Scottish Election: Labour leader hangs on, just, as colleagues washed away in SNP landslide

Iain Gray
Iain Gray

Key points

  • SNP landslide: huge gains in traditional Labour constituencies
  • Lib Dem vote completely collapsing
  • Regional seats not yet counted

The Scottish Labour leader came within a whisker of losing his seat to the SNP as the Nationalists swept up constituency after constituency.

Iain Gray limped home 151 votes ahead of David Berry on a night when his party was taking a hammering. Labour could only watch as the SNP hoovered up the collapsing Lib Dem vote.

In Orkney and Shetland, the latter seat being that of the Scottish Lib Dem leader, Tavish Scott, independents ran the Lib Dems close.

In the first shock result of the night, Labour high-flyer Andy Kerr lost East Kilbride to the SNP’s Linda Fabiani by just under 2,000 votes thanks to a 6.6 per cent swing.

Another shock swiftly followed as Tom McCabe lost his seat to the SNP’s Christina McKelvie in Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse on a stunning swing of 11 per cent. A further Labour stalwart, Frank McAveety, lost the rock-solid safe seat of Glasgow Shettleston to the SNP’s John Mason. Glasgow Cathcart also fell. Chants of “easy, easy” greeted Nicola Sturgeon as she romped home in Glasgow Southside. And Shona Robison secured a massive 10,000 majority in Dundee City East.

The SNP also thwarted Tory hopes, winning Edinburgh Pentlands ahead of David McLetchie.

With a majority of more than 4,000, the SNP’s Aileen Campbell relieved Labour’s Karen Gillon of the Clydesdale seat she had held for 12 years.

Alex Neil took Airdire and Shotts from Labour’s Karen Whitefield. On another night, this would have been a bellwether but, given the huge SNP swing, it came as hardly surprising.

Labour had earlier held on to Rutherglen – but only after surviving a 7.4 per cent swing to the SNP. And in the supposedly safe Uddingston and Bellshill seat, Labour scraped past the SNP by 700 votes.

Labour also “gained” Eastwood, which was notionally a Tory seat after boundary changes. While the Labour vote increased 10 per cent, the SNP vote increased 9 per cent

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