2011 Inverclyde by-election

The 2011 by-election in Inverclyde took place on 30 June 2011. It was triggered by the death of the incumbent Labour MP, David Cairns on 9 May 2011 of acute pancreatitis.[1]

Inverclyde by-election

← 2010 30 June 2011 2015 →

Inverclyde constituency
  First party Second party Third party
  IainMcKenzieMP.jpg No image.svg No image.svg
Candidate Iain McKenzie Anne McLaughlin David Wilson
Party Labour SNP Conservative
Popular vote 15,118 9,280 2,784
Percentage 53.8% 33.0% 9.9%
Swing Decrease2.2% Increase15.5% Decrease2.1%

Map showing the Inverclyde Parliamentary constituency within Scotland.

MP before election

David Cairns

Subsequent MP

Iain McKenzie

Cairns had won the Inverclyde constituency in 2010 with a majority of 38.4%, making it a safe Labour seat. The by-election was won by Iain McKenzie MP, the Labour candidate.


The by-election was caused by the death of the incumbent, David Cairns. Cairns, a Labour Party MP, was first elected to the seat at the 2001 general election.[2] He was suffering from acute pancreatitis and had been receiving hospital treatment since March, dying on 9 May at the Royal Free Hospital.[2] Previously working as the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Scotland Office, Cairns became Minister of State for Scotland in 2007 but resigned in 2008 in opposition to then-Prime Minister Gordon Brown.[3]

Cairns was re-elected at the 2010 general election with 56.0% of the popular vote in his constituency. The Scottish National Party (SNP) came second, and would require a swing of 19.25% to take the seat, and the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives held third and fourth place respectively with 12-14% of the vote share between them.


Nominations closed on 16 June 2011, with five candidates. The Labour Party selected Ian McKenzie a local Councillor since 2003, who has led Inverclyde Council since February 2011 and the only candidate not to have run for any other constituency in the Scottish Election 2011. The Scottish National Party selected Anne McLaughlin, who was an MSP for the Glasgow regional list from 2009-2011. The Conservative Party selected David Wilson, a local councillor and deputy provost of Inverclyde. UKIP candidate Mitch Sorbie contested West Dunbartonshire in the 2010 general election. The Liberal Democrats selected Sophie Bridger, the president of Liberal Youth Scotland.[4][5]


Election Political result Candidate Party Votes % ±%
By-election, 2011
Turnout: 28,097 (45.4%) −18.0
Labour hold
Majority: 5,838 (20.8%) -17.6
Swing: -8.9% from Lab to SNP
Iain McKenzieLabour15,11853.8-2.2
Anne McLaughlin SNP9,28033.0+15.5
David Wilson Conservative2,7849.9-2.1
Sophie Bridger Liberal Democrats6272.2-11.1
Mitch Sorbie UKIP2881.0-0.2
General Election 2010
Turnout: 37,512 (63.4%) +2.5
Labour hold
Majority: 14,416 (38.4%) +7.2
Swing: +2.5% from Lab to SNP
David CairnsLabour20,99356.0+5.2
Innes Nelson SNP6,57717.5-2.0
Simon Hutton Liberal Democrats5,00713.3-3.6
David Wilson Conservative4,50212.0+1.8
Peter Campbell UKIP4331.2N/A

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Inverclyde Westminster by-election date set", BBC News, 8 June 2011
  2. ^ a b "Scottish Labour MP David Cairns dies". BBC News. 10 May 2011. Retrieved 10 May 2011.
  3. ^ "Labour MP David Cairns passes away". politics.co.uk. 10 May 2011. Retrieved 10 May 2011.
  4. ^ "Inverclyde by-election candidates". BBC News. 17 June 2011. Retrieved 8 July 2011.
  5. ^ "Inverclyde UK Parliament by-election campaign steps up". BBC News. 14 June 2011. Retrieved 8 July 2011.