SNP snatch Cumbernauld #GE2015 seat

Written by Scott Campbell, Cumbernauld Media's Senior Reporter.

Published at 19:43 on 8 May 2015

Politics    SNP    General Election

New SNP MP makes his declaration speech. Picture: Mobile image (Scott Campbell for Cumbernauld Media).

SEATS throughout Scotland were gained by the Scottish National Party (SNP) on Friday 8th May, after voters went to the polls on May 7 to elect their local Members of Parliament for the next five years.

North Lanarkshire’s four Westminster constituency seats fell easily to the SNP, with majorities that surprised even the candidates and their election teams. 

Scottish Labour’s political giants toppled like dominos in each of North Lanarkshire’s four seats. In order of declaration, the SNP gained Motherwell and Wishaw; Airdrie and Shotts; Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East; and, Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill.

In Motherwell and Wishaw, 68.7 per cent of eligible electors voted on May 7th, with 48,279 votes cast, with 42 ballot papers rejected. The SNP’s Marion Fellows won the seat comfortably, with 27,275 votes. 

Meghan Gallacher from the Scottish Conservative and Unionists took 3,695 votes, meanwhile in Motherwell and Wishaw; Ross Laird of the Scottish Liberal Democrats won 601 votes; Frank Roy from Scottish Labour Party racked up 15,377; and, Neil Wilson from the UK Independence Party (UKIP) took 1,289 votes.

Airdrie and Shotts was also a comfortable win for the Scottish Nationalists, with their candidate, Neil Charles Gray winning with 23,887 votes, compared with Independent Deryck Beaumont’s 136; Scottish Conservative and Unionist candidate, Eric Holford’s 3,389; Scottish Liberal Democrats, John Love’s 678; Scottish Labour Party, Pamela Nash’s 15,108; and, Matt Williams from UK Independence Party’s 1,088. The constituency cast 44,331 votes, with 45 ballot papers rejected – meaning there was a 66.9 per cent turnout.

Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East was the third North Lanarkshire constituency to declare its results, which came at shortly after 3.30am in the early hours of Friday morning. 

Returning Officer Gavin Whitefield confirmed that 49,508 votes had been cast in the election for the Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East constituency, with 126 rejected ballot papers, on a 73.8% percentage poll.

John William Duncan from the Scottish Liberal Democrats came last in the contest for the constituency, with 1,099 votes; Malcolm George Eric MacKay from the Scottish Conservative and Unionists won 3,891 votes; while Scottish Labour Party candidate, and former MP, Gregg McClymont came second in the contest, with 14,820 votes. 

Scottish National Party (SNP) contender, Stuart Campbell McDonald was the victorious candidate in the end, however, with the 36-year-old Milton of Campsie charity worker racking up 29,572 votes. 

In his declaration speech as the newly elected MP for Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East, Stuart McDonald MP thanked his campaign team, wished former MP, Gregg McClymont ‘all the best’ and promised his new constituents that he would “give everything” he has to them.

Mr McDonald said: “Returning Officer, I would like to thank you, your staff – both the polling station and the counting staff, here tonight – and also to praise you all for the highly professional way in which this election has been conducted, and for all the hard work that has been put in to ensure that everything run smoothly. 

“Can I also thank the other candidates: Gregg, Malcolm and John, for the good natured conduct of the campaign, with my particular thanks and best wishes for the future to Gregg McClymont and his team.”

Continuing, the newly elected SNP MP said that it was his “privilege to be standing here as the newly elected Member of Parliament for Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East”, adding: “…it is an honour to have campaigned here with the tireless support of a fantastic team of local SNP volunteers. Without them this incredible result tonight could not have been achieved.

“To my election agent, John Bowman, and my campaign manager, Alan Masterton, and to all of you who have campaigned alongside me over the last few months a massive thank you: we have a few hours now to reflect and enjoy the results, and then it’s down to the hard work – thank you,” Mr McDonald said.

He explained: “Of course, to most of my constituents, I will be their first ever SNP MP, while to others I will be the first since the fantastic but sorely missing Margaret Bain, who was elected in 1974, as part of the SNP’s largest ever contingent of MPs – largest, however, that is until tonight. 

“As your Member of Parliament, I assure you I will give everything I have for the people of this constituency. It is a privilege to have the opportunity to serve the people of the constituency I call home – and I very much look forward to getting started,” Mr McDonald added.

At shortly after 4am on Friday morning the results from Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill was declared; and, like the rest of North Lanarkshire, the constituency was gained easily by the insurgent and seemingly unstoppable SNP.

68.7 per cent of eligible electors in the Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill constituency voted in the general election, with 50,753 votes cast, and 55 ballot papers rejected.

Philip John Boswell of the Scottish National Party (SNP) won the seat with 28,696 votes, while the Scottish Labour Party veteran, Thomas Clarke won 17,195 votes. Scott Cairns of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), meanwhile, took 1,049 votes; Mhairi Fraser, the Scottish Conservative and Unionist candidate picked up 3,209 votes, with the Scottish Liberal Democrat candidate, Robert Simpson, winning 549 votes.

On the Friday evening edition of STV News, after the final results from across Scotland and the whole UK were known, Nicola Sturgeon, the SNP leader and First Minister of Scotland said that “tectonic plates of Scottish politics have shifted”, adding that the 56 SNP MPs elected would provide a strong voice for Scotland at Westminster. 

MPs will head to parliament later this month, ahead of the first sitting of parliament on May 18th, while the official State Opening of Parliament will take place on May 27th.