Labour regain Glasgow seat as SNP majorities slashed

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon at the Glasgow count. Picture: John Devlin
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon at the Glasgow count. Picture: John Devlin
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Labour has regained one of the Glasgow constituencies it lost to the SNP in 2015 and came within 135 votes of winning two more as the party ended the Nationalists’ recent dominance in Scotland’s largest city.

Paul Sweeney, a shipyard engineer and trade unionist, claimed Glasgow North East for the party with a majority of 242 over Anne McLaughlin of the SNP to the delight of hundreds of activists gathered at the count at the Emirates Arena.

Labour fell just short of winning Glasgow South East, where Chris Stephens held on by just 60 votes, and it was a similar story in Glasgow East where David Linden held the seat for Nicola Sturgeon’s party with a slender majority of 75.

Sweeney said voters in the city had resonated with Labour’s message.

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“People in my constituency have made a clear statement: the era of grievance politics needs to be over,” he said. “We can now focus on real meaningful policies that will improve the lives of people in Glasgow and across the UK.

“We have seen people in Glasgow North East resonate to that message. We will now look to implement that visionary manifesto if we can. People have responded to our message of hope.”

But the SNP will take consolation from the fact they held six of the seven seats in Glasgow on what was a bruising night for the party elsewhere in the country.

Alison Thewliss, one of the SNP’s best known backbenchers, held Glasgow Central despite a strong rise in the Labour vote.

Nicola Sturgeon arrived at the count shortly after the last declaration and said she was “pleased the SNP had won the election” in Scotland as it looked on course to win most seats and votes north of the border.

“The first point I need to make is the SNP have won this election in Scotland,” she said. It will be our second best ever result in a Westminster election.

“I am certainly disappointed to have a number of losses, not least the loss of Angus Robertson, who’s been such an outstanding MP for Moray. Clearly we’ve got some reflection to do about why we’ve suffered some losses this evening.

“I’m not trying to downplay the losses, but I do think it’s legitimate to say the SNP has won the election in Scotland. There’s been a number of factors at play in this election. There’s been a late surge to Jeremy Corbyn across the UK, including in Scotland which wasn’t necessarily detected in the polls in Scotland.”

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