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Other Labour hold
Name Party Votes % +/- %
Robin Cook Labour 19,108 53.0 -1.9
Graham Sutherland SNP 8,492 23.6 -3.9
Gordon Mackenzie Liberal Democrat 3,969 11.0 +4.3
Ian Mowat Conservative 2,995 8.3 -1.1
Wendy Milne Scottish Socialist 1,110 3.1  
Robert Kingdon UK Independence 359 1.0  
Majority 10,616 29.5
Turnout 36,033 55.6 -15.4
Against 1997 General Election 1.0% from SNP to Labour
Lab-Con (against 1997) 0.4% from Labour to Conservative
Against 1999 devolution poll 9.4% from SNP to Labour

Livingston, the only new town in Lothian, is at the heart of what has become known as Silicon Glen. It has grown on the back of the electronics industry, with giants such as NEC and Mitsubishi having plants here. However, this has made many local jobs vulnerable in the wake of the world glut of computer chips. In August 1998 NEC announced 200 job cuts at their plant in Livingston.

New investment into Livingston’s Alba centre promises much hope for the future but the question is whether the promised jobs become a reality. Companies such as Cadence Design Systems from California arrived in October 1999 with the promise of an extra 1,900 jobs, but this target was halved by October 2000. Motorola also announced in September 2000 their plans to create an extra 550 jobs at their technology centre in Livingston. Call-centres are also a booming industry, with companies including BSkyB and the Halifax bank siting their operations in Livingston.

This has been Robin Cook’s seat since 1983, but the man once touted as a future first minister of Scotland decided that he would rather remain at Westminster as foreign secretary. As in most central belt Labour seats the SNP are the main challengers.

Past Results

1997 General Election
Labour hold
Name Party Votes %
Robin Cook Labour 23,510 54.9
Peter Johnston SNP 11,763 27.5
Hugh Craigie Halkett Conservative 4,028 9.4
Ewan Hawthorn Liberal Democrat 2,876 6.7
Helen Campbell Referendum 444 1.0
Matt Culbert Socialist Party 213 0.5
Majority 11,747 27.4
Turnout 42,834 71.0
1999 Scottish Parliamentary Election
Labour win
Name Party Votes %
Bristow Muldoon Labour 17,313 47.3
Greg McCarra SNP 13,409 36.7
Douglas Younger Conservative 3,014 8.2
Martin Oliver Liberal Democrat 2,834 7.7
Majority 3,904 10.6
Turnout 36,570 58.3