Scotland election results 2019: SNP defeat Swinson as party makes big gains

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Media captionNicola Sturgeon: “This is an exceptionally good night for the SNP.”

The SNP has made big gains across Scotland, with the party on course for a spectacular result in the UK general election.

The party defeated Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson in Dunbartonshire East after overturning a majority of 5,339 to win by 149 votes.

SNP candidates have also won several seats from the Conservatives and Labour across Scotland.

Leader Nicola Sturgeon said it had been an “exceptionally good night”.

The SNP had won 40 of the 45 seats to have declared by 04:15 with the party securing 46.3% of the votes – 8.5% more than in the last general election in 2017.

Neale Hanvey, an SNP candidate who was suspended over allegations he had made anti-Semitic posts on social media, also defeated Labour’s shadow Scottish secretary Lesley Laird in Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath. He will now sit as an independent until the party’s disciplinary procedures against him are concluded.

The Conservative vote had fallen by 3.6% to 24% across Scotland, while the Labour vote was down by 8.9% to 20.3%. The Liberal Democrat vote had increased by 3.1% to 7.8% despite the loss of the party’s leader.

But with the Conservatives and Boris Johnson expected to win a comfortable majority across the UK as a whole, Ms Sturgeon added: “UK-wide it’s a pretty grim result, but it shows the divergent path that Scotland and the rest of the UK are on.”

The Conservatives have taken a string of former Labour strongholds in England – with the BBC now forecasting the Tories will get a majority of 76, less than the 86 originally predicted by an exit poll.

Leader Jeremy Corbyn said it was a “very disappointing night for the Labour Party” and confirmed he would not lead the party into the next election.

The exit poll predicted the SNP could be on course to win 55 of Scotland’s 59 seats.

If the forecast is correct, it would see the SNP win 20 more seats than the 35 it won in 2017.

The predicted exit poll result would be a remarkable success for the SNP, and would see the party return a similar number of MPs to the historic 56 it won in the 2015 general election.

It would also potentially add weight to Ms Sturgeon’s demands for a second independence referendum, which she wants to hold next year.

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Image caption

Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson lost her seat to the SNP’s Amy Callaghan

Ms Sturgeon has already pledged to send a letter to the prime minister before Christmas requesting that Holyrood be given the power to hold indyref2.

The UK government’s cabinet minister, Michael Gove, told ITV he does not believe that another independence referendum is inevitable.

Rutherglen and Hamilton West was the first Scottish constituency to declare its result at 01:25, with Ms Ferrier – who previously held the seat between 2015 and 2017 – polling 23,775 votes, giving her a majority of 5,230 over her Labour rival.

In the second constituency to declare, the SNP’s David Doogan defeated Conservative Kirstene Hair, who had won the seat two years ago, by 3,795 votes.

Margaret Ferrier overturned a small Labour majority to oust Ged Killen in Rutherglen and Hamilton West, and John Nicolson won the Ochil and South Perthshire seat after defeating Luke Graham of the Conservatives.

The SNP also won back Midlothian from Labour’s Danielle Rowley and Angus from the Conservatives, while other early results saw the party’s Mhairi Black comfortably hold her Paisley and Renfrewshire South seat with a greatly increased majority.

Kenny MacAskill, the former Scottish justice secretary, won the East Lothian seat for the SNP after defeating Labour’s Martin Whitfield.

SNP MEP Alyn Smith won Stirling from Stephen Kerr of the Conservatives, while the SNP also took Aberdeen South from the Tories and Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill from Labour.

But Douglas Ross held his Moray seat for the Conservatives, while the SNP’s Stephen Gethins lost by 1,316 votes to Wendy Chamberlain of the Liberal Democrats in Fife North East.

Mr Gethins had won the seat by just two votes in 2017.

It’s been a case of so far so good for the SNP, taking a slew of seats from their opponents including a big scalp in the form of Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson.

The party haven’t had it all their own way – running up against Tory resistance in a few seats and losing North East Fife to the Lib Dems – but Nicola Sturgeon’s party have piled on thousands of votes in every seat and are on course for a landslide.

Labour, meanwhile, appear to have collapsed across Scotland, with their share of the vote down sharply. They even lost the shadow Scottish secretary, Lesley Laird, to a candidate disowned by the SNP and who will sit as an independent.

The Conservatives appear on course for victory UK-wide, but have lost a lot of Scottish seats to the SNP – and will be wondering what this means for their campaign to “stop indyref2”.

The Lib Dem vote share is up in most places, but any progress will be massively overshadowed by the loss of Ms Swinson. The party’s leader has just gone from touting herself as a future prime minister to losing her seat for the second time in four years.

For a nationwide breakdown of results, see our results page, which will be updated throughout the night.

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Follow election night on the BBC Scotland

  • Watch the overnight television programme, on BBC One Scotland and at midnight on the BBC Scotland channel, presented by Glenn Campbell and Brian Taylor.
  • On BBC Radio Scotland, there will be live coverage brought to you by presenters Bill Whiteford and Gillian Marles
  • The BBC’s news website and app will be the one-stop place to go for live coverage and the latest analysis throughout the night. You will be able to keep in touch with the Scotland-wide picture on your phone, tablet, laptop, internet-enabled television and desktop
  • You can find out what is happening in your constituency here
  • Follow the key moments and reaction to the results on social media by using #BBCelection and following @BBCScotlandNews on Twitter and BBC Scotland news on Facebook

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