The Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley 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.
Following their First Periodic review into constituencies to the Scottish Parliament in time for the 2011 Scottish Parliament election, the Boundary Commission for Scotland recommended redrawing the Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley constituency.
The electoral wards used in the creation of Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley are:
The rural seat of Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley is a diverse and sparsely populated area made up of former mining communities, outlying suburban villages, fertile farmlands and coastal resorts. Carrick stretches along the rugged and idyllic Ayrshire coast between Ayr and Galloway, taking in Culzean Castle and the resorts of Turnberry, home to the renowned Turnberry hotel and golf course, and Maidens. The main population centres within Carrick are Girvan, which serves as the area's main harbour, and Maybole, the historic capital of the kingdom of Carrick: both of which are among the most deprived areas in Scotland and are primarily made up of social housing. The north-west of the constituency contains a mix of affluent and deprived villages with high levels of deprivation along the former mining villages of Tarbolton, Annbank and Mossblown. The more affluent suburban villages of Dundoald, Loans, Coylton and Symington serve as commuter villages to Ayr, Prestwick and Troon. Cumnock, Doon Valley and Ballochmyle housed the central headquarters of coal mining operations in the Ayrshire area prior to the industry's collapse in the 1980s. Socialism is rooted in the culture and fabric of the area where the Trade Union movement was particularly strong in the 1980s and 1990s. Keir Hardie, who is regarded as one of the primary founders of the Labour party, was active in organising a local trade union for miners in the area in the late 1800s.
At Westminister the equivalent South Ayrshire and later Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley constituencies consistently returned Labour MP's since the 1930s. It was among the most reliable and safest Labour areas in Scotland, with Labour continually gaining the majority of the vote in almost all electoral wards in the constituency. At a local level almost all parts of the former Westminister constituency have consistently supported Labour with the exception of northern Girvan: this area is comparably more affluent compared to the rest of the constituency, it is made up of urban housing and as such has been marginally fought between the Conservatives and Labour. The Conservatives have performed stronger in some affluent villages around Ayr, Prestwick and Troon topping the poll in Coylton, Dundoald, Loans and Symington in local elections.
Although the SNP have performed poorly in the Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley constituency at Scottish and local elections they were able to secure the constituency in 2011. The area has historically been predominantly Labour-voting, however, in 1976 the Scottish Labour Party - a pro-independence breakaway group from the UK Labour Party - polled second place in the constituency at just 1,521 votes behind Labour's George Foulkes.