Ayr (UK Parliament constituency)

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Ayr
Former County constituency
for the House of Commons
Outline map
Boundary of Ayr in Scotland for the 1997 general election.
Subdivisions of ScotlandAyrshire
19502005
Number of membersOne
Replaced byAyr, Carrick & Cumnock
Central Ayrshire
Created fromAyr District of Burghs
Kilmarnock
South Ayrshire

Ayr was a county constituency of the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1950 to 2005. It elected one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first-past-the-post system of election.

Boundaries[edit]

The constituency was created by merging the Ayr burgh and Prestwick burgh components of the Ayr District of Burghs constituency with parts of the South Ayrshire and Kilmarnock constituencies.

1950 to 1974: The civil parishes of Ayr, Prestwick, Tarbolton and Symington.[1][2]

Chart of Ayr election results since October 1974.

1974 to 1983: The civil parishes of Ayr (except rural area around Ayr Hospital), Prestwick, Tarbolton and Symington.[3]

1983 to 1997: The towns of Ayr (except the council estate of Kincaidston), Prestwick and Troon plus the villages of Dundonald, Loans, Monkton, Tarbolton and Symington.[4]

1997 to 2005: The 1995 South Ayrshire electoral wards of Dundonald; East Kyle; Fort; Lochside and Craigie; Heathfield; Kingscase; Newton; Seafield; St Cuthbert's; St Nicholas; Troon Central; Troon East; Troon West; Wallacetown and Whitletts, covering Dundonald, Loans, Monkton, Prestwick, Symington, Tarbolton, Troon and the north and west of Ayr. This change led to a substantial alteration in the demographic of the constituency with the Labour Party being the prime beneficiaries.[5]

2005 onwards: In 2005 the constituency was divided between the Central Ayrshire and Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock constituencies. This had a significant impact on the Conservative party by dividing their support in Ayr, Prestwick and Troon into two separate, predominantly Labour-voting constituencies, neither of which attained any considerable level of support for the Conservatives to match that of the Labour party. The town of Ayr joined two-thirds of the former Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley constituency to form Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock, with the remaining portion of the former Ayr constituency (based in Prestwick, Troon, Dundonald and Loans) joining Irvine, Annbank, Auchincruive, east Kilwinning and the remainder of Kyle to form Central Ayrshire.[6][7]

At the 2017 general election Conservative candidate Bill Grant gained the Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock constituency with a 2,774 vote majority over the SNP's Corri Wilson.

At the Scottish Parliament the Ayr constituency has existed since the creation of the Scottish Parliament in 1999. The constituency retained the same boundaries as that of the former Ayr constituency at Westminster (1997-2005) until the 2011 First Periodic Review of Scottish Parliament Boundaries. The constituency is currently composed of the electoral wards of Ayr West, Ayr East, Ayr North, Prestwick and Troon, covering the towns of Ayr, Prestwick and Troon.[8] The constituency has been represented by Conservative MSP John Scott since a by-election in 2000.

Constituency profile and voting patterns[edit]

Members of Parliament[edit]

Election Member Party Notes
1950 constituency created, see Ayr Burghs and South Ayrshire
1950 Sir Thomas Moore, Bt. Conservative Previously MP for Ayr Burghs
1951
1955
1959
1964 George Younger Conservative Later Viscount Younger of Leckie; Cabinet minister 1979-89
1966
1970
February 1974
October 1974
1979
1983
1987
1992 Phil Gallie Conservative Later an MSP for South of Scotland 1999-2007
1997 Sandra Osborne Labour First female MP to represent Ayr
Subsequently MP for Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock
2001
2005 constituency abolished, see Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock and Central Ayrshire

Election results[edit]

Elections in the 1950s[edit]

General Election 1950: Ayr
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Unionist Thomas Moore 21,094 58.64
Labour John Pollock 14,880 41.36
Majority 6,214 17.27
Unionist hold Swing
General Election 1951: Ayr
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Unionist Thomas Moore 21,985 58.34
Labour J M Janet Auld 15,702 41.66
Majority 6,283 16.67
Unionist hold Swing
General Election 1955: Ayr
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Unionist Thomas Moore 20,006 59.06
Labour J M Janet Auld 13,866 40.94
Majority 6,140 18.13
Unionist hold Swing
General Election 1959: Ayr [9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Unionist Thomas Moore 19,659 54.67
Labour Alex Eadie 16,303 45.33
Majority 3,356 9.33
Unionist hold Swing

Elections in the 1960s[edit]

General Election 1964: Ayr
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Unionist George Younger 20,047 52.22
Labour Alex Eadie 18,346 47.78
Majority 1,701 4.43
Unionist hold Swing
General Election 1966: Ayr
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative George Younger 19,988 50.61
Labour Charles E O'Halloran 19,504 49.39
Majority 484 1.23
Conservative hold Swing

Elections in the 1970s[edit]

General Election 1970: Ayr
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative George Younger 22,220 52.68
Labour Co-op James Craigen 17,770 42.13
SNP Leslie Anderson 2,186 5.18
Majority 4,450 10.55
Turnout 81.46
Conservative hold Swing
General Election February 1974: Ayr [10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative George Younger 21,626 50.46
Labour JA McFadden 16,528 38.56
SNP CD Calman 4,706 10.98
Majority 5,098 11.89
Turnout 41,268 83.15
Conservative hold Swing
General Election October 1974: Ayr [11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative George Younger 17,487 42.4 -8.1
Labour Robin S. Stewart 14,268 34.6 -4.0
SNP Elizabeth Ann Robinson 6,902 16.7 +5.6
Liberal Neil Murray Tosh 2,611 6.3 N/A
Majority 3,219 7.8 -4.1
Turnout 41,268 79.4 -3.7
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1979: Ayr [12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative George Younger 18,907 43.3 +0.9
Labour Keith McDonald 16,139 37.0 +2.4
Liberal Richard McDougal Mabon 4,656 10.7 +4.4
SNP John McGill 3,998 9.2 −7.5
Majority 2,768 6.3 -1.5
Turnout 43,700 79.8 +0.4
Conservative hold Swing −0.8

Elections in the 1980s[edit]

George Younger
General Election 1983: Ayr[13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative George Younger 21,325 42.8 -0.5
Labour Keith McDonald 13,338 26.8 -10.2
Liberal Chic Brodie 12,740 25.6 +14.9
SNP Ian Goldie 2,431 4.9 -4.3
Majority 7,987 16.0 +9.7
Turnout 49,834 76.7 -3.1
Conservative hold Swing

In 1987 Ayr became the most marginal Westminster constituency in Scotland and the fourth most marginal constituency in the United Kingdom, being won by Conservative George Younger by 182 votes.

General Election 1987: Ayr[14]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative George Younger 20,942 39.4 −3.4
Labour Keith McDonald 20,760 39.1 +12.3
Liberal Keith Moody 7,859 14.8 −10.6
SNP Colin Weir 3,548 6.7 +1.8
Majority 182 0.3 -15.7
Turnout 53,109 79.9 +3.2
Conservative hold Swing −7.9

Elections in the 1990s[edit]

In 1992 Ayr remained the most marginal constituency in Scotland and fourth most marginal constituency in the United Kingdom, being won by Conservative Phil Gallie with a majority of 85 votes.

General Election 1992: Ayr[15]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Phil Gallie 22,172 40.8 +1.4
Labour Alastair Osborne 22,087 40.6 +1.5
SNP Barbara Mullin 5,949 10.9 +4.2
Liberal Democrat John Boss 4,067 7.5 −7.3
Natural Law Richard B. Scott 132 0.2 N/A
Majority 85 0.2 -0.1
Turnout 54,407 83.0 +3.1
Conservative hold Swing -0.05

In 1997 the boundaries of the Ayr seat were altered. Below is the notional result from the 1992 general election using the 1997 boundaries.

General Election 1992: Ayr Notional[16]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour 19,312 42.6 +2.0
Conservative 17,417 38.4 -2.4
SNP 5,057 11.2 +0.3
Liberal Democrat 3,382 7.5 +0.0
Natural Law 132 0.2 +0.0
Majority 1,895 4.2
Labour gain from Conservative Swing
General Election 1997: Ayr[17]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Sandra Osborne 21,679 48.4 +5.8
Conservative Phil Gallie 15,136 33.8 −4.6
SNP Ian Blackford 5,625 12.6 +1.4
Liberal Democrat Clare Hamblen 2,116 4.7 −2.8
Referendum John Enos 200 0.4 N/A
Majority 6,543 14.6 +10.4
Turnout 44,756 80.0 −3.0
Labour gain from Conservative Swing +5.2

Elections in the 2000s[edit]

Sandra Osborne
General Election 2001: Ayr[18]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Sandra Osborne 16,801 43.6 −4.9
Conservative Phil Gallie 14,256 37.0 +3.2
SNP Jim Mather 4,621 12.0 −0.6
Liberal Democrat Stuart Richie 2,089 5.4 +0.7
Scottish Socialist James Stewart 692 1.8 N/A
UKIP Joseph Smith 101 0.3 N/A
Majority 2,545 6.6 -8.0
Turnout 38,560 69.3 −10.7
Labour hold Swing −4.1

References[edit]

  1. ^ 'Initial Review of UK Parliament Constituencies (1950-1955) Ayr county constituency'
  2. ^ 'First Review of UK Parliament Constituencies (1955-1974) Ayr county constituency'
  3. ^ 'Second Review of UK Parliament Constituencies (1974-1983) Ayr county constituency'
  4. ^ 'Third Review of UK Parliament Constituencies (1983 - 1997) Ayr county constituency'
  5. ^ 'Fourth Review of UK Parliament Constituencies (1997-2005) Ayr county constituency'
  6. ^ 'Boundary Commission for Scotland UK Parliament 2005 onwards Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock county constituency'
  7. ^ 'Boundary Commission for Scotland UK Parliament 2005 onwards Central Ayrshire county constituency'
  8. ^ 'Boundary Commission for Scotland First Periodic Review of Scottish Parliament Boundaries Recommended Scottish Parliament constituencies Ayr County Constituency'
  9. ^ Whitaker's Almanack 1963
  10. ^ Whitaker's Almanack 1977
  11. ^ Whitaker's Almanack 1977
  12. ^ Whitaker's Almanack 1977
  13. ^ "Election Data 1983". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  14. ^ "Election Data 1987". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  15. ^ "Election Data 1992". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  16. ^ http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/2015guide/boundaries-4th-review/ '4th Boundary Review (1997)'
  17. ^ "Election Data 1997". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  18. ^ "Election Data 2001". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.