Alex Salmond out in 'disappointing' election for SNP

Gladys Abbott
June 9, 2017

It earlier took the Angus seat from the SNP by overturning a 11,230 majority to win by 2,644 votes, delivering a blow to Nicola Sturgeon's party, which had a near clean sweep in Scotland two years ago.

While the Tories made gains north of the border, with Douglas Ross claiming the high-profile scalp of Mr Robertson in Moray and Colin Clark ousting Mr Salmond in Gordon, Ms Sturgeon said the SNP is still on course for its second best Westminster result ever.

After the result was declared, she said: "I recognise all of those who put party allegiance to one side to send a clear message that East Dunbartonshire does not want another divisive independence referendum".

Ms Sturgeon had been hoping for a large mandate which would have allowed her to make the case for a second referendum on Scottish independence. "Independence is clearly a factor in that and I will reflect on that in the days to come".

The Scottish Parliament gave the green light for a second independence referendum in March, but any vote would need to ratified by Westminster, and Prime Minister Theresa May has already rejected this timetable.

Nicola Sturgeon insisted that the party had "won the election in Scotland" despite losing at least 20 seats - including two of the party's biggest names.

The nationalist had held the seat since 2001 and was defending a majority of 9,065.

Sturgeon railed against May's approach to Brexit, arguing that the United Kingdom was headed towards a "bad deal". May hit back at Sturgeon for her "tunnel vision".

Former First Minister Alex Salmond has lost his Gordon seat in the House of Commons amid a surge to pro-union parties across Scotland.

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In East Dunbartonshire, Liberal Democrat Jo Swinson regained the seat from the SNP's John Nicolson.

"I'm disappointed at the SNP losses but I'm pleased that we've won the election". I've always said the SNP would want to be part of a progressive alternative to a Tory government. We have to wait and see how things shake out.

She told BBC Scotland: "This has been a disaster for Theresa May".

Asked about the party's losses in Scotland, Sturgeon said: "I'm not going to stand here and say I'm not disappointed the SNP lost seats".

"In any terms, that means the SNP, by winning more votes and more seats, have won this election in Scotland. We got more seats. than all the other parties combined".

But in Paisley and Renfrewshire South, the SNP's Mhairi Black was re-elected with 16,964 votes - although the party's support in the seat fell by 10%.

The sentiment was also noted by CNN's Nic Robertson.

SNP depute leader Angus Robertson has lost his Moray seat to the Conservatives.

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