The Highland authority covers a large but sparsely populated region. It takes in most of north west Scotland, running from Fort William to John O'Groats. Tourists come this area for the beautiful scenery, the salmon fishing and in winter, for skiing. Farming and fishing are also important to the Highland economy. The off-shore oil industry provides jobs in the Inverness area, although this is now in decline. Gaelic is spoken widely in the more remote parts of this region.
Like many other remote areas of Scotland, politics here is dominated by personalities rather than parties. About two third of local councillors are Independents. Until the last election all three highland seats were held by the Liberal Democrats, however on May 1st this year, David Stewart won the marginal seat of Inverness East, Nairn and Lochaber for Labour.
Results of 1979 referendum:The regions were different in 1979, but the current Highland region is very similar to the one used in 1979.
ICM/Scotsman poll published on 22 August 1997:Question: Should there be a Scottish Parliament?
Question:Should a Scottish Parliament have tax-varying powers?
(Total Sample Size: 1,001, Fieldwork: 19-20 August 1997)
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