Sun, 3 December 2023

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Alex Salmond loses seat on awful night for the SNP

2 min read

Alex Salmond lost his seat to the Conservatives as the SNP endured a night of hugely disappointing election results.

The party's former leader saw his 8,687 majority in Gordon crumble following a 20-point swing to the Tory candidate Colin Clark.

Mr Salmond was the most high-profile SNP loser on a night when the party has so far seen 19 of its 54 MPs defeated.

Others who were turfed out included Angus Robertson in Moray, the party's leader at Westminster and former BBC journalist John Nicolson in East Dunbartonshire.

Former First Minister Mr Salmond said: "The SNP have lost many fine parliamentarians this evening and that is grievous blow to the SNP but overall the results in Scotland show the SNP have won a majority of the seats in this country, something which I suspect the Prime Minister would like to be able to claim in the early hours of this morning but may not be able to do so.

"So the SNP might well find itself in reduced numbers in the House of Commons but in a position of very substantial influence indeed and I know my colleagues will seek to use that influence to keep the Conservative party from power and build a progressive alliance to take this country forwards."

The main beneficiaries of the Nationalist collapse have been the Conservatives, who are on course to win at least a dozen seats in Scotland.

Labour also exceeded their expectations north of the Border, increasing their number of MPs from one to seven.

Attempting to put a brave face on the SNP performance, party leader Nicola Sturgeon said: "Clearly we didn’t necessarily anticipate the late surge to Jeremy Corbyn, which appeared very late in the campaign and wasn’t reflected in the Scottish opinion polls.

"Of course there is clearly uncertainty around independence and Brexit, which will be factor in tonight’s results. So, a lot of thinking for the SNP to do but let’s not lose sight of the fact this is our second best ever result in a Westminster election. We have won the election and I congratulate all the SNP MPs who have been re-elected."

But Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson said: "The big issue up here wasn’t about Brexit, it was about Nicola Sturgeon in March trying to ram through a second independence referendum…the people of Scotland have spoken tonight, that’s why we’ve seen so many SNP seats fall tonight and honestly I think Indyref2 is dead."

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