Who are Scotland’s 23 new MPs?

Christine Jardine and Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP at Meadowbank Stadium. Picture: SWNS
Christine Jardine and Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP at Meadowbank Stadium. Picture: SWNS
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From a football referee to a former journalist, an army reservist to a former naval officer, Scotland today has 23 new MPs, some of whom you may know, others not so much.

With the sudden decline of the SNP in Scotland at Thursday’s election, the space was left open for a raft of change to Scotland’s representatives in Westminster. Here we walk you through who they are, how they won, and where they’re going.

Danielle Rowley.

Danielle Rowley.

Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross (Lib Dem) - Jamie Stone

Lib Dem Jamie Stone took away the Caithness seat from SNP incumbent Paul Monaghan, despite only gaining 0.7% more than the Lib Dems last time, due to his Nationalist challenger losing 17.1% against the 2015 election.

Stone, a current councillor in the Highlands, represented the same constituency in Holyrood between 1999 and 2011 and has said via Facebook, “what an honour. I faithfully promise that I won’t let you down.”

Moray - (Con) Douglas Ross

Douglas Ross in action as a referee.

Douglas Ross in action as a referee.

In one of the upsets of the night, Conservative Douglas Ross took the Moray constituency from SNP leader Angus Robertson, gaining 16.5% since 2015, as his more experienced counterpart dropped by 10.7%. Ross was elected as an MSP for the Highlands and Islands region in 2016 after being elected to Moray council in 2007. He has however come under fire due to his other career as a football assistant referee, having preferred to officiate a game in Portugal rather than attend a Holyrood justice committee meeting, due to his position as the Tory justice spokesman.

Banff and Buchan - (Con) David Duguid

The Tories’ David Duguid boosted his party’s vote in Westminster by 19.2% to 48%, as the SNP currently sitting felt a 21.1% drop off since 2015.

Duguid made fishing a key issue in his campaign, committing to pushing the UK Government to pull out of the Common Fisheries Policy, saying, “I do not believe that this industry should ever be considered expendable and I will ensure that the views of our fishermen are heard at the highest levels of government.”

Gordon - (Con) Colin Clark

In another knock for the SNP in the North East, former leader and First Minister Alex Salmond was defeated by Tory Colin Clark in Gordon. Clark managed to boost the Tory vote by 29% since 2015, reaching 40.7%, while Salmond fell by 11.8% to 35.9%.

Clark, who bought into a fresh produce selling business at the age of just 24, “I am a job creator with real life experience who has made his own way in a tough business world and I want to use that experience to improve the infrastructure within Gordon”.

Aberdeenshire West and Kincardine - (Con) Andrew Bowie

Continuing the North East misery for the SNP, Tory Andrew Bowie took the Aberdeenshire constituency by over 15% over his rival Stuart Donaldson, jumping by 19% based on the 2015 vote. The former Navy officer, who has been trained in anti-piracy activities, was the Tory campaign manager for the North of Scotland during the 2015 general election as well as for the Better Together campaign during the Independence referendum.

Angus - (Con) Kirstene Hair

Completing the cull for the SNP in the North East, Kirstene Hair took the Angus seat from former chief whip Mike Weir, growing the Tory vote by 16.2% against an SNP drop-off of 15.7%.

The 27-year-old was formerly a party official, having organised the Scottish Conservative conference in 2013, before moving on to be an Executive Assistant at DC Thomson. After her election, she told said “Tonight they (the people of Angus) have chosen someone else and that’s democracy.”

Ochil and South Perthshire - (Con) Luke Graham

Luke Graham swept past the sitting Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh, taking the central belt constituency with 41% of the vote, 6% more than his counterpart and 20% more than in 2015. Graham has been prolific in the business world, having held positions at M&S and been Director of Finance for the Britain Stronger in Europe campaign.

Stirling - (Con) Stephen Kerr

In one of the more surprising twists of this election, Conservative Stephen Kerr defeated the SNP’s Steven Paterson, smashing the 2015 difference of 10,000 votes between the two, to eek out a majority of just 148. Kerr’s campaign was not, however, without incident. Members of Kerr’s campaign team were followed through the Stirling suburb of Cowie, and heckled. In a video later posted by Kerr, a woman can be heard yelling “get out of Cowie! Get out of Bannokburn! Get out of Scotland, you are not welcome here!”

Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath - (Lab) Lesley Laird

In another slim contest in Scotland, Labour’s Lesley Laird managed to sneak a 259 majority over the SNP’s Roger Mullin. This was despite only growing the Labour vote by 3.5%, given that the Mullin’s share of the vote dropped by 16%. Laird is currently the Deputy Leader of Fife council, having been elected as a councillor in 2012. Before becoming a councillor, Laird occupied a series of human resources in roles in several different industries.

Edinburgh West - (Lib Dem) Christine Jardine

Former journalist Christine Jardine took the Edinburgh constituency for the Lib Dems with a majority of almost 3,000, helped by the 10% slump of her SNP rival Tony Giugliano since the 2015 vote. The hotly contested seat gave rise to a testy atmosphere between Jardine and Giugliano, with the SNP candidate stating that Jardine “goes all over Scotland” standing in elections, and an SNP party activist saying that Jardine was out campaigning during the truce put in place for remembrance of the victims of the Manchester attack. In actuality she was at the funeral of her husband.

Dunbartonshire East - (Lib Dem) Jo Swinson

Jo Swinson marched to a 10% victory in Dunbartonshire, roughly the same amount as her SNP opponent dropped compared to the 2015 election. Swinson has a 5,000 majority over John Nicolson, in a race where the turnout was 78.8%. This marks Swinson’s return to Westminster, unseating the former BBC presenter and current SNP Culture, Media and Sport spokesman who took her seat in 2015.

Glasgow North East - (Lab) Paul Sweeney

Labour’s Paul Sweeney was victorious in another tight contest in Glasgow, winning by just 242 votes over the SNP’s Anne McLaughlin, who dropped almost 16% of her vote since 2015. Sweeney managed to take this seat despite a lacklustre crowdfunding attempt, which only garnered £730 of his £3,000 target. Before politics, Sweeney held a number of positions with BAE Systems, as well as currently work for Scottish Enterprise and being an Army Reservist.

Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill - (Lab) Hugh Gaffney

Continuing the Labour push in the West, Hugh Gaffney managed a majority of 1,500 in North Lanarkshire, helped by the massive 17.5% collapse of the SNP candidate Phil Boswell. North Lanarkshire Councillor Gaffney has strong union links, serving as the Scottish Political Officer for the Communications Workers Union as well as secretary of the Trade Union Council in North Lanarkshire.

Rutherglen and Hamilton West - (Lab) Ged Killen

Another West of Scotland tight race handed the seat to Labour’s Ged Killen, with just 265 votes proving the difference for Killen, as he beat the SNP’s Margaret Ferrier, who dropped 15.5% of her vote this time around. Killen is a councillor in South Lanarkshire, winning his race in 2013 before standing for Parliament. Before the election, bookmakers had the SNP at 1/50 to win the seat, despite this Killen still managed a victory by 0.5%.

Renfrewshire East - (Con) Paul Masterton

Conservative Paul Masterton increased his party’s share of the vote in the Renfrewshire East constituency that saw Jim Murphy equally beaten in 2015, by 18%, to take the seat from the SNP’s Kirsten Oswald who dropped by 9%. Masterton was part of one of the more recognisable photo ops of the campaign, as he was snapped having an ice cream with Ruth Davidson, with the Tory leader grabbing and kissing the newly minted MP.

Aberdeen South - (Con) Ross Thomson

In another strong gain in the North East of Scotland for the Conservatives, current Aberdeen South MSP Ross Thomson defeated the SNP’s Callum McCaig gathering 42% of the total vote with a swing of nearly 15%. Thomson was awarded a Legendary Samuari certificate by the The Scottish Samurai awards in July 2016. This was due to his work on Aberdeen City Council in increasing awareness of ‘The Scottish Samuari’, Thomas Blake Glover.

Dumfries & Galloway - (Con) Alister Jack

The southern seats of Scotland proved to be a clean sweep for the Conservatives. In Dumfries & Galloway businessman and farmer Alister Jack took the seat with 43% of the vote. Beating out Richard Arkless of the SNP. Jack made his business in ‘self-storage’, making a £20 million pound fortune through his company Armadillo. He has stated that he wishes to use his business and farming experience, to help support the rural interests of the region.

A Scotsman article from 2007 reveals something of his background as a businessman who made his £20 million fortune through ‘self-storage’.

East Lothian - (Lab) Martin Whitfield

Labour took one of their biggest target seats in Scotland, with Martin Whitfield winning with 36% of the vote. Only 1% separated the runner up George Kervan of the SNP, and Sheila Low of the Conservatives who made a 10% increase in the percentage of voters from the last election. A former lawyer and current primary school teacher in Prestonpans, Whitfield is also a council member of the General Teaching Council of Scotland.

Berwickshire, Roxburgh & Selkirk - (Con) John Lamont

Conservative John Lamont convincingly took the seat with 54% of the vote. This amounted to around 20% higher than that of the SNP candidate, incumbent Calum Kerr. Previously the MSP for Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire, Lamont resigned the position last May. This was Lamont’s fourth attempt at gaining the seat for the party, having been beaten at the last three General Elections.

Ayr, Carrick & Cumnock - (Con) Bill Grant

Winning 40% of the vote, Conservative Bill Grant defeating the sitting MP Corri Wilson of the SNP. The SNP lost around 15% of the vote compared to the last election, with the Conservatives gaining a large 30% in comparison. Working in Ayr 30 years as a Firefighter and later 10 as a local councillor, Bill Grant becomes the Conservatives’ first MP in the area for nearly 20 years

Midlothian - (Lab) Danielle Rowley

Winning by 885 votes, Labour overturned around a 10,000 SNP majority from the last election with Labour’s Danielle Rowley beating Owen Thompson of the SNP. A journalism graduate of Edinburgh Napier University in 2014, Rowley is also currently a Campaigns and Public Affairs Officer at Shelter Scotland and is the daughter of the Scottish Labour Party Deputy Leader Alex Rowley.