Galloway and West Dumfries (Scottish Parliament constituency)

Galloway and West Dumfries is a constituency of the Scottish Parliament (Holyrood). It elects one Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) by the plurality (first past the post) method of election. Also, however, it is one of nine constituencies in the South Scotland electoral region, which elects seven additional members, in addition to nine constituency MSPs, to produce a form of proportional representation for the region as a whole.

Galloway and West Dumfries
county constituency
for the Scottish Parliament
Galloway and West Dumfries shown within the South Scotland electoral region and the region shown within Scotland
Current constituency
MSPFinlay Carson
Council areaDumfries and Galloway
Created fromDumfries,
Galloway and Upper Nithsdale

Created in 2011, it comprises areas that were previously part of the old Dumfries and Galloway and Upper Nithsdale constituencies, which were abolished for the 2011 Scottish Parliament election.

Electoral region

The other eight constituencies of the South Scotland region are Ayr, Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley, Clydesdale, Dumfriesshire, East Lothian, Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire, Kilmarnock and Irvine Valley and Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale.

The region covers the Dumfries and Galloway council area, part of the East Ayrshire council area, part of the East Lothian council area, part of the Midlothian council area, the Scottish Borders council area, the South Ayrshire council area and part of the South Lanarkshire council area.

Constituency boundaries and council area

Dumfries and Galloway is represented in the Scottish Parliament by two constituencies: Dumfriesshire and Galloway and West Dumfries.

Galloway and West Dumfries is formed from the following electoral wards:

Constituency profile and voting patterns

Constituency profile

The Galloway and West Dumfries constituency covers a large, diverse stretch of land between the Rhins of Galloway in the extreme south-west of Scotland and the River Nith and Cluden Water in eastern Dumfries and Galloway. It covers a set of rugged pastoral plains and forests across the region of Galloway, taking in rural towns such as Castle Douglas, Newton Stewart, Kirkcudbright and St John's Town of Dalry. To the west of the constituency is the portly town of Stranraer, situated at the base of Loch Ryan, whilst in the east the constituency takes in patches of Dumfries, administrative centre of the Dumfries and Galloway Council area.

Voting patterns

Galloway and West Dumfries has a dynamic mix of political traditions. It covers most of the former Galloway and Upper Nithsdale constituency, a seat which has a long-standing tradition of being marginally contested between the Conservatives and the Scottish National Party, in addition to patches of the former safe Labour constituency of Dumfries. This is dynamic is clearly represented within local council politics with Wigtownshire typically voting SNP, Kirkcudbrightshire voting Conservative and Dumfries voting Labour.

At Westminster the Galloway and Upper Nithsdale constituency was represented by Conservative Ian Lang from its creation at the 1983 UK general election until 1997. It became the only Conservative constituency in the UK Parliament in Scotland in 2001. The Conservatives have represented the area in the Scottish Parliament since 2003.

Member of the Scottish Parliament

As Galloway and Upper Nithsdale

1999 Alasdair Morgan Scottish National Party
2003 Alex Fergusson Scottish Conservative Party
2007 Presiding Officer (elected as a Conservative)

As Galloway and West Dumfries

2011 Alex Fergusson Scottish Conservative Party
2016 Finlay Carson Scottish Conservative Party

Election results

2016 Scottish Parliament election: Galloway and West Dumfries
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Finlay Carson 14,527 43.4 +6.5
SNP Aileen McLeod 13,013 38.9 +4.9
Labour Fiona O'Donnell 4,876 14.6 -11.9
Liberal Democrats Andrew Metcalf 947 2.8 +0.3
Majority 1,514 4.5 +1.6
Turnout 33,458 59.4 +6.8
Conservative hold Swing +0.8
2011 Scottish Parliament election: Galloway and West Dumfries
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Alex Fergusson 11,071 36.9 -2.2
SNP Aileen McLeod 10,209 34.0 +2.6
Labour Willie Scobie 7,954 26.5 +2.6
Liberal Democrats Joe Rosiejak 763 2.5 -2.3
Majority 862 2.9 -4.8
Turnout 29,997 52.6
Conservative hold Swing -2.4%
Scottish Parliament election, 2007 Notional Result: Galloway and West Dumfries
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative 12,756 39.1
SNP 10,252 31.4
Labour 7,797 23.9
Liberal Democrats 1,569 4.8
Others 261 0.8
Majority 2,504 7.7
Conservative hold Swing
2007 Scottish Parliament election: Galloway and Upper Nithsdale[1]

Blue background denotes the winner of the electorate vote.
Pink background denotes a candidate elected from their party list.
Yellow background denotes an electorate win by a list member, or other incumbent.
A Y or N denotes status of any incumbent, win or lose respectively.

Party Candidate Votes % ±% Party votes % ±%
Conservative Y Alex Fergusson 13,387 44.16 +5.64 10,550 34.62
SNP Alasdair Morgan 10,054 33.16 -5.02 9,163 30.07
Labour Stephen Hodgson 4,935 16.28 +1.66 6,078 19.95
Liberal Democrats Alastair Cooper 1,631 5.38 -0.90 1,672 5.49
Independent Sandy Richardson 311 1.03 +1.03
Scottish Green   1,106 3.63
Scottish Senior Citizens   513 1.68
BNP   261 0.86
Scottish Christian   233 0.76
UKIP   233 0.76
Solidarity   192 0.63
Socialist Labour   172 0.56
Independent - Paddy Scott Hogg 97 0.32
Scottish Socialist   88 0.29
Christian Peoples Alliance   69 0.23
Scottish Voice   45 0.15
Informal votes 977 823
Total Valid votes 30,318 30,472
Turnout 31,295
Conservative hold Majority 3,333 10.99 +10.66
2003 Scottish Parliament election: Galloway and Upper Nithsdale
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Alex Fergusson 11,332 38.2 +8.0
SNP Alasdair Morgan 11,233 37.9 −1.4
Labour Norma Harte 4,299 14.5 −5.9
Liberal Democrats Neil Wallace 1,847 6.2 −3.9
Scottish Socialist Joy Cherkaoui 709 2.4 +2.3
New Party Graham Brockhouse 215 0.7 n/a
Majority 99 0.3
Turnout 29,635 51.8
Conservative gain from SNP Swing 4.6
1999 Scottish Parliament election: Galloway and Upper Nithsdale
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
SNP Alasdair Morgan 13,873 39.3 n/a
Conservative Alex Fergusson 10,672 30.2 n/a
Labour Jim Stevens 7,209 20.4 n/a
Liberal Democrats Joan Mitchell 3,562 10.1 n/a
Majority 3,201 9.1 n/a
Turnout 35,316 65.9
SNP win (new seat)


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