Scottish Election 2021 results: SNP hold Banffshire and Buchan Coast, but majority slashed to just 772 amid Tory vote surge

SNP held onto its stronghold of Banffshire and Buchan Coast, but a surge in Tory votes in the North East fishing communities slashed its majority to just 772 votes.

For the SNP, a tough fight was anticipated here. For the Tories, they failed to get over the line and capitalise on growing levels of Conservative support – and backing for Brexit – in recent times.

The constituency was held by SNP minister Stewart Stevenson since it was formed in 2011, when he took 67 per cent of the vote.

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In 2016, the nationalist majority remained at a comfortable 6,583 (55.1 per cent), but that lead was cut away as the Tory vote shored up.

Karen Adam held to Banffshire and Buchan coast for SNP but the nationalist majority was slashed amid a surge in the Tory vote in the North East fishing communities. PIC: Contributed.

Karen Adam an Aberdeenshire councillor and carer, managed to hold the seat for nationalists with 45.1 per cent of the vote and 14,920 votes.

Conservative candidate Mark Findlater, a councillor and former soldier, took 14,148 votes or 42.78 per cent – up around 10 per cent on the previous election.

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The seat, which includes the fishing ports of Buckie, Peterhead and Fraserburgh, returned a high level of Brexit support, with one analysis suggesting that 54 per cent of voters in the constituency backed pulling out of the EU in 2016.

Ms Adam, 45, said she was “not particularly surprised” how tight the result had been.

She said: “I really do feel that this is a seat that perhaps the Tories should have been able to walk in terms of their Brexit deal, but it just shows that that has been absolutely rejected.

"They did not win this seat, their deal is an absolute failure and the people are calling out to the SNP for responsible leadership during this pandemic and, of course, to have their choice on whether to have an independent country.

"In terms of the Brexit deal and how it went, if it had been a fantastic deal the Tories would have walked this and they haven’t.”

On why the SNP majority was cut to such an extent, Ms Adam added: “I’m a new candidate, I’ve just come on the scene, and its been really difficult through the pandemic – normally our strength is getting out there and chapping doors, getting to know people and getting the word out.

"We’ve been reliant more on social media and such like. I think we have done really well with regards to a lockdown campaign.”

In her acceptance speech, Ms Adam gave thanks to her father, Les, 71, who is deaf, with a message in British Sign Language.

She said: “My dad has been a SNP supporter since the late 60s … today he has got on his wee Home Rule badge on under his jacket because that is how long ago it was. We are quite a political family and my dad has been a strong supporter [of the SNP] for a long time.

“I was thanking my dad for raising me up to understand the importance of an inclusive Scotland and how important it is that no-one should be left behind – and also the importance of an independent Scotland. That was very important for me to give him thanks.”

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