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The North East Decides: Our Predictions for the 2024 General Election

We predict that the SNP will win three of the five local constituencies, with the Conservatives taking home another.

By Josh Pizzuto-Pomaco and Kirsten Koss

The battle for the North East ends on Thursday.

Owing to a recent review, most of the North East’s candidates will find themselves battling over slightly different territory, and many of voters may find they are in a different constituency.

But who is most likely to find themselves in Westminster over the coming months?

What's the most likely outcome in Aberdeen North?

The winning candidate in Aberdeen North will represent more than 76,000 Aberdonians living within the area, from Kingswells in the West to Seaton in the East. This constituency serves a diverse set of people, from some of city's poorest areas to affluent retirees in Old Aberdeen – as well as serving as home to the University of Aberdeen, and indeed us here at The Gaudie.

Kirsty Blackman is widely expected to retain her seat. Photo Credit: Kirsty Blackman

The SNP’s Kirsty Blackman has been the local MP for nearly ten years, following the late Frank Doran’s retirement in 2015. Before Ms Blackman’s historic win in the post-Indy Ref period, Labour had held the constituency since before the Second World War.

You would be hard pressed to find a poll that predicts the SNP will lose the seat, and having won more than 54% of the vote in 2019, Ms Blackman stands a good chance of returning to Westminster. Yet, Labour’s Lynn Thomson, a local councillor and NHS worker is set to be Ms Blackman's fiercest rival, followed by Gillian Tebberen of the Conservatives.

Our prediction: Comfortable SNP Hold. For the first time since 2015, the SNP may take less than 40% of the vote here as voters rally to oust the Tories from Westminster. Yet Ms Blackman’s popularity will see the seat remain yellow for another five years.

All of the candidates for Aberdeen North are listed below:

Charlie Abel (ALBA)

Kirsty Blackman (SNP)

Desmond Bouse (Lib Dems)

Lucas Grant (Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition)

Esme Houston (Scottish Greens)

Kenneth Leggat (Reform)

Gillian Tebberen (Conservatives)

Lynn Thomson (Labour)

Aberdeen South – Will Labour’s M. Taqueer Malik unseat SNP stalwart Stephen Flynn?

The SNP are unlikely to be worried about losing Aberdeen North. Instead, it is South candidate Stephen Flynn, who has been MP for area since 2019, who faces the longest wait for the results on election night.

The constituency covers much of the rest of the city, from George Street and the harbour in the city centre, to the affluent areas of Queen’s Cross and Lower Deeside.

Could Labour Councillor Malik pull off the improbable and dethrone Stephen Flynn? Photo Credit: M Taqueer Malik

The seat has switched hands many times over the years with Labour presiding over the area until 2015. SNP have dominated the constituency since then, albeit with Conservative Ross Thomson holding the seat from 2017-2019. 

Enter Stephen Flynn. Formerly the party’s group leader in Aberdeen City Council, the SNP firebrand has had a meteoric rise, entering Parliament in 2019 and becoming Westminster leader last year. Since then, Mr Flynn has become the SNP’s posterboy, with many predicting the 35-year-old, who spearheaded calls for a ceasefire in Gaza, could become First Minister in 2026. 

Despite his notoriety, Mr Flynn faces strong competition from Labour’s M. Taqueer Malik, a local businessman and councillor who heads up the Aberdeen Labour group. Pollsters have struggled to predict the outcome, with the latest Survation MRP poll predicting Mr Malik will emerge victorious. 

With the constituency home to a burgeoning RAAC crisis in Balnagask, alongside continued criticism of the SNP-Lib Dem coalition council’s stance on bus gates, could voters change their allegiances? 

In any case, with the next Scottish Parliament election only two years away, some have suggested Mr Flynn already has his next job lined up.

Our prediction: Narrow SNP Hold. Mr Flynn faces tough competition from Mr Malik, but his huge public profile and stance on Gaza is likely to push him – albeit narrowly – over the line.

All of the candidates for Aberdeen South are listed below:

Graeme Craib (Scottish Family Party)

Stephen Flynn (SNP)

Jeff Goodhall (Lib Dems)

Guy Ingerson (Scottish Greens)

Sophie Molly (Independent)

Michael Pearce (Reform)

M. Taqueer Malik (Labour)

John Wheeler (Conservatives)

Aberdeenshire North and Moray East – Will Duguid deselection be Douglas’s downfall?

Hugging the Buchan and Moray coasts, this rural constituency also includes large towns such as Peterhead and Fraserburgh. Fishing and the energy sector are key concerns for voters in this seat, which was created from remnants of the Moray and Banff & Buchan constituencies. 

Fraserburgh Councillor Seamus Logan will look to snatch Aberdeenshire North and Moray East from the Conservatives. Photo Credit: Seamus Logan

It’s thought to be a two horse race here, with voters choosing between Seamus Logan of the SNP and Douglas Ross of the Conservatives. Andy Brown, Labour’s candidate, was suspended from the party after ‘pro-Russian’ tweets were uncovered several weeks ago. 

The Tories won 48.3% of the vote share in this area during the last election, but recent party infighting could flip the seat to the SNP. David Duguid, MP for the Banff and Buchan constituency since 2017, was set to contest the new seat. However, he was barred from standing by party executives after suffering ill health this spring. 

In a dramatic scene, Mr Ross, the leader of the Scottish Conservatives at Holyrood, announced his intentions to stand in the constituency - despite previously saying he would not run for Parliament a third time. The Conservatives will also have to battle with a resurgent Reform Party, which is standing a candidate, Jo Hart, in the constituency. 

Our prediction: Comfortable SNP hold. The Tories will give Mr Logan a run for his money, but Reform-inclined voters and those angry at the treatment of Mr Duguid will tip the seat to the SNP. 

All of the candidates for Aberdeenshire North and Moray East are listed below:

Ian Bailey (Lib Dems)

Andy Brown (formerly Labour)

Jo Hart (Reform)

Seamus Logan (SNP)

Douglas Ross (Conservatives)

Gordon and Buchan – Can Tories buck national trend here?

This is also a new constituency, created from portions of Gordon, Banff & Buchan, and West Aberdeenshire & Kincardine. It includes much of the middle of Aberdeenshire, encompassing Ellon, Inverurie, and Newburgh. Richard Thomson of the SNP is standing for re-election, having been elected as Gordon’s MP in 2019 by less than 900 votes (1.4%). 

Harriet Cross could buck national trends in Gordon and Buchan. Photo Credit: Harriet Cross

However, under the new boundaries, the Conservatives would have won the seat, according to a notional analysis of the 2019 election. This time around, their hopes are set on Harriet Cross, a chartered rural surveyor and former Scottish parliamentary candidate, winning the constituency. 

Labour’s Nurul Hoque Ali is also standing in the constituency. Mr Ali, an Aberdeen city councillor who lives in Bieldside, finished third in the Aberdeen North parliamentary election in 2019.

Our prediction: Narrow Conservative victory. The new boundary changes gave the Conservative Party an advantage of 7% (around 2200 votes) over the SNP. Despite the downturn nationally for the Tories, they will do enough to eke out a win in Gordon and Buchan. 

All of the candidates for Gordon and Buchan are listed below:

Nurul Hoque Ali (Labour)

Kris Callender (Reform)

Harriet Cross (Conservatives)

Richard Thompson (SNP)

Conrad Wood (Lib Dems)

West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine – Can Bowie stave off SNP challenger?

This rural constituency includes Royal Deeside as well as larger towns like Stonehaven and Banchory. Like the other two Aberdeenshire seats, it is largely understood to be a battle between the SNP and Tories. 

Tory stalwart Andrew Bowie is seeking re-election, having won his seat in 2019 with a majority of 843 votes. This time around, he faces a tough test from Glen Reynolds of the SNP, a current Aberdeenshire councillor for Banff and District ward. 

Andrew Bowie's seat is on a razor's edge. Photo Credit: Andrew Bowie

The SNP recently defended Mr Reynolds over historic tweets he had made about Russia, which were branded by his Tory opponents as ‘pro-Putin.’

A total of eight candidates are standing in the area, including deputy leader of the Labour group on Aberdeen City Council, Kate Blake. Again, with the race on a razor’s edge, will Reform or the Scottish Greens syphon votes from the main two contestants?

Our prediction: Tossup, too close to call. Both the Conservatives and the SNP could win this seat. SNP activists have been looking to unseat Mr Bowie since his election, but it remains to be seen if they can get the job done.

All of the candidates for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine are listed below:

Kate Blake (Labour)

Andrew Bowie (Conservative)

Brandon Innes (Reform)

Iris Leask (Independent)

William Linegar (Scottish Greens)

David Neill (Independent)

Glenn Reynolds (SNP)

Michael Turvey (Lib Dems)

Find out where to vote on Thursday here. Polls are open from 7 AM to 10 PM. You must bring a valid form of ID.

Stay with The Gaudie during election night for analysis of all the Shire and City results. Live updates can be found on our website and on Twitter at @thegaudie.


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