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Orkney and Shetland

2010 Results:
Conservative: 2032 (10.5%)
Labour: 2061 (10.65%)
Liberal Democrat: 11989 (61.97%)
SNP: 2042 (10.56%)
UKIP: 1222 (6.32%)
Majority: 9928 (51.32%)

2005 Results:
Liberal Democrat: 9138 (51.5%)
Labour: 2511 (14.2%)
Conservative: 2357 (13.3%)
SNP: 1833 (10.3%)
Other: 1903 (10.7%)
Majority: 6627 (37.4%)

2001 Result
Conservative: 3121 (18.7%)
Labour: 3444 (20.6%)
Liberal Democrat: 6919 (41.3%)
SNP: 2473 (14.8%)
Other: 776 (4.6%)
Majority: 3475 (20.8%)

1997 Result
Conservative: 2527 (12.2%)
Labour: 3775 (18.3%)
Liberal Democrat: 10743 (52%)
SNP: 2624 (12.7%)
Referendum: 820 (4%)
Other: 176 (0.9%)
Majority: 6968 (33.7%)

No Boundary Changes: the boundaries of Orkney and Shetland have unique statutory protection. The Scotland Act 1998 amended the Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986 such that the Orkney and Shetland Islands cannot be part of the same constituency as any other local government area.

Profile: Orkney and Shetland covers two groups of Islands to the North of Scotland and, after the Western Isles, is the second smallest seat in terms of electorate. Orkney is about 10 miles north of the Scottish mainland and is a group of 70 islands, 20 of which are inhabited. The largest is Mainland, which includes both of the towns in the Orkneys, Kirkwall and Stromness. To the north, Shetland is an archiapelago of around 100 islands, 14 of which are inhabited. The only town is Lerwick.

Industry includes sheep farming, crofting, fishing, crafts and more recently oil transportation. The two largest oil depots in Europe are situated on Flotta in the Orkneys and at Sullom Voe on Mainland island in the Shetlands and provide a major source of employment.

Orkney & Shetland is the most reliable Lib Dem seat in the seat, having returned Liberal and Liberal Democrat MPs since 1950, including former Liberal leader Jo Grimond. In the Scottish Parliament Orkney and Shetland return separate MSPs, both Liberal Democrats.

portraitCurrent MP: Alistair Carmichael(Liberal Democrat) born 1965, Islay and lives in Orkney. Educated at Islay High School and the University of Aberdeen. Solicitor. First elected as MP for Orkey and Shetland in 2001. Lib Dem Northern Ireland spokesman from 2003 to 2005 and briefly served as Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesman following Mark Oaten`s resignation. Transport spokesman since 2006. Carmichael is seen as being on the left of the Liberal Democrats and has argued against the party moving towards market liberal policies. Resigned from the frontbench 2008 to support a referendum on the Lisbon trearty (more information at They work for you)

2010 election candidates:
portraitFrank Nairn (Conservative) Sheep and deer farmer. Contested Orkeny and Shetland 2005, Moray 2001.
portraitMark Cooper (Labour) Born 1984, Aberdeen. Educated at Aberdeen University.
portraitAlistair Carmichael(Liberal Democrat) born 1965, Islay and lives in Orkney. Educated at Islay High School and the University of Aberdeen. Solicitor. First elected as MP for Orkey and Shetland in 2001. Lib Dem Northern Ireland spokesman from 2003 to 2005 and briefly served as Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesman following Mark Oaten`s resignation. Transport spokesman since 2006. Carmichael is seen as being on the left of the Liberal Democrats and has argued against the party moving towards market liberal policies. Resigned from the frontbench 2008 to support a referendum on the Lisbon trearty (more information at They work for you)
portraitJohn Mowat (SNP)
portraitRobert Smith (UKIP)

2001 Census Demographics

Total 2001 Population: 41233
Male: 49.9%
Female: 50.1%
Under 18: 24.6%
Over 60: 20.7%
Born outside UK: 2.4%
White: 99.2%
Asian: 0.2%
Mixed: 0.2%
Other: 0.3%
Christian: 58.6%
Graduates 16-74: 19.9%
No Qualifications 16-74: 33%
Owner-Occupied: 67.5%
Social Housing: 20.2% (Council: 16.9%, Housing Ass.: 3.3%)
Privately Rented: 8.2%
Homes without central heating and/or private bathroom: 11.9%

NB - The constituency guide is now archived and is no longer being updated. The new guide is at http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/2015guide