West Aberdeenshire (UK Parliament constituency)

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West Aberdeenshire
Former County constituency
for the House of Commons
Subdivisions of Scotland Aberdeenshire
19501983
Number of members One
Replaced by Gordon, Kincardine & Deeside and Aberdeen North[1]
Created from West Aberdeenshire & Kincardineshire
Central Aberdeenshire & Kincardineshire
18681918
Number of members One
Type of constituency County constituency
Replaced by West Aberdeenshire & Kincardineshire
Central Aberdeenshire & Kincardineshire
Created from Aberdeenshire

West (or Western) Aberdeenshire was a Scottish county constituency of the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1868 to 1918 and from 1950 to 1983. It elected one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of election.

During the period 1918 to 1950, the area of the constituency was divided between West Aberdeenshire and Kincardineshire and Central Aberdeenshire and Kincardineshire.

In 1983, the West Aberdeenshire constituency was replaced by Kincardine and Deeside.

Boundaries[edit]

Western Aberdeenshire, 1885 to 1918[edit]

1868 to 1885[edit]

When created by the Representation of the People (Scotland) Act 1868, and first used in the 1868 general election, the Western Aberdeenshire constituency was nominally one of three covering the county of Aberdeen. The other two were the county constituency of Eastern Aberdeenshire and the burgh constituency of Aberdeen. The county had been covered previously by the Aberdeenshire constituency and the Aberdeen constituency.

Western Aberdeenshire was defined by the 1868 legislation as consisting of the parishes of Aboyne and Glentanner, Alford, Auchindoir and Kearn, Auchterless, Birse, Chapel of Garioch, Clatt, Cluny, Coull, Crathie and Braemar, Culsalmond, Drumblade, Dyce, Echt, Forgue, Glenbucket, Glenmuick, Tullich and Glengairn, Huntly, Insch, Inverurie, Keig, Kemnay, Kildrummy, Kincardine O'Neil, Kinnellar, Kennethmont, Kintore, Leochel-Cushnie, Leslie, Logie-Coldstone, Lumphanan, Midmar, Monymusk, Newhills, Oyne, Peterculter, Premnay, Rayne, Rhynie, Skene, Strathdon, Tarland and Migvie, Tough, Towie, Tullynesle and Forbes, together with the part of the parish of Old Machar lying west of the River Don, and the parts of the parishes of Banchory-Devenick, Cabrach, Cairnie, Drumoak and Glass within the County of Aberdeen, and the parish of Gartly in Banffshire.

1868 boundaries were also used in the 1874 general election and the 1880 general election.

1885 to 1918[edit]

For the 1885 general election the burgh constituencies of Aberdeen North and Aberdeen South were created. Both of these new constituencies included areas beyond the boundaries of the burgh of Aberdeen.

1885 boundaries were also used in the 1886 general election, the 1892 general election, the 1895 general election, the 1900 general election, the 1906 general election, the January 1910 general election and the December 1910 general election.

County boundaries were redefined under the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1889, and the city of Aberdeen (a county of city) was created in 1900, but these developments did not affect constituency boundaries.

In 1918, the Representation of the People Act 1918 created new constituency boundaries, taking account of new local government boundaries, and grouped the county of Aberdeen, the city of Aberdeen and the county of Kincardine in the creation of new constituencies for the 1918 general election. Thus the Western Aberdeenshire area was divided between West Aberdeenshire and Kincardinshire and Central Aberdeenshire and Kincardineshire.

West Aberdeenshire, 1950 to 1983[edit]

1950 to 1955[edit]

The House of Commons (Redistribution of Seats) Act 1949 created new boundaries for the 1950 general election, and West Aberdeenshire was created as one of four constituencies covering the county of Aberdeen and the city of Aberdeen. West Aberdeenshire and East Aberdeenshire were entirely within the county, and Aberdeen North and Aberdeen South were entirely within the city. West Aberdeenshire consisted of the burghs of Ballater, Inverurie, Kintore, and Oldmeldrum, and the districts of Aberdeen, Alford, Deeside, and Garioch.[2]

The same boundaries were used for the 1951 general election.

1955 to 1983[edit]

For the 1955 general election, West Aberdeenshire was enlarged to include the burgh of Huntly and the district of Huntly, which were previously within East Aberdeenshire.[2]

West Aberdeenshire retained the same boundaries for the 1959 general election, the 1964 general election, the 1966 general election, the 1970 general election, the February 1974 general election and the October 1974 general election.

In 1975, throughout Scotland, under the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973, counties and burghs were abolished as local government areas, and West Aberdeenshire became a constituency within the Grampian region.

The 1979 general election was held before a review of constituency boundaries took account of new local government boundaries.

For the 1983 general election, the West Aberdeenshire constituency was replaced by Kincardine and Deeside.

Member of Parliament[edit]

Western Aberdeenshire, 1868 to 1918[edit]

Election Member[3] Party
1868 William McCombie Liberal
1876 Lord Douglas Gordon Liberal
1880 Robert Farquharson Liberal
1906 John McDonald Henderson Liberal
1918 constituency abolished

West Aberdeenshire, 1950 to 1983[edit]

Election Member[3] Party
1950 Henry Spence Unionist
1959 Forbes Hendry Conservative
1966 James Davidson Liberal
1970 Colin Mitchell Conservative
Feb 1974 Sir Russell Fairgrieve Conservative
1983 constituency abolished

Election results 1868-1918[edit]

General Election 1868: Aberdeenshire Western [4]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal William McCombie unopposed n/a n/a
Liberal win (new seat)
West Aberdeenshire by-election, 1876[5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Douglas Gordon 2,343
Conservative Thomas Innes 813
Majority
Turnout
Liberal hold Swing
General Election 1880: Aberdeenshire Western [6]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Robert Farquharson 2,390
Conservative William Forbes 1,042
Majority
Turnout
Liberal hold Swing
General Election 1885: Aberdeenshire Western [7]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Robert Farquharson 4,248 54.6
Conservative Francis Hugh Irvine, jun. 2,010 25.8
Independent Liberal Quintin Kerr 1,530 19.6
Majority 2,238 28.8
Turnout 76.8
Liberal hold Swing
General Election 1886: Aberdeenshire Western[7]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Robert Farquharson 3,854 69.9 +15.3
Conservative Francis Hugh Irvine, jun. 1,657 30.1 +4.3
Majority 2,197 39.8 +11.0
Turnout 54.3 -22.5
Liberal hold Swing +5.5
General Election 1892: Aberdeenshire Western [8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Robert Farquharson 3,720 50.5 -19.4
Conservative Arthur Henry Grant 3,640 49.5 +19.4
Majority 80 1.0 -38.6
Turnout 73.4 +19.1
Liberal hold Swing -19.4
General Election 1895: Aberdeenshire Western [9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Robert Farquharson 4,187 51.3 +0.8
Conservative Arthur Henry Grant 3,967 48.7 -0.8
Majority 220 2.6 +1.6
Turnout 79.9 +6.5
Liberal hold Swing +0.8
General Election 1900: Aberdeenshire Western [9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Robert Farquharson 4,352 57.5
Conservative Arthur Henry Grant 3,213 42.5
Majority 1,139 15.0
Turnout 71.0
Liberal hold Swing
Henderson
General Election 1906: Aberdeenshire Western [8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal John Henderson 5,949 68.1 +10.6
Conservative Ronald McNeill 2,791 31.9 -10.6
Majority 3,158 36.2 +21.2
Turnout 81.7 +10.7
Liberal hold Swing +10.6
General Election Jan 1910: Aberdeenshire Western [10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal John Henderson 5,901 64.9
Liberal Unionist George Smith 3,194 35.1
Majority 2,707 29.8 -6.4
Turnout 83.8
Liberal hold Swing
General Election Dec 1910: Aberdeenshire Western [10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal John Henderson 5,415 62.6 -2.3
Liberal Unionist George Smith 3,232 37.4 +2.6
Majority
Turnout 79.2 -4.6
Liberal hold Swing -2.3

Election results 1950-79[edit]

Elections in the 1950s[edit]

General Election 1950: West Aberdeenshire[11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Unionist Henry Spence 17,550 55.6
Labour Tom Oswald 7,298 23.1
Liberal Ivor Davies 6,740 21.3
Majority 10,252 32.5
Turnout 80.8
Unionist hold Swing
General Election 1951: West Aberdeenshire[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Unionist Henry Spence 17,761 55.2
Labour Norman Hogg 7,278 22.6
Liberal Maitland Mackie 7,128 22.2
Majority 10,483 32.6
Turnout 78.3
Unionist hold Swing
General Election 1955: West Aberdeenshire[13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Unionist Henry Spence 20,216 59.1
Labour Mary MacNeil 9,288 27.1
Liberal Ronnie Fraser 4,705 13.8
Majority 10,928 31.9
Turnout 34,209 72.6
Unionist hold Swing
General Election 1959: West Aberdeenshire[14]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Unionist Forbes Hendry 22,937 68.5
Labour William Kemp 10,542 31.5
Majority 12,395 37.0
Turnout 33,479 72.1
Unionist hold Swing

Elections in the 1960s[edit]

General Election 1964: West Aberdeenshire[15]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Unionist Forbes Hendry 16,429 46.4
Liberal James Davidson 11,754 33.2
Labour Kenneth A Munro 7,203 20.4
Majority 4,675 13.2
Turnout 35,386
Unionist hold Swing
General Election 1966: West Aberdeenshire[16]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal James Davidson 15,151 43.2
Conservative Forbes Hendry 13,956 39.7
Labour John Henderson 6,008 17.1
Majority 1,195 3.4
Turnout 35,115 76.3
Liberal gain from Conservative Swing +1.7

Elections in the 1970s[edit]

General Election 1970: West Aberdeenshire[17]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Colin Mitchell 18,396 46.6
Liberal Laura Miranda Grimond 12,847 32.5
Labour Walter W Hay 6,141 15.5
SNP John G McKinlay 2,112 5.3
Majority 5,549 14.1
Turnout 39,496 75.0
Conservative gain from Liberal Swing +4.5
General Election February 1974: Aberdeenshire West [18]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Russell Fairgrieve 17,256 38.9
Liberal David C.P. Gracie 15,616 35.2
SNP Nicol Suttar 6,827 15.4
Labour C.W. Ellis 4,661 10.5
Majority 1,640 3.7
Turnout 51,573 81.09
Conservative hold Swing
General Election October 1974: Aberdeenshire West [19]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Russell Fairgrieve 15,111 35.7
Liberal David C.P. Gracie 12,643 29.9
SNP Nicol Suttar 9,409 22.2
Labour C.W. Ellis 5,185 12.2
Majority 2,468 5.8
Turnout 51,573 76.5 +1.9
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1979: Aberdeenshire West
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Russell Fairgrieve 21,086 40.9 +5.2
Liberal Malcolm Bruce 18,320 35.5 +5.6
Labour G. Grant 7,907 15.3 +3.1
SNP J. Hulbert 4,260 8.3 −13.9
Majority 2,766 5.4 -0.4
Turnout 51,573 75.9 −0.6
Conservative hold Swing

See also[edit]

References[edit]