Caithness and Sutherland (UK Parliament constituency)

April 15th, 2018

Caithness and Sutherland was a county constituency of the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1918 to 1997. It elected one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of election.

The constituency was created by merging the constituencies of Caithness and Sutherland and the Dornoch and Wick components of the Wick Burghs constituency.

In 1997 the constituency was superseded by the creation of Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross, which merged Caithness and Sutherland and the Easter Ross area of Ross, Cromarty and Skye.

Caithness and Sutherland was geographically the largest constituency in the United Kingdom.

The creation of Caithness and Sutherland as a single constituency was a part of a package of boundary reform also affecting many other parts of the United Kingdom. The reform was the first since the Redistribution of Seats Act of 1885, and its main aim was to make constituencies more equal in terms of the sizes of their electorates.

When created the constituency covered the county of Caithness and the county of Sutherland, including the burghs of Dornoch, Thurso and Wick.

In 1975 counties and burghs were abolished and the constituency became an area within the Highland region. The region included two new local government districts, called Caithness and Sutherland. The Caithness district was entirely within the constituency. The Sutherland district had a small area, the Kincardine electoral division, within the Ross and Cromarty constituency Runner Waist Pack.

Constituency boundaries were redrawn in 1983 designer glass water bottles, and the Caithness and Sutherland constituency was enlarged to cover the whole of the Sutherland district.

In 1996 the districts were abolished and the Highland region became a unitary council area. Throughout the remainder of the life of the constituency the Highland Council had area committees representing the areas of the former districts.

At the time of the 1918 general election, Sir Leicester Harmsworth had been MP for the constituency of Caithness since the 1900 general election

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In the general election of 1997 Robert Maclennan was elected MP for the then new constituency of Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross, a seat he held until retiring from parliament at the 2001 general election, at which point he was ennobled, becoming the Liberal Democrats’ Cabinet Office and Scotland spokesman in the House of Lords until 2015.

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