West Lothian is situated in the central belt of Scotland, just to the west of Edinburgh. The region is diverse in character, rural and urban areas, middle class commuter towns and less affluent industrial towns. The area has a history of coal and shale mining but it is now the centre of 'Silicon Glen'. A number of foreign electronics firms, including NEC and Mitsubishi, have set up plants here. The new town of Livingston lies at the centre of the council.
Given that the region is an ex-mining area and has a high proportion of council housing, it does not come as a surprise to find that Labour dominate the political scene. They hold the two parliamentary seats of Linlithgow and Livingston and have control of the council. However, the SNP are making inroads here - they have a sizeable group on the council and came second in the two parliamentary seats at the last general election.
Results of 1979 referendum:The regions were different in 1979, West Lothian was part of Lothians 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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