Over the past few weeks, our political guru Devin Scobie, has been following the polls, pounding the streets and attended the Edinburgh count (for the city’s five seats) till 5.30am on Friday morning, trying to make sense of one of the most uncertain and unwanted General Elections in British history. Most of his predictions in Thursday’s election special came true – apart from the shock loss of UK Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson in East Dunbartonshire.
But the 2019 General Election is finally over and all the votes counted. Boris Johnson will be remaining in Downing Street for five more years with the biggest Tory majority since 1987 – almost entirely at the expense of former Labour seats in England. Many of these, in the northern heartlands and former mining communities, have never had a Tory MP in living memory. Perceptive has advised individual clients already where MPs have changed, and we’ve already spoken to two victororious MPs and one losing MP who were key to different clients.
In Scotland, out of 59 seats, a total of 14 changed party, 13 to the SNP who won 48 in a landslide result and one to the Lib Dems. All but one SNP MP held their seats and several former 2015-17 MPs were returned including Kirsten Oswald in East Renfrewshire (beating Tory Paul Masterton), Owen Thompson in Midlothian (beating Labour’s Danielle Rowley) and Anne McLaughlin in Glasgow North East (beating Labour’s Paul Sweeney). Former Holyrood Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill regained East Lothian for the SNP.
Seven Conservative seats reverted to the SNP who had lost them all in 2017. Tory survivors included Douglas Ross in Moray and current and former Scottish Secretaries Alister Jack and David Mundell, and ex MSP John Lamont in the Borders. Casualties included the sole female Tory MP, Kirstene Hair in Angus, Luke Graham in Ochil and North Perthshire, and junior Minister Colin Clark, who beat Alex Salmond in 2017.
The Lib Dems retained three of their four seats including Christine Jardine, with an increased majority in Edinburgh West, former MSP Jamie Stone in Caithness and gained North East Fife with former police officer Wendy Chamberlain elected as the new MP, unseating the SNP’s Stephen Gethins. The big shock, however, was the loss of Jo Swinson in East Dunbartonshire to a relative SNP novice, Amy Callaghan by just 149 votes. UK Deputy Leader and current Party President Baroness Sal Brinton have assumed acting leadership with immediate effect.
In addition, all but one Labour seat (Edinburgh South, held by Ian Murray) returned to the SNP. Shadow Scottish Secretary and Deputy Scottish Leader, Lesley Laird lost her Kirkcaldy seat to an SNP candidate that had been ostracised by the national party due to alleged anti-Semitic comments on social media.
A full listing of all UK seats including majorities and details of the new or returning MPs is available here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/politics/constituencies In addition, Perceptive is preparing short biogs of all Scotland’s new MPs and these are available on request.
If you or your organisation would benefit from our political insight and specialist knowledge and contacts at all political levels, please get in touch with Julie Moulsdale on 07734 932578 or firstname.lastname@example.org