurality system of election. Each reg
2011 Scottish Parliament election
The 2011 Scottish Parliament election was held on Thursday, 5 May 2011 to elect 129 members to the Scottish Parliament. The election delivered the first majority government since the opening of Holyrood, a remarkable feat as the Additional Member System used to elect MSPs was implemented to prevent any party achieving an overall parliamentary majority; the Scottish National Party won 69 seats, the most the party has held at either a Holyrood or Westminster election, allowing leader Alex Salmond to remain First Minister of Scotland. The SNP gained 32 constituencies, twenty two from the Scottish Labour Party, nine from the Scottish Liberal Democrats and one from the Scottish Conservatives; such was the scale of their gains that, of the 73 constituencies in Scotland, only 20 came to be represented by MSPs of other political parties. The Scottish Labour Party lost seven seats and suffered their worst election defeat in Scotland since 1931, with huge losses in their traditional Central Belt constituencies and for the first time having to rely on the regional lists to elect members within these areas.
They did, remain the largest opposition party. Party leader Iain Gray announced his resignation following his party's disappointing result; the Scottish Liberal Democrats were soundly defeated. Tavish Scott announced his resignation as party leader shortly after the election. For Scottish Conservatives, the election proved disappointing as their popular vote dropped and their number of seats fell by 2, with party leader Annabel Goldie announcing her resignation. During the campaign, the four main party leaders engaged in a series of televised debates, as they had in every previous general election; these key debates were held on 29 March, 1 May, 3 May. The results of the election were broadcast live on BBC Scotland and STV, on the night of the election, it was the fourth general election since the devolved parliament was established in 1999 and was held on the same day as elections to the National Assembly for Wales and the Northern Ireland Assembly, as well as English local elections and the UK-wide referendum on the alternative vote.
Under the Scotland Act 1998, an ordinary general election to the Scottish Parliament was held on the first Thursday in May four years after the 2007 election. Because of the problems of voter confusion and a high number of spoilt ballots in 2007 due to holding Scottish parliamentary and local elections and under different voting systems, the next Scottish local elections were held in 2012 instead of 2011; this policy decision was contradicted, however, by the staging of the Alternative Vote referendum on 5 May 2011 as well. Labour MP Ian Davidson expressed opposition to the referendum being staged on the same date as other elections. Scottish Secretary Michael Moore stated that having the referendum on another date would cost an additional £17 million. British, Irish and European Union citizens living in Scotland who were aged 18 or over on election day were entitled to vote; the deadline to register to vote in the election was midnight on Friday 15 April 2011, though anyone who qualified as an anonymous elector had until midnight on Tuesday 26 April 2011 to register.
It was held on the same day as elections for Northern Ireland's 26 local councils, the Northern Irish Assembly and Welsh Assembly elections, a number of local elections in England and the United Kingdom Alternative Vote referendum. The table below shows the notional figures for seats won by each party at the last election; the Conservatives have been the biggest gainers as a result of the boundary changes, winning an extra 3 seats and Labour has lost the most seats, losing 2 overall. The total number of Members of the Scottish Parliament elected to the Parliament is 129; the First Periodical Review of the Scottish Parliament's constituencies and regions by the Boundary Commission for Scotland was announced on 3 July 2007. The Commission published its provisional proposals for the regional boundaries in 2009; the Scottish Parliament uses an Additional Members System, designed to produce approximate proportional representation for each region. There are 8 regions each sub-divided into smaller constituencies.
There are a total of 73 constituencies. Each constituency elects one by the plurality system of election; each region elects seven additional member MSPs using an additional member system. A modified D'Hondt method, using the constituency results, is used to calculate which additional member MSPs the regions elect; the Scottish Parliament constituencies have not been coterminous with Scottish Westminster constituencies since the 2005 general election, when the 72 former Westminster constituencies were replaced with a new set of 59 larger, constituencies. For details of the Revised proposals for constituencies at the Next Scottish Parliament election - Scottish Parliament constituencies and regions from 2011 The Boundary Commission have recommended changes to the electoral regions used to elect "list" members of the Scottish Parliament; the recommendations can be summarised below. Glasgow Govan was replaced by Glasgow Southside; the seats of Glasgow Maryhill, Glasgow Springburn and Glasgow Baillieston were abolished and their territory was divided between the newly created Glasgow Maryhill and Springburn and Glasgow Provan, as well as the existing Glasgow Shettleston seat, moved eastwards.
Highlands and Islands retained 8 constituency seats. Caithness and Easter Ross was replaced with the larger Caithness and Ross seat. Ross, Skye an
An electoral swing analysis shows the extent of change in voter support from one election to another, expressed as a positive or negative percentage. A multi-party swing is an indicator of a change in the electorate's preference between candidates or parties. A swing can be calculated for the electorate as a whole, for a given electoral district or for a particular demographic. A swing is useful for analysing change in voter support over time, or as a tool for predicting the outcome of elections in constituency-based systems. Swing is usefully deployed when analysing the shift in voter intentions revealed by opinion polls or to compare polls concisely which may rely on differing samples and on markedly different swings and therefore predict extraneous results. A swing is calculated by comparing the percentage of the vote in a particular election to the percentage of the vote belonging to the same party or candidate at the previous election. One-party swing = Percentage of vote − percentage of vote.
Examples include the comparison between the 2007 Ukrainian Parliamentary elections. The above charts show the change in voter support for each of the six major political parties by electoral district and nationwide vote results. In many nation states' media, including in Australia and the United Kingdom, swing is expressed in terms of two parties; this practice is most useful where most governments tend to be from an existing two-party system but other candidates do sometimes run, is used to predict the outcome of elections in constituency-based systems where different seats are held with different previous levels of support. An assumption underlies extrapolated national calculations: that all districts will experience the same swing as shown in a poll or in a place's results; the advantage of this swing is the fact that the loss of support for one party will in most cases be accompanied by smaller or bigger gain in support for the other, but both figures are averaged into one. Employing the two assumptions allows the analyst to compute an electoral pendulum, predicting how many seats will change hands given a particular swing, what size uniform swing would therefore bring about a change of government.
In Australia, the term "swing" refers to the change in the outcome of an election from the viewpoint of specific political parties in the preferential voting system. The UK uses the two-party swing, adding one party's increase in share of the vote to the percentage-point fall of another party and dividing the total by two. So if Party One's vote rises by 4 points and Party Two's vote falls 5 points, the swing is 4.5 points. For disambiguation suffixes such as: must be added where three parties stand. Otherwise a problem when deciding which swing is meant and which swing is best to publish arises where a lower party takes first or second. Originating as a mathematical calculation for comparing the results of two constituencies, any of these figures can be used as an indication of the scale of voter change between any two political parties, as shown below for the 2010 United Kingdom general election: Swing in the United States can refer to swing state, those states that are known to shift an outcome between Democrats and Republican Parties, equivalent on a local level to marginal seats.
By contrast, a non-swing state is the direct equivalent of a safe seat, as it changes in outcome. The extent of change in political outcome is influenced by the voting system in use; some websites provide a pie chart based or column-based multi party swingometer where ± x%, ± x%, ± x% and so on is displayed or can be input for three parties. This tool or illustration provides outcomes wherever more than two political parties have a significant influence on which politicians are elected. Swing vote Swingometer Notes References