Stuart McDonald holds Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East for SNP

Of the four results declared at Ravenscraig Regional Sports Facility on Friday morning, Stuart McDonald achieved by far the strongest majority.

Friday, 9th June 2017, 1:30 pm
Updated Friday, 9th June 2017, 4:23 pm
Picture Alan Watson. 2017 Ravenscraig General Election - Cumbernauld, Kilsyth & Kirkintilloch East
Picture Alan Watson. 2017 Ravenscraig General Election - Cumbernauld, Kilsyth & Kirkintilloch East

The MP for Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East was re-elected with a majority of over 4,000 while his colleagues either lost to Labour or squeaked through on the slimmest of margins.

Once the result was confirmed, Labour candidate Elisha Fisher said: “This has been a long hard road for everyone. “Thank you to the returning officer, my small team and my fellow candidates for waging a respectful campaign.

“I would also like to thank the electorate for putting their trust in the Labour manifesto.”

Following his acceptance speech, in which he jocularly thanked his opponents for waging a “strong and stable” campaign, a victorious Stuart McDonald said: “I am very pleased by the campaign we ran and the excellent work from my team.

“I will continue working hard to represent my constituents at Westminster but on the other side of the coin it is also important to work within the community. In the last two years we have organised some very successful events such as benefit and winter surgeries and job fairs and it is important to continue building on that as well as working UK wide with my SNP colleagues.”

Mr McDonald also believes that the 2017 results are less of an indication of the SNP losing its voter appeal but an affirmation of the progress his party has made over the past decade.

“We were never going to repeat 2015 and in some ways we were damned by our own success. I do not think we will see another performance like that by any party.

“But the popular vote shows that the SNP remain the biggest party in Scotland and this is due in a large part to the excellence of our manifesto.

“People constantly compare tonight to 2015 but if you look at 2010 or any other general election we remain stronger than ever, though I am filled with regret at the colleagues we have lost.”

One such casualty was announced in Ravenscraig earlier that night with Phil Boswell losing Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill to postman Hugh Gaffney. This was Gaffney’s second election success since May , as he had only just been elected a member of North Lanarkshire Council.

The SNP lost one third of their Westminster representatives, including former First Minister Alex Salmond, who was unseated in Gordon by Colin Clark of the Conservatives. The party’s deputy leader Angus Robertson also lost to a Tory, Douglas Ross.

The atmosphere at Ravenscraig throughout the night proved tense as news of other results came in and rumours of recounts continued to circulate around the hall, with no representatives of any party willing to express much confidence before the actual declarations.

The one exception was Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East, which Jamie Hepburn jokingly referred to as “possibly the safest seat in Scotland” minutes before the result was confirmed.