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Constituency report: Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale

Photo: ITV Border

The Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale constituency is the only constituency in the country to have been served by a Conservative MP over the last five years.

David Mundell took the seat in 2010, after polling 38% of the vote at the last general election.

But in the wake of last year's referendum, and with big changes predicted across Scotland at this election, the performances all the parties vying for the seat - the Conservatives, Labour, the SNP and the Liberal Democrats - is far from predictable.

Credit: ITV Border

The constituency

The Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale constituency is one of the largest and most rural in the whole of the UK.

Formed in 2005, the seat's boundaries range from the Solway in the south, stretching north via small towns like Lockerbie and Sanquhar, to Innerleithen in the north east.

In 2010, Labour came second to the Conservatives, followed by the Liberal Democrats and then the SNP. The breakdown of results was as follows:

The Conservative party had a 9.3% lead over Labour at the last election Credit: ITV Border

So what do those voting this year need to know?

At a glance:

  • Farming is important to the economy
  • Textiles have traditionally been one of the region's main industries
  • Tourism is a growing trade in the area

Traditionally farming and textiles have been the region's main industries, but both have suffered over the past few decades.

Now the area is looking to tourism as a way of bringing wealth into the area.

But for some voters, there isn't enough support for trade.

The owner of a hotel in Moffat believes more needs to be done to promote the area as a tourist hotspot.

We always have a feeling that tourism is centred at the tourist hotspots... not enough is done in this region at all. The south of Scotland and the north of England have to have some of the most beautiful countryside in the world - people would come if it was exposed to them."

– David Smith, Hotelier

For others, more needs to be done to overcome the transport problems in this rural and isolated area.

They believe a lack of good transport links is driving people away.

Transport is a huge problem. Most people rely on their own car to get here. The distance to the nearest petrol station now is 12 miles from here [Tweedsmuir].

If there was more support for local transport that would really encourage people to move out here - just now people are actually moving away from the area."

– Christine Parker, Tweedsmuir Community Company

The candidates

We asked some of the candidates standing for election on May 7 to tell us what it is that they think matters in the constituency:

Liberal Democrat candidate Amanda Kubie Credit: ITV Border

If elected, I will stand up for you to have a job that pays a fair living wage; for your children to go to a good school; for you to have easy access to an excellent health and social care service; and for your home to be in a safe and secure Scotland that is part of the UK."

– Amanda Kubie, Liberal Democrat
Conservative candidate David Mundell Credit: ITV Border

My priority is a strong local economy to create jobs for our young people and sustain our local communities. That requires a competent Conservative government with a long term economic plan and an experienced MP who will speak out for the unique needs of this rural area, particularly against central belt dominance."

– David Mundell, Conservative candidate
SNP candidate Emma Harper Credit: ITV Border

I will fight for jobs, I will protect the NHS, and I will help bring change to the outdated Westminster. The Tory austerity plan isn't working, no one should have to choose between eating and heating."

– Emma Harper, SNP candidate
Labour candidate Archie Dryburgh Credit: ITV Border

On the 7th of May, the people of Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale have a choice to make between five more years of the NHS in crisis, youth unemployment on the rise, and the cost of living problems with families. Only Labour can kick out the Tories in Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale, and only Labour can help this country move forward."

– Archie Dryburgh, Labour candidate

The full list of candidates for Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale is as follows:

  • Archie Dryburgh (Labour)
  • Emma Harper (SNP)
  • Jody Jamieson (Green)
  • Amanda Kubie (Liberal Democrats)
  • David Mundell (Conservative)
  • Kevin Newton (UKIP)

Watch Lori Carnochan's full report on the Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale, and Tweeddale constituency:

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