South Ayrshire lies on the Firth of Clyde in the west of central Scotland. It comprises the seaside resorts of Ayr, Troon and Girvan, a long stretch of coastline and the largely rural areas to the south of Ayr. The industrial town of Prestwick, with its international airport also lies within the council. The chief industries of the area are tourism, engineering, fishing and agriculture.
It might be expected that a region containing seaside resorts and agricultural areas would pose problems for Labour. However, Ayrshire used to be a coal-mining area and, although the pits may have closed, their political legacy remains. Labour hold over 80 per cent of seats on the council. The Conservatives held the parliamentary seat of Ayr until the last election when it was won by Labour (note: boundary changes had made Ayr a notionally Labour seat so it is counted as a Labour 'win' as opposed to a 'gain' from the Conservatives). The south part of the region is part of the seat of Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley, which has been held by Labour's George Foulkes since 1979.
Results of 1979 referendum:The regions were different in 1979, South 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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