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for the Scottish Parliament
|Party||Scottish Conservative Party|
|MSP||Ruth Davidson MSP|
|Council area||City of Edinburgh|
Edinburgh Central is a burgh constituency of the Scottish Parliament (Holyrood). It elects one Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) by the plurality (first past the post) method of election. Also, it is one of nine constituencies in the Lothian electoral region, which elects seven additional members, in addition to nine constituency MSPs, to produce a form of proportional representation for the region as a whole.
Since 1999, the constituency MSP has been an ex officio member of the Board of Trustees of the National Library of Scotland. From 1925 until 1999, that role had been taken by the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Westminster constituency.
The other eight constituencies of the Lothian region are Almond Valley, Edinburgh Eastern, Edinburgh Northern and Leith, Edinburgh Pentlands, Edinburgh Southern, Edinburgh Western, Linlithgow and Midlothian North and Musselburgh
Constituency boundaries and council area
The City of Edinburgh is represented in the Scottish Parliament by six constituencies: Edinburgh Central, Edinburgh Eastern, Edinburgh Northern and Leith, Edinburgh Pentlands, Edinburgh Southern and Edinburgh Western.
The Edinburgh Central constituency was created at the same time as the Scottish Parliament, in 1999, with the name and boundaries of an existing Westminster constituency. In 2005, however, Scottish Westminster (House of Commons) constituencies were mostly replaced with new constituencies.
As part of the First Periodic Review of Scottish Parliament Boundaries the boundaries of the constituency were changed before the 2011 Scottish Parliament election. Each electoral ward used in the creation of the redrawn Central is split, shared with neighbouring constituencies.
- Inverleith (shared with Edinburgh Northern and Leith and Edinburgh Western)
- Corstorphine/Murrayfield (shared with Edinburgh Western)
- Sighthill/Gorgie (shared with Edinburgh Pentlands and Edinburgh Southern)
- Fountainbridge/Craiglockhart (shared with Edinburgh Southern)
- Meadows/Morningside (shared with Edinburgh Southern)
- City Centre (shared with Edinburgh Eastern)
- Southside/Newington (shared with Southern)
Constituency profile and voting patterns
The Edinburgh Central constituency is situated in the central-north of the City of Edinburgh. The constituency is a major tourist, financial and retail centre, covering Edinburgh's Old and New Towns, Princes Street, Hay Market, Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Castle and the Scottish Parliament building itself.
The north and west of the constituency is very affluent, covering Victorian suburbs such as Craigleith, Murrayfield, Stockbridge and Orchard Brae, in addition Edinburgh's well-off West End. There is some deprivation towards the south and east of the constituency around Dalry, Dumbiedykes and in patches of Edinburgh's Old Town, although overall the constituency is very affluent.
In the 2007 City of Edinburgh local council election, the Liberal Democrats emerged as the largest party in wards covered by the Edinburgh Central constituency. In the 2012 local election, the Conservatives and Scottish National Party formed the two largest parties in the area. The Conservatives were ahead in 6 of the 8 electoral wards covering the Edinburgh Central constituency in the 2017 City of Edinburgh local council election.
Traditionally this constituency has been represented by the Labour Party, with the Liberal Democrats forming the main opposition. From the formation of the Scottish Parliament in 1999 until the 2011 Scottish Parliament election, the constituency of Edinburgh Central was represented by Labour's Sarah Boyack. With a re-arrangement of the constituency boundaries in 2011, which would have been won by the Liberal Democrats in 2007, the constituency narrowly returned the SNP's Marco Biagi, who gained the constituency with a slender majority of 237 votes. In 2016 the Leader of the Scottish Conservative Party, Ruth Davidson, gained the constituency from the SNP with a majority of 610 votes.
In the UK Parliament, the Edinburgh Central constituency was represented by the Labour Party almost continuously from the 1945 UK general election until the constituency was abolished in 2005, voting Conservative once in 1983.
Member of the Scottish Parliament
|1999||Sarah Boyack||Scottish Labour Party|
|2011||Marco Biagi||Scottish National Party|
|2016||Ruth Davidson||Scottish Conservative Party|
|Scottish Parliament election, 2016: Edinburgh Central|
Blue background denotes the winner of the electorate vote.
|Scottish Green||Alison Johnstone||4,644||13.6%||13.6%||5,799||17.0%||13.3%|
|Liberal Democrats||Hannah Bettsworth||1,672||4.9%||15.6%||2,048||6.0%||3.2%|
|Total Valid votes||34,276||34,166|
|Conservative gain from SNP||Majority||610||2.9%||N/A|
The seat underwent boundary changes between the 2007 and 2011 elections.
|Liberal Democrats||Alex Cole-Hamilton||5,937||20.5||N/A|
|SNP win (new seat)|
|Liberal Democrats||Siobhan Mathers||7,962||27.1||+4.3|
|Liberal Democrats||Andy Myles||6,400||22.85||+6.31|
|Scottish Socialist||Catriona Grant||2,552||9.11||+6.89|
|Scottish Peoples Alliance||James O'Neill||229||0.82||+0.82|
|Liberal Democrats||Andy Myles||6,187||16.54||N/A|
|Scottish Socialist||Kevin Williamson||830||2.22||N/A|
|Labour win (new seat)|
Regional List votes
|Scottish Parliament election, 2011: Edinburgh Central (additional member vote)|
|Scottish Green||Regional list||4,213||14.4||+2.3|
|Liberal Democrats||Regional list||2,849||9.7||-5.7|
|Scottish Parliament election, 2007: Edinburgh Central (additional member vote)|
|Liberal Democrats||Regional list||4,621||15.4|
|Scottish Green||Regional list||3,619||12.1|
|Scottish Parliament election, 2003: Edinburgh Central (additional member vote)|
|Scottish Green||Regional list||5,534||19.6|
|Liberal Democrats||Regional list||3,258||11.5|
- See The 5th Periodical Report of the Boundary Commission for Scotland Archived September 21, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
- Statement of Persons Nominated Edinburgh Council
- Sub-constituency election results for the 2007 Scottish Parliament elections
- Scottish Parliamentary Election Regional list by Constituency, Lothians Region