SNP take Edinburgh Central from Tories as Labour and Lib Dems hold their seats

Angus Robertson
Angus Robertson (PA Wire)
20:51pm, Fri 07 May 2021
CBAD8A00-D2B9-4E0E-ADDF-D0366C357A34 Created with sketchtool. E9A4AA46-7DC3-48B8-9CE2-D75274FB8967 Created with sketchtool. 65CCAE04-4748-4D0F-8696-A91D8EB3E7DC Created with sketchtool.

Former SNP Westminster leader Angus Robertson has welcomed an “emphatic” win in Edinburgh Central – the seat formerly held by ex-Scottish Conservative chief Ruth Davidson.

Mr Robertson overturned the Conservative majority of 810, taking 16,276 votes after record numbers of voters turned out in the Scottish capital.

The Tory candidate, Scott Douglas, won 11,544 votes – giving the SNP a majority of 4,732.

Mr Robertson, who led the SNP at Westminster before losing his Moray seat at the 2017 general election, said: “This result is an emphatic and an unparalleled victory for the SNP in Edinburgh Central.

Scottish Parliamentary Elections 2021 (PA Wire)

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

Ms Davidson has stood down from Holyrood and will take up a seat in the House of Lords.

Meanwhile, Scottish Labour’s Daniel Johnson won the first seat of the election for his party, holding Edinburgh Southern.

He won 20,760 votes to SNP candidate Catriona MacDonald’s 16,738.

The Scottish Conservatives took 5,258 votes and the Scottish Liberal Democrats 2,189.

In his acceptance speech, Mr Johnson said: “I am truly humbled by this overwhelming endorsement, I’m truly grateful for the trust placed in me by the people of Edinburgh Southern.

Daniel Johnson (PA Wire)

“But I also must pay tribute to Anas Sarwar, who in 10 short weeks has transformed the fortunes of the Scottish Labour Party and has set the agenda in this election.

“Being focused on what unites us, not what divides us, being clear that we cannot seek to heal from Covid by reopening the wounds of the past and that recovery necessitates all of our attention, all our energy, and all of our resources.”

Liberal Democrat Alex Cole-Hamilton retained the Edinburgh Western seat with 25,578 votes, giving a majority of 9,885.

The SNP’s Sarah Masson was in second place with 15,693 votes.

Speaking to the PA news agency after his victory, Mr Cole-Hamilton said: “I’m absolutely delighted.

“I think we saw this result coming over the last few weeks of door-knocking but I don’t think we could have ever imagined there would be quite that level of endorsement and I’m just hugely grateful to my constituents in West Edinburgh.”

He added: “Every poll for the last year has had me losing the seat, and obviously that becomes quite hard to watch.

“But we knew that on the doorstep and in the communications we were having with people through the pandemic and work we were doing on the ground, that we were winning people’s trust.

“So this wasn’t a vote against something, I’d like to think this was a vote and endorsement of not just my work but the work of counsellors and activists in West Edinburgh who are an amazing team in terms of delivering that public service.”

Turnout at all three Edinburgh constituencies counted on Friday was higher than at any other Scottish Parliament election, with Edinburgh Southern receiving 45,466 votes (71.11%), Central getting 41,833 (62.69%) and 46,901 (71.46%) in Western.

These were increases of 8,307 voters, 7,664 and 7,135 respectively from the 2016 Holyrood election turnouts.

Sign up to our newsletter