Orkney and Shetland (UK Parliament constituency)

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For the archipelago, see Northern Isles.

Coordinates: 59°46′30″N 1°48′11″W / 59.775°N 1.803°W / 59.775; -1.803

Orkney and Shetland
County constituency
for the House of Commons
Outline map
Boundary of Orkney and Shetland in Scotland.
Subdivisions of Scotland Orkney and Shetland
Electorate 32,181
Current constituency
Created 1708
Member of Parliament Alistair Carmichael (Liberal Democrat)
Number of members One
Created from Orkney and Shetland
Overlaps
European Parliament constituency Scotland

Orkney and Shetland is a constituency of the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of election. In the Scottish Parliament, Orkney and Shetland are separate constituencies.

The constituency was historically known as Orkney and Zetland - an alternative name for Shetland.

Boundaries[edit]

The constituency is made up of the two island groups, Orkney and Shetland. A constituency of this name has existed continuously since 1708. However before 1918 the town of Kirkwall (the capital of Orkney) formed part of the Northern Burghs constituency.

The constituency is one of four "protected constituencies", the others being Na h-Eileanan an Iar and two constituencies in the Isle of Wight.[1] The constituency contains the areas of the Orkney Islands Council and the Shetland Islands Council. Before 2011 constituency had been unique in having its boundaries protected by legislation.[2]

Member of Parliament[edit]

The constituency has elected only Liberal and Liberal Democrat MPs since 1950, the longest run of any British Parliamentary Constituency.[3][4] In each general election from 1955 until 1979, in 1987 and again in 2010 it was the safest Liberal seat in Britain.

Year Member Party
1707 Sir Alexander Douglas
1713 George Douglas
1715 James Moodie
1722 George Douglas
1730 by-election Robert Douglas[disambiguation needed]
1747 John Halyburton
1754 James Douglas
1768 Thomas Dundas
1771 by-election Thomas Dundas
1780 Robert Baikie
1781 by-election Thomas Dundas
1790 John Balfour
1796 Capt. Robert Honyman
1806 Col. Robert Honyman
1807 Malcolm Laing
1812 Richard Bempde Johnstone Honyman
1818 George Heneage Lawrence Dundas
1820 John Balfour
1826 George Heneage Lawrence Dundas
1830 George Traill Whig
1835 Thomas Balfour Tory
1837 Frederick Dundas Liberal
1847 Arthur Anderson Liberal
1852 Frederick Dundas Liberal
1873 by-election Samuel Laing Liberal
1885 Leonard Lyell Liberal
1900 Cathcart Wason Liberal Unionist
1902 by-election Independent Liberal
1906 Liberal
1918 Coalition Liberal
1921 by-election Malcolm Smith Coalition Liberal
1922 Robert Hamilton Liberal
1935 Basil Neven-Spence Conservative
1950 Jo Grimond Liberal
1983 Jim Wallace Liberal
1988 Liberal Democrat
2001 Alistair Carmichael Liberal Democrat

Elections[edit]

Elections in the 2010s[edit]

General Election 2015: Orkney and Shetland
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrats Alistair Carmichael[5]
General Election 2010: Orkney and Shetland[6][7][8][9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrat Alistair Carmichael 11,989 62.0 +10.5
Labour Mark Cooper 2,061 10.7 −3.5
SNP John Mowat 2,042 10.6 +0.3
Conservative Frank Nairn 2,032 10.5 −2.8
UKIP Robert Smith 1,222 6.3 +3.9
Majority 9,928 51.3
Turnout 19,346 58.5 +4.1
Liberal Democrat hold Swing +7.0

Elections in the 2000s[edit]

General Election 2005: Orkney and Shetland
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrat Alistair Carmichael 9,138 51.5 +10.1
Labour Richard Meade 2,511 14.2 −6.4
Conservative Frank Nairn 2,357 13.3 −5.4
SNP John Mowat 1,833 10.3 −4.5
Scottish Socialist John Aberdein 992 5.6 +1.0
UKIP Scott Dyble 424 2.4 N/A
Legalise Cannabis Paul Cruickshank 311 1.8 N/A
Free Scotland Brian Nugent 176 1.0 N/A
Majority 6,627 37.4
Turnout 17,742 53.7 +1.7
Liberal Democrat hold Swing +8.3
General Election 2001: Orkney and Shetland
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrat Alistair Carmichael 6,919 41.3 −10.6
Labour Robert Mochrie 3,444 20.6 +2.3
Conservative John Firth 3,121 18.7 +6.4
SNP John Mowat 2,473 14.8 +2.1
Scottish Socialist Peter Andrews 776 4.6 N/A
Majority 3,475 20.7
Turnout 16,733 52.4 −11.5
Liberal Democrat hold Swing

Elections in the 1990s[edit]

General Election 1997: Orkney and Shetland[10][11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrat Jim Wallace 10,743 52.0 +5.6
Labour James Paton 3,775 18.3 −1.5
SNP Willie Ross 2,624 12.7 +1.5
Conservative Hope Vere Anderson 2,527 12.2 −9.8
Referendum Party Francis Adamson 820 4.0 N/A
Natural Law Christian Wharton 116 0.6 N/A
Independent Arthur Robertson 60 0.3 N/A
Majority 6,968 +33.7 +10.3
Turnout 64.0 −1.5
Liberal Democrat hold Swing +3.6
General Election 1992: Orkney and Shetland[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrat Jim Wallace 9,575 46.4 +4.7
Conservative Dr. Paul McCormick 4,542 22.0 −1.3
Labour John Aberdein 4,093 19.8 +1.1
SNP Mrs. Frances McKie 2,301 11.2 N/A
Natural Law Ms. Christian Wharton 115 0.6 N/A
Majority 5,033 24.4 +6.0
Turnout 20,626 65.5 −3.2
Liberal Democrat hold Swing +3.0

Elections in the 1980s[edit]

General Election 1987: Orkney and Shetland
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Jim Wallace 8,881 41.7 −4.2
Conservative Richard William Arthur Jenkins 4,959 23.3 −2.3
Labour John Henry Aberdein 3,995 18.7 +5.4
Orkney and Shetland Movement John Hutchison Goodlad 3,095 14.5 N/A
Green Grierson Kesterton Collister 389 1.8 N/A
Majority 3,922 18.4
Turnout 68.7
Liberal hold Swing
General Election 1983: Orkney and Shetland
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Jim Wallace 9,374 45.9 −10.5
Conservative David Myles 5,224 25.6 +4.3
SNP Winifred Ewing 3,147 15.4 +10.6
Labour Robina Goodlad 2,665 13.1 −4.3
Majority 4,150 20.3
Turnout 67.8
Liberal hold Swing

Elections in the 1970s[edit]

General Election 1979: Orkney and Shetland
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Rt Hon. Joseph Grimond 10,950 56.4
Conservative C. Donaldson 4,140 21.3
Labour Robina Goodlad 3,385 17.4
SNP M. Spens 935 4.8
Majority 6,810 35.1
Turnout 67.2
Liberal hold Swing
General Election October 1974: Orkney and Shetland
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Rt Hon. Joseph Grimond 9,877 56.2
SNP Howard Firth 3,025 17.2
Conservative Raymond M. Fraser 2,495 14.2
Labour Jonathan W.G. Wills 2,175 12.4
Majority 6,852 39.0
Turnout 66.8
Liberal hold Swing
General Election February 1974: Orkney and Shetland
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Rt Hon. Joseph Grimond 11,491 62.0
Conservative Dr John L. Firth 4,186 22.6
Labour Jonathan W.G. Wills 2,865 15.5
Majority 7,305 39.4
Turnout 71.1
Liberal hold Swing
General Election 1970: Orkney and Shetland

Electorate 25,630

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Rt Hon. Joseph Grimond 7,896 47.0
Conservative Dr John L. Firth 5,364 31.9
Labour William Macpherson Reid 3,552 21.1
Majority 2,532 15.1
Turnout 65.6
Liberal hold Swing

Elections in the 1960s[edit]

General Election 1966: Orkney and Shetland

Electorate 24,927

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Rt Hon. Joseph Grimond 9,605 59.1
Unionist Dr John L Firth 3,630 22.3
Labour Hugh Lynch 3,021 18.6
Majority 5,975 36.8
Turnout 16,256 65.2
Liberal hold Swing
General Election 1964: Orkney and Shetland

Electorate 25,481

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Rt Hon. Joseph Grimond 11,604 62.6
Unionist Dr John L Firth 3,704 20.0
Labour Ian MacInnes 3,232 17.4
Majority 7,900 42.6
Turnout 18,540 72.7
Liberal hold Swing

Elections in the 1950s[edit]

General Election 1959: Orkney and Shetland

Electorate 26,435

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Rt Hon. Joseph Grimond 12,099 64.1 0.3
Unionist Robert Hunter Wingate Bruce 3,487 18.5 -1.9
Labour Robert S McGowan 3,275 17.4 1.6
Majority 8,612 45.7
Turnout 18,861 71.3
Liberal hold Swing
General Election 1955: Orkney and Shetland

Electorate 27,868

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Joseph Grimond 11,753 63.8 6.3
Unionist John W Eunson 3,760 20.4 -6.2
Labour Edgar Ramsay 2,914 15.8 -0.4
Majority 7,993 43.4
Turnout 18,427 66.1
Liberal hold Swing
General Election 1951: Orkney and Shetland

Electorate 29,603

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Joseph Grimond 11,745 57.5 11.3
Unionist Archibald Tennant 5,354 26.2 -5.7
Labour Magnus A Fairnie 3,335 16.2 -3.1
Majority 6,391 31.3
Turnout 20,434 69.0
Liberal hold Swing
General Election 1950: Orkney and Shetland

Electorate 29,131

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Joseph Grimond 9,237 46.8 12.6
Unionist Sir Basil Hamilton Hebden Neven-Spence 6,281 31.9 -4.1
Labour Harald Robert Leslie 3,335 21.3 -8.5
Majority 2,956 15.0
Turnout 19,716 67.7
Liberal gain from Unionist Swing

Elections in the 1940s[edit]

General Election 1945: Orkney and Shetland

Electorate 31,468

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Unionist Sir Basil Hamilton Hebden Neven-Spence 6,304 36.0 -21.6
Liberal Joseph Grimond 5,975 34.2 -8.2
Labour Prophet JL Smith 5,208 29.8 n/a
Majority 329 1.8 -13.4
Turnout 17,487 55.5 +9.2
Unionist hold Swing

Elections in the 1930s[edit]

General Election 1939/40: Another general election was required to take place before the end of 1940. The political parties had been making preparations for an election to take place and by the Autumn of 1939, the following candidates had been selected;

General Election 1935: Orkney and Shetland

Electorate 31,480

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Unionist Basil Hamilton Hebden Neven-Spence 8,406 57.6 n/a
Liberal Sir Robert William Hamilton 6,180 42.4 n/a
Majority 2,226 15.2 n/a
Turnout 1,586 46.3 n/a
Unionist gain from Liberal Swing n/a
General Election 1931: Orkney and Shetland

Electorate 33,147

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Sir Robert William Hamilton Unopposed N/A N/A
Liberal hold Swing N/A

Elections in the 1920s[edit]

General Election 1929: Orkney and Shetland

Electorate 31,683

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Sir Robert William Hamilton 8,256 60.4 n/a
Unionist Basil Hamilton Hebden Neven-Spence 5,404 39.6 n/a
Majority 2,852 20.6 n/a
Turnout 13,660 43.1 n/a
Liberal hold Swing n/a
General Election 1924: Orkney and Shetland

Electorate

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Sir Robert William Hamilton Unopposed N/A N/A
Liberal hold Swing N/A
General Election 1923: Orkney and Shetland

Electorate 24,167

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Sir Robert William Hamilton 5,129 54.3 +0.8
Unionist Robert John Graham Boothby 4,318 45.7 n/a
Majority 811 8.6 +1.6
Turnout 9,447 39.1 +1.7
Liberal hold Swing
Sir Robert Hamilton
General Election 1922: Orkney and Shetland

Electorate 24,073

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Sir Robert William Hamilton 4,814 53.5 n/a
National Liberal Sir Malcolm Smith 4,189 46.5 n/a
Majority 625 7.0 n/a
Turnout 9,003 37.4 n/a
Liberal gain from National Liberal Swing n/a
Orkney and Shetland by-election, 1921

Electorate

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Coalition Liberal Sir Malcolm Smith Unopposed N/A N/A
Coalition Liberal hold Swing N/A

Elections in the 1910s[edit]

General Election 1918: Orkney and Shetland

Electorate

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal John Cathcart Wason Unopposed N/A N/A
Liberal hold Swing N/A
General Election December 1910: Orkney and Shetland

Electorate 7,115

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal John Cathcart Wason Unopposed N/A N/A
Liberal hold Swing N/A
Cathcart Wason
General Election January 1910: Orkney and Shetland

Electorate 7,115

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal John Cathcart Wason 4,117 80.6 +1.6
Liberal Unionist Thomas William Hemsley 994 19.4 -1.6
Majority 3,123 61.2 +3.2
Turnout 5,111 71.8 +8.5
Liberal hold Swing

Elections in the 1900s[edit]

General Election 1906: Orkney and Shetland

Electorate 7,680

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal John Cathcart Wason 3,837 79.0 +29.5
Liberal Unionist C J Dunlop 1,021 21.0 -29.5
Majority 2,816 58.0
Turnout 4,858 63.3 +8.4
Liberal gain from Liberal Unionist Swing
Orkney and Shetland by-election, 1902

Electorate 7,572

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Independent Liberal John Cathcart Wason 2,412 46.8 +46.8
Liberal Thomas McKinnon Wood 2,001 38.8 -10.7
Liberal Unionist Theodore Vivian Samuel Angier 740 14.4 -36.1
Majority 411 8.0
Turnout 5,153 68.1 +13.2
Independent Liberal gain from Liberal Unionist Swing
Cathcart Wason
General Election 1900: Orkney and Shetland

Electorate 7,420

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Unionist John Cathcart Wason 2,057 50.5 +10.4
Liberal Sir Leonard Lyell 2,017 49.5 -10.4
Majority 40 1.0
Turnout 4,074 54.9 -1.0
Liberal Unionist gain from Liberal Swing

Elections in the 1890s[edit]

General Election 1895: Orkney and Shetland

Electorate 7,053

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Sir Leonard Lyell 2,361 59.9 -2.0
Liberal Unionist Ralph Wardlaw MacLeod Fullarton 1,580 40.1 +2.0
Majority 781 19.8 -4.0
Turnout 3,941 55.9 -4.0
Liberal hold Swing
General Election 1892: Orkney and Shetland

Electorate 7,064

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Leonard Lyell 2,624 61.9 -1.1
Liberal Unionist W Younger 1,617 38.1 +1.1
Majority 1,007 23.8 -2.2
Turnout 4,241 59.9 +8.4
Liberal hold Swing

Elections in the 1880s[edit]

General Election 1886: Orkney and Shetland

Electorate 7,391

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Leonard Lyell 2,353 63.0 -0.3
Liberal Unionist H Hoare 1,382 37.0 +0.3
Majority 971 26.0 -0.6
Turnout 3,735 50.5 -21.1
Liberal hold Swing
General Election 1885: Orkney and Shetland

Electorate 7,391

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Leonard Lyell 3,352 63.3
Conservative Hon. C T Dundas 1,940 36.7
Majority 1,412 26.6
Turnout 5,292 71.6
Liberal hold Swing
General Election 1880: Orkney and Shetland
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Samuel Laing 896
Conservative G R Badenoch 578
Majority 318
Turnout 1,474
Liberal hold Swing

Elections in the 1870s[edit]

Orkney and Shetland by-election, 1873
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Samuel Laing 646
Liberal Sir P Tait 621
Majority 25
Turnout 1,267
Liberal hold Swing

Elections in the 1860s[edit]

General Election 1868: Orkney and Shetland
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Frederick Dundas 715
Conservative H B Riddell 446
Majority 269
Turnout 1,161
Liberal hold Swing

Elections in the 1850s[edit]

General Election 1852: Orkney and Shetland
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Frederick Dundas 227
Conservative J Inglis 194
Majority 33
Turnout 421
Liberal hold Swing

Elections in the 1840s[edit]

General Election 1847: Orkney and Shetland
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Arthur Anderson 209
Liberal Frederick Dundas 183
Majority 26
Turnout 392
Liberal hold Swing

Elections in the 1830s[edit]

General Election 1835: Orkney and Shetland
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Tory Thomas Balfour 114
Whig George Traill 84
Majority 30
Turnout 198
Tory gain from Whig Swing
General Election 1832: Orkney and Shetland
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Whig George Traill 107
Tory S Laing 96
Whig R Hunter 9
Majority 11
Turnout 212
Whig hold Swing

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Protected constituencies, s 11, schedule 2, Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act 2011. The constituencies are protected by future boundary reviews from splitting or merging. The two Isle of Wight constituencies have not yet been formed.
  2. ^ Rule 3A of the Boundary Commission rules stated "A constituency which includes the Orkney Islands or the Shetland Islands shall not include the whole or any part of a local government area other than the Orkney Islands and the Shetland Islands." Boundary Commission Rules This rule was added in the Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986 and retained in the Scotland Act 1998]] (section 86 (3), which established the Scottish parliament.
  3. ^ "Candidates and Constituency Assessments". alba.org.uk - "The almanac of Scottish elections and politics". Retrieved 9 February 2010.
  4. ^ "The Untouchable Orkney & Shetland Isles " (1 October 2009) www.snptacticalvoting.com Retrieved 9 February 2010.
  5. ^ http://www.libdemvoice.org/alistair-carmichael-reselected-for-orkney-and-shetland-37764.html
  6. ^ http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/guide/seat-profiles/orkneyandshetland
  7. ^ People: Westminster Candidates, SNP
  8. ^ http://election.pressassociation.com/Nominations/general.php
  9. ^ BBC election website
  10. ^ "Politics Resources". Election 1997. Politics Resources. 1 May 1997. Retrieved 2010-12-25. 
  11. ^ C. Rallings & M. Thrasher, The Media Guide to the New Parliamentary Constituencies, p.130 (Plymouth: LGC Elections Centre, 1995)
  12. ^ "Politics Resources". Election 1992. Politics Resources. 9 April 1992. Retrieved 2010-12-06. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]