SNP fail to gain a majority, as Tory vote soars
The Scottish National Party has emerged the largest party in the Scottish Parliament, but failed to retake an overall majority.
The Scottish Conservatives vote has rocketed, with the party taking 31 seats – an increase of 16. Scottish Labour suffered the worst defeat of all, losing 13 seats, many at the expense of the SNP and Tories.
With all seats now declared, the Nationalist have fallen short of retaking an overall majority on 63 seats. The Scottish Conservatives will now form the official opposition as the second largest party.
It was also a great night for the Greens, who increased their vote share and tripled their seats from 2 to 6.
SNP leader and now returning First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, said that the party “had made history,” being the first to ever get a third term in Holyrood.
She said: “What is now beyond doubt is that the SNP have won a third Scottish Parliament election. That has never been done before.
“We have tonight made history. It is a vote in confidence in the record of the SNP Government and it is a vote of trust in the SNP in leading our country forward.
“We will always stand up for Scotland and, tonight, Scotland has stood with us.”
Patrick Harvie, co-convenor of the Scottish Greens, said it has been “a fantastic night” for his party and that it was clear they had gained “momentum”, particularly in Glasgow. Although the party has replied on the regional list for all of its MSPs, it came second in Glasgow Kelvin, pushing Labour into third in their former heartland and where the council currently has a majority.
Tory leader Ruth Davidson ran on a platform of acting as a strong opposition to the SNP and has become the first leader in nearly 30 years to turn around the Tories luck in Scotland.
She said the result showed how “how voters can change and make a considered choice”.
“I am under no illusion that everybody who voted for me in that seat is a true-blue, dyed-in-the wool Tory, and neither are they in places up and down Scotland,” she said.
“They are people who want us to do a very specific job, and that it is to hold the SNP to account.”
She was congratulated by David Cameron on Twitter, who said she will act as a strong opposition to the SNP.
Congratulations to @Ruth_E_Davidson on this historic result: she is a leader who will stand up to the SNP & give Scotland strong opposition.
— David Cameron (@David_Cameron) May 6, 2016
Labour added to their string of election defeats in Scotland, losing 13 MSP and only holding on to many of their heavyweight names through the regional list.
Kezia Dugdale, who failed to take the Edinburgh Eastern seat from the SNP was the only party leader not to win a constituency and has vowed to stay on in the role.
She said: “I am proud that our campaign rose to the challenge of offering an alternative vision of what could be done in our new, more powerful parliament.”
Ms Dugdale added that she believed that trying to move the conversation on from the constitutional question is what cost the party votes, but that she had a five year plan and that was what she was elected to implement.
She also mentioned her partner, Louise, for the first time and spoke of coming out as part of the campaign process.
More from PinkNews
Having been pushed into fifth place by the Greens, the Lib Dems held on to their five seats, picking up two constituency seats on the mainland.
Willie Rennie, leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, said he had had “the time of his life” in the campaign.
“[We have had] a campaign that has looked to try and make Scotland the best again,” he said at his declaration.
“Investing in education, guaranteeing our civil liberties and protecting the environment. Something that is every important to me is boosting mental health services and that’s what my team of liberal voices in the parliament will do for the next five years.”