General election 2019: Exit poll a surprise for all parties

Poll suggests Tory majority of 86 while SNP wins 55 seats

Thursday, 12th December 2019, 11:06 pm
The Edinburgh count is under way at Ingliston

THE exit poll predicting a Tory majority of 86 with the SNP taking 55 of Scotland's 59 seats took politicians of all parties by surprise.

There was scepticism about the prediction that the Nationalists would come so close to a clean sweep and warnings that such a poor Labour showing had to be a wake-up call for the party leadership.

Lothian Tory MSP Miles Briggs welcomed the overall projection, which gives the Conservatives 368 seats to Labour's 191, with the Lin Dems on 13.

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But he was unsure whether to believe the Scottish findings.

He said: "Scotland has 59 individual by-elections going on today. It may be the exit poll sample has not necessarily picked up the ground wars which different parties have been fighting.

"It's too early to say whether it's accurate. I think there are probably incredibly close results in that mix. The figures could prove to be very wrong for Scotland."

Edinburgh Southern Labour MSP Daniel Johnson said all the signs at local level were that Labour's Ian Murray had held on to Edinburgh South.

And he was disappointed the picture looked so grim for the party as a whole.

"The last two exit polls have been surprises but proven to be accurate," he said.

But he said there may be reason to wonder about whether it had got the figures right for Scotland.

"Fifty-five seems a very high tally for the SNP, but it's not beyond the realms of imagination.2

He said he hoped the 191 MPs projected for Labour across the UK was not accurate. "That would be a historic low. Falling below 200 is quite brutal.

If that turns out to be true it is a wake-up call for the Labour leadership."

Edinburgh's SNP council leader Adam McVey said he was not getting carried away with the projected 55 seats his party have been predicted in the exit poll.

He said: We are counting every vote as we speak and we are taking absolutely nothing for granted everywhere.

"We know there's going to be a lot of hard-fought contests , particularly in Edinburgh but we are not counting our chickens"

Edinburgh West Lib Dem candidate said the exit poll was not a reflection of what her party had seen and pointed out there were many marginal seats in Scotland.

Edinburgh Tory councillor Joanna Mowat said the exit poll was a mixed bag for the Scottish Tories. She said: "From our point of view, a majority is what we are looking for but we will just have to hope they get Scotland wrong. It's not what people have been finding on the doorsteps."

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General Election 2019 RECAP: The results for Edinburgh and the Lothians