Scottish Election 2021 results: SNP gains more votes in Western Isles than 2016 poll

One of the first constituencies to return the vote was Na h-Eileanan an Iar, with sitting MSP Alasdair Allan being returned, gaining even more votes than he did in 2016.

Five years ago, he gained 6,700 votes from a constituency of just under 27,000, but this time he polled even better at 7,454.

While it was a low-key election due to the pandemic, the turnout in the islands was still high at 66.4 per cent of eligible voters, and one of the highest postal votes in Scotland at over 30 per cent.

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Despite clear anger at, for example, the ferry service, the SNP romped home with a vote comparable to all the other parties combined.

SNP candidate Alasdair Allan has retained his seat

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At an election count missing the usual drama and lacking in numbers due to restrictions, there was not the usual shouts and fanfare that greets a winning announcement.

After thanking constituents, Mr Allan said: “It’s a job of work and I hope I can repay your trust. The case is going to be about building life back into our economy in a way that involves further investment in our transport network. But I look forward to raising other issues as well, such as housing.

“Nicola Sturgeon will be voted – deservedly – back as our First Minister and the Scottish Parliament will be voting by a clear majority, once the pandemic is over, to give the people of Scotland the chance to determine our future and not Boris Johnson.”

His closest challenger was Labour’s Shaun Fraser.

Mr Fraser said: “The issues facing the islands are substantial and it will take a great deal of work and political will to tackle these.”

The LibDems’ Neil Mitchison, who formerly headed the European Commission office in Scotland, said: “I have stood in this constituency several times now and never before have I come across such anger about our ferries.” In a direct plea to Mr Allan he said: “Please sort it.”

The full result is: Alasdair Allan, SNP, 7,454; Shaun Faser, Labour, 4,013; Gavin Berkenheger, 2,116; Neil Mitchison, LibDems, 353; Callum Iain MacMillan, independent, 571. Total votes cast was 14,593.

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