Tories dominate Aberdeenshire as SNP vote slumps

SNP veteran Alex Salmond lost his Gordon seat to the Tories. Picture: PA
SNP veteran Alex Salmond lost his Gordon seat to the Tories. Picture: PA
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SNP candidates were scalped by the Conservatives in four out of five seats in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.

Tories made dramatic gains in Alex Salmond’s seat of Gordon, West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine, Aberdeen South and Banff and Buchan, where SNP’s Eilidh Whiteford had enjoyed a majority of more than 14,000.

Kirsty Blackman was the only SNP candidate to defend her seat, winning Aberdeen North with a reduced majority.

Callum McCaig, former SNP energy spokesman who lost to Conservative MSP Ross Thomson in Aberdeen South, said: “The Conservatives have managed to motivate their vote. They have done that not by focussing on policy but on a second independence referendum.”

“It just wasn’t our night.”

READ MORE: Live Blog: General Election 2017 results from across Scotland

Mr McCaig, who broke 18 years of Labour reign to take Aberdeen South in 2015, said: “Where does tonight’s result leave me? Not as a MP. How do I feel about it? These things happen.

“You come in on a high tide of support for your party, when that recedes a bit you go out. That is the job that is the way it works.”

He claimed SNP seats were not lost due to the looming spectre of a second independence referendum but due to votes leaking away to Labour.

Mr McCaig said: “We need to look at the results closely but we have been stung and lost a bit of our vote to the Labour Party on the back of a Corbyn surge.”

Aberdeenshire West and Kincardine was the third target of the Scottish Conservatives during the campaign with their candidate Andrew Bowie polling 24,704 votes.

SNP’s Stuart Donaldson was pushed into second with 16,755 votes. Previously, he held a majority of just over 7,000.

Mr Bowie, who previously served in the Royal Navy, said: “People had been very receptive to the Conservatives on the doorstep. People in the oil and gas industry want more support and I am the first to admit the government should be doing more.”

He said ongoing controversy about the Scottish Government’s farm payment scheme had also driven support.

In Banff and Buchan, which includes fishing towns Fraserburgh and Peterhead, Conservative David Duguid smashed the SNP majority of 14, 339 to take the seat.

An estimated 54 per cent of those in the constituency had supported Brexit with the Conservative’s making the seat their fifth target in Scotland.

READ MORE: In full: General Election 2017 Scottish seat results