General election 2019: A comprehensive round-up of the night as SNP celebrate Edinburgh success
Nationalists hold three but fail to take two more
THE SNP won two of Labour's seats in Lothian as they picked up constituencies across Scotland in a general election which showed opposite trends north and south of the border.
But the Nationalists failed to defeat Labour's Ian Murray in Edinburgh South or Lib Dem Christine Jardine in Edinburgh West.
Former Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill won a clear victory for the SNP in East Lothian, ousting Labour's Martin Whitfield by 3886 votes.
And Labour's Danielle Rowley lost Midlothian to Nationalist Owen Thompson by an even more convincing 5705 votes.
In the Capital, Mr Murray's majority in Edinburgh South was reduced from over 15,000 to 11,095 but he held on when colleagues across the country were defeated.
Edinburgh West re-elected Ms Jardine with an increased majority in what was a night of mixed fortunes for the Lib Dems.
The SNP ended up with 47 seats - plus a candidate they had disowned over alleged antisemitic remarks - while the Tories finished with six - down from 13 last time - and the Lib Dems have four, leaving Mr Murray as the sole Labour MP in Scotland once again.
Tommy Sheppard told Boris Johnson to “listen to Scotland” after holding his Edinburgh East seat with a huge majority – while Deidre Brock also secured a resounding victory in the north of the city.
Nationalist politicians said the surge in their vote was down to a combination of factors - widespread dislike of Boris Johnson, an emphatic vote against Brexit and support for the principle that Scotland should have the right to choose its own future.
SNP Edinburgh East candidate Tommy Sheppard fought off a challenge from Labour candidate Shelia Gilmore, who he unseated in 2015, winning 23,165 votes – compared to Labour’s 12,748 votes. Mr Sheppard’s majority has rocketed from 3,500 to more than 10,000.
The turnout in Edinburgh East was 69 per cent, while 142 ballots were rejected. Conservative candidate Eleanor Price secured 6,549 votes, while Lin Dem Jill Reilly got 3,289 – finishing ahead of Green party candidate Claire Miller with 2,064 votes.
Mr Sheppard labelled it a “remarkable result” and praised those who had “tactically chosen to put their faith in me”. He said that the future of Scotland “is a decision that should be taken in Scotland and nowhere else”.
He added: “We have been given a mandate, not for the first time, not for the second time, but for the third time since 2014 and our aim is to oppose Boris Johnson’s government and oppose, even at this final hour, Brexit.
“Boris Johnson had better start listening to the people of Scotland because if he doesn’t, people will take matters into their own hands and decide their own future whether he likes it or not.”
In Edinburgh North and Leith, SNP candidate Deidre Brock also retained her seat – with a vastly improved majority. Ms Brock took 25,925 votes – ahead of Labour’s Gordon Munro on 13,117 and Tory candidate Iain McGill on 11,000.
Liberal Democrat candidate Bruce Wilson took 6,635 votes ahead of Brexit Party candidate Robert Spiers on 558 and Renew hopeful Heather Astbury who tallied up 138. The turnout in Edinburgh North and Leith was 73 per cent and 105 ballots were rejected.
Ms Brock called on those living in England to “come and join us and help us build a better future” insisting that “the door is open” – adding that “it’s a crying shame to see what’s happening south of the border”.
She added: “Scotland has overwhelmingly rejected Brexit and Tory austerity. Scotland is walking a different path. The people have spoken and made clear that their future is their decision.
“We have work to do to build that better future so let’s go do it.”
Edinburgh North and Leith Tory candidate Iain McGill, said: “It’s a bitter sweet night but it’s more sweet than bitter. It’s a stonking result for the Conservatives across the country. We will bash on with the priorities of the country like health and education and not more constitutional upheaval.
“The picture in Scotland is disappointing that we have lost some seats. But it’s encouraging that we are clearly the second party in Scotland and clearly the ones who can hold the SNP to account.”