Friday, May 6, 2011
Scottish election: SNP toast 'historic' night of wins
The leader of the Scottish National Party Alex Salmond said the unfolding Holyrood election night results had been "historic".
As dawn broke on Friday, the party's tally was 30 seats, including 19 gains.
It is also turning out to be a bad night for the Lib Dems which have lost their deposits in at least 20 seats.
By 0515 BST the Tories had lost three constituencies, including ex-Tory leader David McLetchie's Pentlands seat.
Mr Salmond, who held Aberdeenshire East with about 64% of the vote, added: "Firstly, I think it demonstrates that Scotland has outgrown negative campaigning.
"I hope after this result we'll see an end to negativity and scaremongering in Scottish politics - no more insults to the intelligence of the Scottish people."
Referring to an SNP forerunner, the National Party of Scotland, he added: "Some 70 years and more later, the SNP can finally say that we have lived up to that accolade as the national party of Scotland.
"We have reached out to every community across this country."
Highlights so far include:
Labour has lost the seat of Glasgow Anniesland by seven votes. This constituency has significance for the party as it was held by the first first minister Donald Dewar who died in 2000.
Four Labour MSPs who had represented Lanarkshire seats since 1999 lost out to the SNP. Former ministers Andy Kerr and Tom McCabe lost East Kilbride and Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse to the SNP's Linda Fabiani and Christina McKelvie.
Labour had better news in Eastwood where it held the Tory target seat. Ken Macintosh fought off advances from Conservative Jackson Carlaw.
Blushes were spared when Scottish Labour leader Iain Gray held on to his East Lothian seat by just 151 votes.
Labour's Malcolm Chisholm also held on to his Edinburgh Northern and Leith seat by a slim majority.
In his speech following the declaration in East Lothian, Mr Gray thanked the people of his constituency for re-electing him, and said it was "a great privilege" to represent the electorate there.
The SNP's Bill Kidd, Nicola Sturgeon, James Dornan and John Mason celebrate
Mr Gray spoke about helping young people into employment, care for the elderly and help for businesses, education and a living wage.
He said: "I promise you that I will fight every minute of every day for the next five years for these things, the things that really matter here in East Lothian.
"Scotland has made a choice tonight too. And while we cannot know for sure what that choice is, the indications are clear.
"Given the opportunity, Labour would devote itself to those self-same things that really matter.
"Whatever the outcome of the election tonight, these will be Labour's priorities in the parliament and in the five years ahead.
"We will pursue them, we will argue for them, we dedicate ourselves to them, and we will work with anyone who will work with us to get Scotland working again."
Reacting to the results, Tory leader Annabel Goldie said the "SNP were having a good night".
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