"Situated near to the eastern outskirts of Glasgow, Airdrie and Shotts is the successor seat to John Smith's old Monklands East fortress. The late Labour leader had a 15,712 majority in 1992, but following his death in 1994 the Labour candidate, Helen Liddell, won by only 1,640 votes over the SNP in a bitter by-election contest. This surge in nationalist support was probably helped by a scandal on the then local Labour council, Monklands, but that authority has now been subsumed within North Lanarkshire. Airdrie is by far the largest centre of population and, like Shotts, is an industrial town suffering from a decline in traditional industries such as engineering, coal and iron and steel. Shotts is home to one of Scotland's main prisons.