Scottish Election 2021: SNP wins East Lothian

The SNP has successfully taken East Lothian from Scottish Labour.

There were four candidates running on the constituency ballot; Paul McLennan for the SNP, Martin Whitfield for Scottish Labour, Euan Davidson Scottish Liberal Democrats and Craig Hoy from the Scottish Tories.

Mr McLennan won with 17,968, Mr Whitfield won 16, 789, Mr Hoy won 9,470 and Mr Davidson won 1,556.

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In his victory speech, Mr McLennan pledged to work with all groups and all parties for East Lothian, and made an emotional tribute to his father, who passed away two years ago.

JPI

Across East Lothian, 66, 473 people have registered to vote for this election, with 17, 681 sending off postal votes.

After shaking hands with Mr McLennan, former East Lothian MSP and Scottish Labour candidate Mr Whitefield left.

However, Mr Whitefield said before the count came in: “It's the most it's the most unusual election ever and I think we all agree with that that.

“Certainly the COVID restrictions have made it very different for all of the parties. We've had lovely reception on the doorstep, in the last week that we've been able to go out and on telephone and social media which has played a huge part.

He was also full of praise for new Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar who he says added a human side to the party.

Mr Whitfield was former MP for East Lothian, before losing his seat to Kenny MacAskill, who recently left the SNP for Alba.

Scottish Conservative candidate Craig Hoy reflected before the counting had finished on the difference that coronavirus had made to their traditional style of campaigning.

"It was difficult.

"I think all of us have probably been speaking to our core support base more than we ordinarily would.

"So we've all been operating some degree in our own bubbles.”

The count at Meadowmill in Tranent for the East Lothian votes was fully social distanced and masks were worn at all times.

The turn out in East Lothian was 69.1%, higher than last time which was 62.5%.

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