Mundell keeps blue corner and calls for unity

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Lone Tory and new Scottish Secretary David Mundell has called for an end to bickering and for the country to move forward.

Mr Mundell was chased to the finishing line by the SNP and saw his majority in Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale slashed from more than 4,000 to just under 800.

Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale candidates line up to hear the 2015 general election result

Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale candidates line up to hear the 2015 general election result

The Labour vote vanished like snow off a dyke and the Lib Dems – wiped out by the SNP in their Tweeddale stronghold – finished behind UKIP.

Activists from the SNP sat glued to a television in the Eastbrooks Hall at Dumfries as their tally of MPs grew and grew. There were groans when they failed to take Orkney and Shetland, and tears when they came so close to ousting Mr Mundell, who is now in his third term as the area’s MP.

Fresh from victory, Mr Mundell told The Southern: “The political landscape of Scotland has changed, but the decision of the people of Scotland – particularly clear in this area – in the referendum has not.

“We want to remain part of the United Kingdom and I will do everything in my power to ensure that happens, and that we are not forced into another referendum.”

And being confirmed as Secretary of State for Scotland, which comes with a Cabinet seat, he told us: “My priority is to ensure that the Scottish and UK Governments work constructively together in the best interests of the people of Scotland. It’s time to move on from bickering and politicking and instead take forward the issues and concerns important to people across Scotland. My first major task is to take through parliament the legislation that will enact the recommendations of the Smith Commission to increase the powers of the Scottish Parliament.

“I also want to be a strong voice for rural areas. Government at all levels has become far too urban-orientated and the needs of those who live in rural communities must be taken into account more.”

RESULT

David Mundell (Con) 20,759

Emma Harper (SNP) 19,961

Archie Dryburgh (Lab) 7,711

Kevin Newton (UKIP) 1,472

Amanda Kubie (Lib Dem) 1,392

Jody Jamieson (Green) 839

Turnout: 76.2%

Majority: 798

z Turn to pages 38-39 for a report from the Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk contest.