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Results & Constituencies
 Orkney & Shetland
Other Liberal Democrat hold
Name Party Votes % +/- %
Alistair Carmichael Liberal Democrat 6,919 41.3 -10.7
Robert Mochrie Labour 3,444 20.6 +2.3
John Firth Conservative 3,121 18.7 +6.5
John Mowat SNP 2,473 14.8 +2.1
Peter Andrews Scottish Socialist 776 4.6  
Majority 3,475 20.8
Turnout 16,733 52.4 -11.5
Against 1997 General Election 6.5% from Liberal Democrat to Labour
Lab-Con (against 1997) 2.1% from Labour to Conservative
Against 1999 devolution poll 12.4% from Liberal Democrat to Labour

This is the UKs most northerly seat. The Orkney Islands are separated from the Scottish mainland by a seven-mile stretch of the Pentland Firth, and consist of 70 islands of which only 20 are inhabited. There are two main towns, Kirkwall, the capital and administrative centre, and Stromness, both of which are situated on the largest island, which is known as "the mainland". Apart from the oil terminal at Flotta, the main industry in Orkney is beef production.

The Shetland Islands are nearer to Norway than England, and their Viking heritage is celebrated in the annual Up Helly Aa fire festival. The main town of Lerwick is a centre for the oil industry and further to the north is Sullom Voe oil terminal. Due to the declining oil industry, there has been a return to traditional industries such as fishing where new boats are being purchased and knitwear factories have been developed.

The Liberal Democrats and their forebears have held the seat of Orkney and Shetland since 1950. The leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, Jim Wallace, is the sitting Westminster MP for Orkney and Shetland.

Past Results

1997 General Election
 Orkney & Shetland
Liberal Democrat hold
Name Party Votes %
Jim Wallace Liberal Democrat 10,743 52.0
James Paton Labour 3,775 18.3
Willie Ross SNP 2,624 12.7
Hope Anderson Conservative 2,527 12.2
Francis Adamson Referendum 820 4.0
Christian Wharton Natural Law 116 0.6
Arthur Robertson Independent 60 0.3
Majority 6,968 33.7
Turnout 20,665 63.9
1999 Scottish Parliamentary Election
Liberal Democrat win
Name Party Votes %
Jim Wallace Liberal Democrat 6010 67.4
Christopher Zawadzki Labour 1391 15.6
John Mowat SNP 917 10.3
Angus Macleod Conservative 600 6.7
Majority 4619 51.8
Turnout 8918 57.0
Liberal Democrat win
Name Party Votes %
Tavish Scott Liberal Democrat 5455 54.6
Jonathan Wills Labour 2241 22.4
William Ross SNP 1430 14.3
Gary Robinson Conservative 872 8.7
Majority 3214 32.2
Turnout 9998 58.3