The constituency of Paisley is based around the biggest town in Scotland. The area's damp climate and a plentiful water supply made it ideal for the textiles industry to grow and by the mid-19th century weaving had become the town's chief industry. Paisley gives its name to the distinctive kidney shaped "paisley pattern" which continues to be a popular design in fabrics.
As the successes of the industrial revolution began to fade, the area has had to tackle the problems of urban recession. In 2006, the district of Ferguslie Park was named one of Scotland's most deprived areas by what was then the Scottish Executive. The constituency features a golf course, a major hospital, two reservoirs and a cathedral - St Mirin's which is the seat of the Catholic Bishop of Paisley.
Labour's Wendy Alexander represented the old Paisley North seat in the Scottish Parliament elections of 1999, 2003 and 2007. George Adam took it for the SNP in 2011.