Politicians look forward after momentous General Election

MP Mafrtyn Day and his election team at the count. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
MP Mafrtyn Day and his election team at the count. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

The SNP held on to Linlithgow & East Falkirk – but with much reduced majority, while the Liberal Democrats snatched Edinburgh West from the Nationalists.

In a story that was replicated up and down the country, Nicola Sturgeon’s Nationalists lost votes – and in some cases seats – to Theresa May’s Tories.

Christine Jardine

Christine Jardine

Scottish Labour also recovered from its whipping in 2015 when they only managed to return one MP to the London parliament. This time around it was a case of ‘seventh heaven’ for a party which appears to finally be backing Jeremy Corbyn after some testing times.

As the story developed across Scotland, Martyn Day and his supporters had to wait until after 3.30am before they heard that he too would again be joining the now depleted band of Scottish Nationalist MPs in the House of Commons representing Linlithgow and East Falkirk.

However, the surprise of the night locally was how the SNP’s lost votes nearly all went to the Conservatives with their share of the vote more than doubling since the last General Election.

Martyn Day’s majority was also cut by almost 10,000 to 2919. This time around he polled 20,388 (36.4 per cent) compared to 32,055 (52.03 per cent) in 2015.

Joan Coombes maintained the Labour vote at 31.1 per cent with 17,469, while Charles Kennedy increased the Conservative vote from 11.98 per cent to 29.1 per cent (16,311). The Liberal Democrats Sally Pattie brought up the rear but her 1926 (3.4 per cent) was an increase from the party’s 1252 (2.03 per cent) in 2015.

Welcoming an opportunity to “get back to the day job”, speaking after his victory was announced Mr Day said: “I feel absolutely elated to be endorsed by the people of Linlithgow & East Falkirk for another term.

“It’s been an honour to represent them for two years and I’m delighted to be back to represent the constituency once again.

“We have to see what the end numbers game is going to look like, but at this stage it’s very much up in the air. It’s going to be an interesting parliament, we know the big business is going to be Brexit and we need to make sure we get the best deal for Scotland out of that.

“But there’s also the day-to-day running of the country and every other that needs dealt with as well so, hopefully it’s a hung parliament and we can lock the Tories out of power. If that’s the case we’ll get the best we can for Scotland into the bargain.”

Mrs Coombes said: “I am obviously delighted with the result. I cut Martyn Day’s majority from 13,000 to less than 3000.

“The SNP lost seats across Scotland. In many areas they held on with only a handful of votes.

“The predictions proved incorrect because Jeremy Corbyn’s positive vision for change across Britain resonated with most of the voters I met and talked to.”

Across in Edinburgh West, which takes in South Queensferry, the battle between the SNP and Liberal Democrats saw the latter come out the victor this time around.

In 2015 Michelle Thomson gained the seat for the SNP, but shortly after she lost the party whip during a police investigation and was sitting as an independent before deciding not to run this time around.

Christine Jardine increased the Lib Dem share of the vote by over one per cent with 18,108 votes (34.3 per cent), while the SNP’s Toni Giugliano took second spot with 15,120 votes.

However, this was a ten per cent drop in the Nationalist’s share of the ballot with most apparently going to the Conservative’s Sandy Batho who polled 11,559 votes (21.9 per cent).

Scottish Labour’s Mandy Telford took fourth spot with 7876 votes (14.9 per cent, whil Mark Whittet of Scotland’s Independence Referendum Party polled 132 votes.

Following her victory Ms Jardine said: “This proves the Lib Dems are back in the areas which were traditionally Liberal areas of Scotland. People are returning to Liberal values.”