Na h-Eileanan an Iar (Scottish Parliament constituency)

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Na h-Eileanan an Iar
county constituency
for the Scottish Parliament
Na h-Eileanan an Iar (Scottish Parliament constituency).svg
Highlands and Islands (Scottish Parliament electoral region).svg
Na h-Eileanan an Iar shown within the Highlands and Islands electoral region and the region shown within Scotland
Current constituency
Created 1999
Party Scottish National Party
MSP Alasdair Allan
Council area Na h-Eileanan Siar

Na h-Eileanan an Iar (/nə ˈhɪlənən ənˈjɪər/; Scottish Gaelic pronunciation: [nəˈhelanən əˈɲiəɾ]), formerly Western Isles, is a constituency of the Scottish Parliament (Holyrood). It elects one Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) by the first past the post method of election. It is also one of eight constituencies in the Highlands and Islands electoral region, which elects seven additional members, in addition to the eight constituency MSPs, to produce a form of proportional representation for the region as a whole.

Electoral region[edit]

The Na h-Eileanan an Iar constituency is part of the Highlands and Islands electoral region; the other seven constituencies are Argyll and Bute, Caithness, Sutherland and Ross, Inverness and Nairn, Moray, Orkney, Shetland and Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch.

The region covers most of Argyll and Bute council area, all of the Highland council area, most of the Moray council area, all of the Orkney Islands council area, all of the Shetland Islands council area and all of Na h-Eileanan Siar.

Constituency boundaries and council area[edit]

The Western Isles constituency was created at the same time as the Scottish Parliament, with the name and boundaries of an existing Westminster constituency. It voted for the first time in the Scottish Parliament election, 1999. From the United Kingdom general election, 2005, however, the name of the Westminster (House of Commons) constituency was changed to Na h-Eileanan an Iar.

The Holyrood constituency covers Na h-Eileanan Siar (the Western Isles council area).

Geographically, the constituency consists of the Outer Hebridean islands. The major islands are Barra, Benbecula, Lewis and Harris, North Uist and South Uist. On the grounds of the remoteness of the constituency from the rest of Scotland, and the difficulties involved in getting from island to island, there is a significantly smaller electorate than in the mainland Scottish Parliament constituencies.[1]


The seat had been a two-way marginal between the Labour Party and the Scottish National Party for many years. In recent years, however, it has become increasingly safe for the Scottish National Party. Despite that, during the Scottish independence referendum, 2014 the constituency voted against independence by a margin of 53.42% (10,544) to 46.58% (9,195) in favour on a turnout of 86.2%[2]

Member of the Scottish Parliament[edit]

Election Member Party
1999 Alasdair Morrison Labour
2007 Alasdair Allan Scottish National Party

Election results[edit]

Scottish Parliament election, 2016: Na h-Eileanan an Iar [3]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
SNP Alasdair Allan 6,874 52.1 -13.2
Labour Rhoda Grant 3,378 25.6 -3.0
Conservative Ranald Fraser 1,499 11.4 +7.0
Scottish Christian John Cormack 1,162 8.8 +8.8
Liberal Democrats Ken MacLeod 293 2.2 +0.4
Majority 3,496 26.5 -10.2
Turnout 13,206 60.9 +1.7
SNP hold Swing
Scottish Parliament election, 2011: Na h-Eileanan an Iar [4]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
SNP Alasdair Allan 8,496 65.3 +18.7
Labour Donald Crichton 3,724 28.6 -13.0
Conservative Charlie McGrigor 563 4.3 -1.2
Liberal Democrats Peter Morrison 228 1.8 -4.5
Majority 4,772 36.7 +31.7
Turnout 13,011 59.2 -2.6
SNP hold Swing

Conservative and Liberal Democrat both gained under 5% of the poll and thus lost their deposit

Scottish Parliament election, 2007: Western Isles
Party Candidate Votes % ±
SNP Alasdair Allan 6,354 46.6 +5.4
Labour Alasdair Morrison 5,667 41.6 -5.4
Liberal Democrats Ruaraidh Ferguson 852 6.3 +2.2
Conservative Dave Petrie 752 5.5 +0.6
Majority 687 5.0
Turnout 13,625 61.8 +3.4
SNP gain from Labour Swing +5.4
Scottish Parliament Election 2003: Western Isles
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Alasdair Morrison 5,825 47.03 -3.65
SNP Alasdair Nicholson 5,105 41.21 +5.16
Conservative Frank Warren 612 4.94 -3.29
Liberal Democrats Conor Snowden 498 4.02 +0.83
Scottish Socialist Joanne Telfer 347 2.80 +0.37
Majority 720 5.81 -8.8
Turnout 12,387 58.4 -3.3
Labour hold Swing
Scottish Parliament Election 1999: Western Isles
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Alasdair Morrison 7,248 50.68
SNP Alasdair Nicholson 5,155 36.05
Conservative Jamie McGrigor 1,095 7.65
Liberal Democrats John Horne 456 3.19
Scottish Socialist Joanne Telfer 347 2.43
Majority 2,093 14.64
Turnout 14301 61.7
Labour win (new seat)


  1. ^ See The 5th Periodical Report of the Boundary Commission for Scotland
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ Statement of Persons Nominated Comhairle nan Eilean Siar