Inverness, Nairn and Lochaber (UK Parliament constituency)

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Inverness, Nairn and Lochaber
Former County constituency
for the House of Commons
Subdivisions of Scotland Highland
Number of members One
Replaced by Inverness East, Nairn & Lochaber and Ross, Skye & Inverness West
Created from Argyll, Inverness and Moray and Nairn

Inverness, Nairn and Lochaber was a county constituency of the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1983 to 1997. It elected one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first-past-the-post system of election.


Throughout the 1983 to 1997 period, this marginal constituency was represented by a Liberal, and then Liberal Democrat, MP: Sir David Russell Johnston (later Baron Russell-Johnston), who had been, previously, MP for the Inverness constituency.


The constituency was created to cover four of the eight districts of Highland local government region: the Inverness district, the Nairn district, the Lochaber district and the Badenoch and Strathspey district. The region and districts had been created in 1975, under the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973, when the county and burgh system of local government was abolished. The other districts of the region were covered by the Ross, Cromarty and Skye constituency and the Caithness and Sutherland constituency.

In 1996, under the Local Government etc (Scotland) Act 1994, the districts were abolished and the region became a unitary council area.

In 1997, constituency boundaries were redrawn to divide the Highland area between three new constituencies: Inverness East, Nairn and Lochaber, Ross, Skye and Inverness West and Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross. New constituency boundaries divided the areas of some of the former districts.

Member of Parliament[edit]

Event Member[1] Party
1983 Russell Johnston Liberal
1988 Liberal Democrat
1997 constituency abolished: see Inverness East, Nairn & Lochaber
and Ross, Skye & Inverness West


Elections in the 1980s[edit]

General Election 1983: Inverness, Nairn and Lochaber
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal David Russell Johnston 20,671 46.0 N/A
Conservative David John Maclean 13,373 29.8 N/A
Labour Duncan McMillan 6,448 14.4 N/A
SNP Hamish William Vernal 4,395 9.8 N/A
Majority 7,298 16.3 N/A
Turnout 44,887 70.5 N/A
Liberal win (new seat)
General Election 1987: Inverness, Nairn and Lochaber
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Sir David Russell Johnston 17,422 36.8 −9.2
Labour David John Stewart 11,991 25.4 +11.0
Conservative Mrs. Annabel Therese Keswick 10,901 23.0 −6.8
SNP Niall Peter Johnson 7,001 14.8 +5.0
Majority 5,431 11.5
Turnout 47,315 70.9 +0.4
Liberal hold Swing −10.1

Elections in the 1990s[edit]

In the 1992 election, the four major parties were separated by only 3.41%, the closest four-way result in an election to the UK Parliament since 1918.[2]

General Election 1992: Inverness, Nairn and Lochaber[3]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Democrat Sir David Russell Johnston 13,258 26.0 −10.8
Labour David John Stewart 12,800 25.1 −0.2
SNP Fergus Stewart Ewing 12,562 24.7 +9.9
Conservative John Scott 11,517 22.6 −0.4
Green John Martin 766 1.5 N/A
Majority 458 0.9 −10.6
Turnout 50,903 73.6 +2.7
Liberal Democrat hold Swing −5.3