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Results & Constituencies
 Argyll & Bute
Other Liberal Democrat hold
Name Party Votes % +/- %
Alan Reid Liberal Democrat 9,245 29.9 -10.3
Hugh Raven Labour 7,592 24.5 +8.8
Dave Petrie Conservative 6,436 20.8 +1.8
Agnes Samuel SNP 6,433 20.8 -2.4
Des Divers Scottish Socialist 1,251 4.0  
Majority 1,653 5.3
Turnout 30,957 63.0 -9.9
Against 1997 General Election 9.6% from Liberal Democrat to Labour
Lab-Con (against 1997) 3.5% from Conservative to Labour
Against 1999 devolution poll 4.7% from Liberal Democrat to Labour

This is one of the most beautiful constituencies in the United Kingdom. It covers nearly two million acres of mainland Scotland and islands such as Mull, Islay, Jura, Tiree, and since 1983 the island of Bute.

Every year, thousands of tourists visit the area, including Oban, a popular seaside resort. The region is also famous for its whisky with eight distilleries on Islay alone producing some of the finest malt whiskies in the world.

Other industry is limited to forestry, farming, boat building, fishing and fish farming. Holy Loch used to be the base for US Poseidon nuclear submarines but is now closed although a military presence remains in the form of RAF Machrihanish. Some 10% of the population remain Gaelic-speakers.

Argyll & Bute is the fourth largest constituency in Britain, and its remote nature means that personalities are often as important as parties when it comes to elections.

The seat has been in the hands of three different parties in the last 20 years: SNP 1974-79, the Tories 1979-87 and Mrs Ray Michie of the LibDems from 1987 until she announced that she was standing down.

Former Scottish Farmers Union President, George Lyon won the seat for the Liberal Democrats at the 1999 Scottish Parliament elections, with a 2,057 (6.4%) majority over the SNP.

Past Results

1997 General Election
 Argyll & Bute
Liberal Democrat hold
Name Party Votes %
Ray Michie Liberal Democrat 14,359 40.2
Neil MacCormick SNP 8,278 23.2
Ralph Leishman Conservative 6,774 19.0
Ali Syed Labour 5,596 15.7
Michael Stewart Referendum 713 2.0
Majority 6,081 17.0
Turnout 35,720 72.9
1999 Scottish Parliamentary Election
 Argyll & Bute
Liberal Democrat win
Name Party Votes %
George Lyon Liberal Democrat 11,226 34.9
Duncan Hamilton SNP 9,169 28.5
Hugh Raven Labour 6,470 20.1
David Petrie Conservative 5,312 16.5
Majority 2,057 6.4
Turnout 32,177 64.1