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election2001
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Readers Poll Con 52% Lab 28% LD 18% Nat 2% Enter your vote to win 1M

Western Isles
Labour hold

Constituency Profile by Robert Waller
One of the most individual constituencies in the UK, Western Isles - or the Outer Hebrides of Lewis, Harris, Benbecula, Unst and smaller islands - has the smallest electorate, only 23,000. It also has the highest proportion of Gaelic speakers, the strongest Sabbatarian traditions, and curiously the highest proportion of detached houses, 68pc. These are not mansions or modern executive developments but crofts, often occupied by own account small farmers scratching a meagre living from what soil and pasture there is. There is the second highest percentage of those employed in agricultural and fishing pursuits (not forestry in a treeless landscape). There is also a very strong working class profile in terms of manual jobs. All this adds up to a unique culture and a unique politics, which has successively shown immense loyalty to Labour's Malcolm Macmillan (MP 1935-70) followed by the SNP's Donald Stewart, (1970-87, initially as his party's sole representative in the Commons). There is a good chance that Calum Macdonald will benefit from a similar pattern. Swings are low in a constituency of personal loyalties and strong convictions. The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats have no presence to speak of here. The SNP struggle to rise from second place. Westminster may seem remote, 600 miles and a sea crossing away; but then so does Edinburgh.

Personality Profile by Byron Criddle
Calum Macdonald, elected in 1987 as a native son of Lewis, born 1956 and educated at Nicolson Institute, Stornaway and Edinburgh University, taught political philosophy at University of California, Los Angeles, for three years. With a characteristic strong Hebridean accent which, as with North Welsh-speakers, can make English sound very much like a second language, he became a minister in Donald Dewar's Scottish Office (1997-99) until devolution left it hollowed-out and him redundant. A keen Europhile, who rebelled to vote with the Tories for Maastricht, he also favours close links with the Liberal Democrats but reflects conservative Hebridean - whether Catholic or Protestant - views on abortion.
ACORN Population Profile of the constituency
  Area
Percent
GB
Percent
Index
GB=100
 
Thriving
Wealthy Achievers, Suburban Areas 9.52% 14.99% 63.48
Affluent Greys, Rural Communities 20.47% 2.13% 962.59
Prosperous Pensioners, Retirement Areas 2.06% 2.49% 83.02
Expanding
Affluent Executives, Family Areas 4.80% 4.43% 108.42
Well-Off Workers, Family Areas 0.07% 7.27% 0.96
Rising
Affluent Urbanites, Town & City Areas 0.00% 2.56% 0.00
Prosperous Professionals, Metropolitan Areas 0.00% 2.04% 0.00
Better-Off Executives, Inner City Areas 0.27% 3.94% 6.90
Settling
Comfortable Middle Agers, Mature Home Owning Areas 25.90% 13.04% 198.64
Skilled Workers, Home Owning Areas 7.79% 12.70% 61.35
Aspiring
New Home Owners, Mature Communities 7.50% 8.14% 92.08
White Collar Workers, Better-Off Multi Ethnic Areas 1.83% 4.02% 45.47
Striving
Older People, Less Prosperous Areas 2.18% 3.19% 68.49
Council Estate Residents, Better-Off Homes 12.69% 11.31% 112.16
Council Estate Residents, High Unemployment 0.88% 3.06% 28.84
Council Estate Residents, Greatest Hardship 3.72% 2.52% 147.54
People in Multi-Ethnic, Low-Income Areas 0.06% 2.10% 2.63
Unclassified
Unclassified 0.27% 0.06% 430.82
Household Income of the constituency
  Area
Percent
GB
Percent
Index
GB=100
 
0-5K 12.04% 9.41% 127.87
5-10K 21.45% 16.63% 128.97
10-15K 19.86% 16.58% 119.79
15-20K 14.69% 13.58% 108.13
20-25K 10.04% 10.39% 96.56
25-30K 6.69% 7.77% 86.02
30-35K 4.44% 5.79% 76.73
35-40K 2.98% 4.33% 68.69
40-45K 2.02% 3.27% 61.77
45-50K 1.39% 2.48% 55.82
50-55K 0.97% 1.90% 50.69
55-60K 0.68% 1.47% 46.25
60-65K 0.49% 1.15% 42.40
65-70K 0.35% 0.91% 39.04
70-75K 0.26% 0.72% 36.09
75-80K 0.19% 0.57% 33.49
80-85K 0.14% 0.46% 31.19
85-90K 0.11% 0.37% 29.13
90-95K 0.08% 0.31% 27.29
95-100K 0.06% 0.25% 25.64
100K + 0.25% 1.34% 18.59

Local Map of the constituency
Western Isles - Local Map of the constituency

National Map of the constituency
Western Isles - National Map of the constituency

Swing
1992-1997 1997-2001
Labour (7.80%)
Conservative (-  1.85%) Liberal Democrat (-  0.33%) SNP (-  3.80%)
Conservative (2.85%) Liberal Democrat (3.38%) SNP (3.46%)
Labour (- 10.58%)
Con - 1.85%
Lab 7.80%
LD - 0.33%
SNP - 3.80%
Con 2.85%
Lab - 10.58%
LD 3.38%
SNP 3.46%
2001 Results - General Election (7 June 2001)
Calum MacDonald
Labour hold
Con Conservative (9.50%) 1,250 9.50%
Lab Labour (45.02%) 5,924 45.02%
LD Liberal Democrat (6.45%) 849 6.45%
SNP SNP (36.86%) 4,850 36.86%
Oth Other (2.17%) 286 2.17%
Maj Majority (8.16%) 1,074 8.16%
Turn Turnout (60.34%) 13,159 60.34%
2001 Results - General Election (7 June 2001)
Calum MacDonald
Labour hold
LD John Horne 849 6.45%
L Calum MacDonald 5,924 45.02%
SNP Alasdair Nicholson 4,850 36.86%
C Douglas Taylor 1,250 9.50%
SSP Joanne Telfer 286 2.17%
Candidates representing 5 parties stood for election to this seat.
1997 Results - General Election (1 May 1997)
Calum McDonald
Labour
Con Conservative (6.65%) 1,071 6.65%
Lab Labour (55.60%) 8,955 55.60%
LD Liberal Democrat (3.07%) 495 3.07%
SNP SNP (33.40%) 5,379 33.40%
Ref Referendum (1.28%) 206 1.28%
Oth 0 0.00%
Maj Majority (22.20%) 3,576 22.20%
Turn Turnout (70.08%) 16,106 70.08%
1992 Results -  General Election (9 April 1992)
Labour
Con Conservative (8.50%) 1,362 8.50%
Lab Labour (47.80%) 7,664 47.80%
LD Liberal Democrat (3.40%) 552 3.40%
SNP SNP (37.20%) 5,961 37.20%
Oth Other (3.10%) 491 3.10%
Maj Majority (10.60%) 1,703 10.60%
Turn Turnout (69.65%) 16,030 69.65%

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