From 1708 to 1832 Buteshire and Caithness were paired as alternating constituencies: one of the constituencies elected a Member of Parliament (MP) to one parliament, the other to the next. The areas which were covered by the two constituencies are quite remote from each other, Caithness in the northeast of Scotland and Buteshire in the southwest.
From 1832 to 1918, Buteshire was represented continuously by its own MP.
In 1918, the Bute and Northern Ayrshire county constituency was created, to cover the county of Bute and a northern portion of the county of Ayr. The rest of the county of Ayr was divided between three other constituencies, all entirely within the county: the county constituencies of South Ayrshire and Kilmarnock, and a remodelled Ayr Burghs.