Home News General Election 2024 questions answered for voters in Cowdenbeath and Kirkcaldy
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General Election 2024 questions answered for voters in Cowdenbeath and Kirkcaldy

General Election 2024 questions answered for voters in Cowdenbeath and Kirkcaldy
General Election questions answered for voters in Cowdenbeath and Kirkcaldy

During the current election race we are highlighting crucial constituencies within Scotland. As the polling day nears on 4th July, let’s delve into the key voter queries concerning the constituency of Cowdenbeath and Kirkcaldy, anticipated to be a tightly contested SNP-Labour battleground.

Candidates:

Melanie Ward – Labour

Lesley Backhouse – SNP

Jonathan Gray – Conservatives

Neale Hanvey – Alba

Fraser Graham – Liberal Democrats

Mags Hall – Greens

Sonia Davidson – Reform

Calum Paul – Scottish Libertarian

Previous Winner:

Neale Hanvey of the Alba party won this seat from Labour in 2019. Although he’d been temporarily barred from the SNP during the election campaign, he remained classified as SNP on the ballot, representing a gain for the Nationalists. Hanvey replaced Labour’s Lesley Laird, obtaining a majority by 1243 votes.

The Contenders this time:

Labour, led by Melanie Ward, the boss of a Palestinian aid charity, are favourites this time given the lead they have over the SNP in most Scottish polls. Labour won the seat in 2017 under Lesley Laird. Nonetheless, the SNP expect to give a tough fight with their candidate Lesley Backhouse, considering past victories here.

Labour’s required swing to win:

Labour’s candidate Ward would need to achieve a 3.6 per cent swing to overthrow the SNP domination in Cowdenbeath and Kirkcaldy. This constituency has been among the closest SNP-Labour tussles in Scotland in the recent elections.

Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown
Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown

Special Facts about this Seat:

This seat, formerly called Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, was established in 2005 and held by former Labour PM Gordon Brown for a decade. Kirkcaldy is also the hometown of the renowned Scottish economist Adam Smith who authored most of his books including the famous ‘The Wealth of Nations’ in his High Street house in the 18th century.

What areas does this constituency cover?

This constituency encompasses an area of Fife around the towns of Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, including Burntisland, Lochgelly, Kinghorn and Aberdour. It also extends into west Fife, incorporating places like North Queensferry, Inverkeithing, Crossgates and Hill of Beath.

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Key issues:

Dominating election issues include the persisting cost of living crisis, with child poverty rates in Fife soaring to one in four. Housing and homelessness issues are intertwined, with Fife Council recently becoming the fourth local authority in Scotland to officially declare a housing emergency.

Additional Details:

Discussion on the state of the NHS is prominent among locals, in the midst of the waiting lists debacle. NHS Fife’s Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy, colloquially known as ‘The Vic’, has consistently been among the worst in Scotland for A&E delays.

What should I bring on polling day?

If you intend to vote in person on 4th July, ensure to bring a photo ID such as a passport or driving licence. Bringing the polling card mailed to you is not necessary. If you’re voting via post, no photo ID is required.

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