Ex-SNP Westminster leader returns to front line after Edinburgh Central win

·2 min read

Former SNP Westminster leader Angus Robertson has returned to frontline politics – winning the Holyrood seat formerly occupied by Ruth Davidson.

Mr Robertson won the Edinburgh Central seat, beating Tory Scott Douglas by 16,276 votes to 11,544, overturning a majority of 810 held by the ex-Conservative leader in the last parliamentary term.

Speaking after his election, Mr Robertson said voters in the seat had rejected Boris Johnson and Brexit.

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The SNP remains the only party which has gained seats, taking two constituencies from the Tories and one from Labour.

“We have just won the seat of the former leader of the Scottish Conservatives and recorded our best ever SNP result,” he said.

“The people, many of whom stood in queues of rain and hail yesterday, have spoken and their democratic choice has been to elect an SNP MSP for Edinburgh Central, in support of an SNP Scottish Government dealing with Covid recovery, for the re-election of Nicola Sturgeon as First Minister and that Scotland’s future should be in Scotland’s hands.”

He added: “In this most European of capital cities, people have resoundingly rejected the party of Brexit and Boris Johnson.”

Meanwhile in Ayr, the SNP’s Siobhian Brown defeated the Tory incumbent John Scott, who had held the seat since 2000, by 18,881 votes to 18,711.

Ms Brown reversed a majority of just 750 votes, winning by 170.

John Scott
John Scott was the MSP for Ayr since 2000 (Andrew Cowan/Scottish Parliament/PA)

Scottish Labour won 4,766 votes in the seat, while the Liberal Democrats took just 808, with a turnout of 68% of the electorate.

Earlier on Friday, Paul McLennan won 17,968 votes in the East Lothian seat, which was held by former Labour leader Iain Gray until his retirement this year.

Mr Gray boasted a majority of 1,127, but after a 2.58% swing that has now shifted to a 1,179-vote lead for the SNP.

Scottish Labour candidate Martin Whitfield won 16,789 votes with a turnout of 69%.

In the last parliamentary term, the SNP held 63 seats, just two shy of an overall majority.

The Scottish Tories won 9,470 votes in East Lothian, while the Liberal Democrats took 1,556.