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Argyll & Bute

The Result

Electorate: 69,995
Area (Hectares): 692,967

Argyll & Bute is on the Atlantic seaboard of western Scotland and includes many of the inner isles such as Mull, Islay, Jura, Tiree and Bute. The area is famous for its whisky distilleries and beautiful scenery and is visited by thousands of tourists every year. After tourism and distilling, the main employers are forestry, farming, boat building, fishing and fish farming. Due to the geography of the region communication links are poor, which may account for the fact that 10% of the population are Gaelic-speakers.

The seat has been held by Ray Michie for the Liberal Democrats since 1987 but the SNP held the seat between 1974 and 1979 and the Conservatives from 1979 to 1987. Personalities are more important than parties in this area and about two thirds of the local councillors are independents. As with much of rural Scotland, Labour have a low level of support here - they came fourth at the last General Election with only 15.7% of the vote.

Results of 1979 referendum:

The regions were different in 1979, Argyll & Bute was part of Strathclyde.
Yes No Turnout
All Scotland 51.6% 48.3% 63.8%
Strathclyde 54% 45.9% 63.2%

ICM/Scotsman poll published on 22 August 1997:

Question: Should there be a Scottish Parliament?

Yes No Don't know
All Scotland 68% 21% 11%
Strathclyde 71% 16% 13%

Question:Should a Scottish Parliament have tax-varying powers?

Yes No Don't know
All Scotland 56% 36% 8%
Strathclyde 56% 36% 9%

(Total Sample Size: 1,001, Fieldwork: 19-20 August 1997)

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