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election2001
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Readers Poll Con 52% Lab 28% LD 18% Nat 2% Enter your vote to win 1M

Falkirk West
Labour hold

Constituency Profile by Robert Waller
Denis Canavan finally resigned the Falkirk West seat in October 2000, precipitating a by-election which the government decided to hold on December 21. Hiding this event in the pre-Christmas rush was a good idea. Canavan had left the party, which he had represented as an MP for West Stirlingshire and Falkirk West since October 1974, on being excluded from Labour's list of candidates for the Scottish Parliament, allegedly for not being of sufficient quality, and allegedly as a result of action originating high in the central reaches of New Labour. In fairly justified dudgeon, he contested his seat as a "Falkirk West" candidate in May 1999, and thrashed all opposition with 55pc of the vote to official Labour's 19pc and the SNP's 18pc. Expelled from the party for this act of individuality, he was only invited back in autumn 2000 after threatening to resign and create an awkward by-election a few months before the planned date of the General Election. Canavan turned the tables once more, having extracted this climbdown, by resigning all the same. Expectations about the by-election went through at least two significant changes. Originally, Labour had to fear a loss to either the SNP or a Canavan-backed Left-wing socialist candidate. Then there was a quiet period duing the campaign itself: Canavan went to ground, and spoke for on-one, and with attention elsewhere (such as pre-Christmas transport and flood chaos), and the surprisingly easy Labour holds at Glasgow Anniesland on November 23 relaxation set in and an easy hold was anticipated. Then on the lowest turnout in a Scottish byelection since 1945, Labour's Eric Joyce only held on by a three figure margin (705) over the SNP. At least he did win, though, and with abysmal showings for the Tories and Lib Dems little memory will remain of Falkirk West south of the border - or, probably north of it after the next General Election restores normal margins. Until and including December 2000 the Labour government had not endured a single byelection loss, a feat not achieved by any governing party for fifty years.

Personality Profile by Byron Criddle
Eric Joyce, who was born 1960 and educated at Perth High School and at Stirling, Bath and Keele Universities, and replaced the disaffected, expelled and resigned Dennis Canavan as Labour MP here at the December 2000 by-election, had made a name for himself as an Army major who published his complaints about alleged class and race prejudice in Army promotions whilst a serving officer. In his maiden speech in January 2001 he praised the local Alexanders bus factory for exporting buses to New York.
ACORN Population Profile of the constituency
  Area
Percent
GB
Percent
Index
GB=100
 
Thriving
Wealthy Achievers, Suburban Areas 7.54% 14.99% 50.28
Affluent Greys, Rural Communities 0.08% 2.13% 3.68
Prosperous Pensioners, Retirement Areas 0.46% 2.49% 18.64
Expanding
Affluent Executives, Family Areas 1.96% 4.43% 44.36
Well-Off Workers, Family Areas 11.12% 7.27% 152.93
Rising
Affluent Urbanites, Town & City Areas 3.32% 2.56% 129.35
Prosperous Professionals, Metropolitan Areas 0.08% 2.04% 3.97
Better-Off Executives, Inner City Areas 0.77% 3.94% 19.47
Settling
Comfortable Middle Agers, Mature Home Owning Areas 4.99% 13.04% 38.25
Skilled Workers, Home Owning Areas 3.59% 12.70% 28.24
Aspiring
New Home Owners, Mature Communities 8.61% 8.14% 105.77
White Collar Workers, Better-Off Multi Ethnic Areas 0.07% 4.02% 1.76
Striving
Older People, Less Prosperous Areas 5.91% 3.19% 185.53
Council Estate Residents, Better-Off Homes 29.37% 11.31% 259.70
Council Estate Residents, High Unemployment 12.75% 3.06% 416.43
Council Estate Residents, Greatest Hardship 9.37% 2.52% 372.19
People in Multi-Ethnic, Low-Income Areas 0.00% 2.10% 0.00
Unclassified
Unclassified 0.00% 0.06% 0.00
Household Income of the constituency
  Area
Percent
GB
Percent
Index
GB=100
 
0-5K 10.20% 9.41% 108.37
5-10K 18.19% 16.63% 109.39
10-15K 17.88% 16.58% 107.83
15-20K 14.25% 13.58% 104.91
20-25K 10.54% 10.39% 101.43
25-30K 7.60% 7.77% 97.78
30-35K 5.45% 5.79% 94.16
35-40K 3.93% 4.33% 90.65
40-45K 2.85% 3.27% 87.31
45-50K 2.09% 2.48% 84.14
50-55K 1.55% 1.90% 81.15
55-60K 1.15% 1.47% 78.32
60-65K 0.87% 1.15% 75.65
65-70K 0.66% 0.91% 73.12
70-75K 0.51% 0.72% 70.74
75-80K 0.39% 0.57% 68.49
80-85K 0.31% 0.46% 66.36
85-90K 0.24% 0.37% 64.35
90-95K 0.19% 0.31% 62.44
95-100K 0.15% 0.25% 60.63
100K + 0.69% 1.34% 51.07

Local Map of the constituency
Falkirk West - Local Map of the constituency

National Map of the constituency
Falkirk West - National Map of the constituency

Swing
1992-1997 1997-2001
Labour (7.85%)
Conservative (-  6.81%) Liberal Democrat (-  1.07%) SNP (-  0.07%)
Liberal Democrat (2.00%) SNP (0.82%)
Conservative (-  4.58%) Labour (-  7.48%)
Con - 6.81%
Lab 7.85%
LD - 1.07%
SNP - 0.07%
Con - 4.58%
Lab - 7.48%
LD 2.00%
SNP 0.82%
2001 Results - General Election (7 June 2001)
Eric Joyce
Labour hold
Con Conservative (7.51%) 2,321 7.51%
Lab Labour (51.87%) 16,022 51.87%
LD Liberal Democrat (7.13%) 2,203 7.13%
SNP SNP (24.25%) 7,490 24.25%
Oth Other (9.24%) 2,855 9.24%
Maj Majority (27.62%) 8,532 27.62%
Turn Turnout (57.65%) 30,891 57.65%
2001 Results - General Election (7 June 2001)
Eric Joyce
Labour hold
Ind B William Buchanan 1,464 4.74%
SL Ronnie Forbes 194 0.63%
L Eric Joyce 16,022 51.87%
SNP David Kerr 7,490 24.25%
Ind L Hugh Lynch 490 1.59%
SSP Mhairi McAlpine 707 2.29%
C Simon Murray 2,321 7.51%
LD Hugh O'Donnell 2,203 7.13%
Candidates representing 8 parties stood for election to this seat.
Byelection Results
By Election (21 December 2000)
Resignation of Dennis Andrew Canavan 21 November 2000
Eric Joyce
Labour
Con Conservative (8.31%) 1,621 8.31%
Lab Labour (43.54%) 8,492 43.54%
LD Liberal Democrat (3.15%) 615 3.15%
SNP SNP (39.93%) 7,787 39.93%
Oth Other (5.07%) 989 5.07%
Maj Majority (3.61%) 705 3.61%
Turn Turnout (36.15%) 19,504 36.15%
1997 Results - General Election (1 May 1997)
Dennis Canavan
Labour
Con Conservative (12.09%) 4,639 12.09%
Lab Labour (59.35%) 22,772 59.35%
LD Liberal Democrat (5.13%) 1,970 5.13%
SNP SNP (23.43%) 8,989 23.43%
Ref 0 0.00%
Oth 0 0.00%
Maj Majority (35.92%) 13,783 35.92%
Turn Turnout (72.60%) 38,370 72.60%
1992 Results -  General Election (9 April 1992)
Labour
Con Conservative (18.90%) 7,719 18.90%
Lab Labour (51.50%) 21,065 51.50%
LD Liberal Democrat (6.20%) 2,522 6.20%
SNP SNP (23.50%) 9,635 23.50%
Oth 0 0.00%
Maj Majority (27.90%) 11,430 27.90%
Turn Turnout (75.89%) 40,941 75.89%

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