ELECTION: Calum Kerr comes through nailbiting recount for SNP in Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk
When it came turn to declare the result at 7.20am this morning, after nine hours of counting, including a nail-biting recount, the SNP made history when it swept to victory in the Berwickshire, Roxburgh & Selkirk seat, wiping away half a century of Liberal and Lib Dem control.
The SNP candidate Calum Kerr, now MP for the constituency, polled 20,145 votes, giving him a majority of 328 over nearest rival, Conservative John Lamont.
Lib Dem Michael Moore, the area’s well-respected MP for the last 18 years after succeeding David Steel in 1997, could only manage third place with just 10,294 votes.
In Scotland as a whole, the SNP posted an historic result taking 56 of Scotland’s 59 seats.
One of those still outwith SNP control is Dumfriessshire, Clydesdale & Tweeddale, where Conservative David Mundell held his seat.
The total number of votes cast in the Borders was 55,094. The electorate was 74,214. The turnout was 74.24%.
A clearly delighted Mr Kerr, who told all those gathered at Springwood Park in Kelso for the count that he now wanted to work for every resident of the Borders, said it was clearly early on that the Lib Dem vote had collapsed.
“I think we knew from very early on tonight that the Lib Dem vote had dropped significantly. From the first ballot box we could see that this had happened,” he told us.
“ Then it was a straight fight between us and the Conservatives. It was close; you’re talking around 300 votes and so we didn’t know till near the end who had actually won.”
Mr Kerr said the Borders was a region that had been long neglected by those in power at Westminster: “We’re the ones with the passion and energy to now change that.”
For his part, Mr Moore said he thought, in the end people were making a choice.
He said: “A choice about their worries over the future of the UK on the one hand, and on the other, concern to avoid further difficult choices about the economy on other,” he said.
“I think think we lost votes to the Conservatives because of worries on independence and lost votes to the SNP because people felt they were better placed to take on decisions about austerity.
“But it has been an enormous privilege to represent this area and I wish Calum all the best.”
The total number of votes given for each candidate in this constituency was as follows:
· Calum Kerr, Scottish National Party – 20,145 (37%)
· John Lamont, Scottish Conservative and Unionist – 19,817 (36%)
· Kenryck Lloyd-Jones, Scottish Labour Party – 2,700 (5%)
· Michael Moore, Scottish Liberal Democrats – 10,294 (19%)
· Peter Neilson, UK Independence Party – 1,316 (2%)
· Jesse Rae, Independent – 135 (0%)
· Pauline Stewart, Scottish Green Party – 631 (1%)
The majority was 328.
The number of ballot papers rejected and not counted was 56.
Tracey Logan, Returning Officer said: “I’d like to thank all the staff who made sure this election count ran as efficiently and accurately as possible, and for everyone’s patience as the recount took place.”