This region is situated in the Firth of Clyde in the west of the central belt. It includes the Isle of Arran and the Cumbraes as well as the Cunninghame district on the mainland. Mining used to take place in the Garnock valley and the textile industry is also in decline in the area. The economy of the northern part of the region now depends mostly on agriculture and the tourists who come to visit Arran and the resort of Largs. The southern part of the region is more urban, and includes the new town of Irvine. This area has a more varied industrial base, and includes the large Caledonian paper mill - one of the largest inward investment projects in Scotland.
Unsurprisingly, Labour is the party of power in North Ayrshire. Despite the rural character of the northern part of the region, its industrial heritage means that this area continues to vote Labour. Both parliamentary seats in the region are held by Labour, as are over 80% of the council seats.
Results of 1979 referendum:The regions were different in 1979, North Ayrshire was part of Strathclyde region.
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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