THE SNP’s Aileen Campbell has taken Clydesdale, knocking out Karen Gillon, who had held it since the Scottish Parliament began in 1999.
“I’m ecstatic” Aileen told the Gazette after the result was declared.
Formally, it was announced just after 2am but it had been obvious long before that to observers watching the SNP vote pile up on the counting tables.
“They are not counting Aileen Campbell’s votes – they are weighing them!” commented one of those watching.
Result was Aileen Campbell 14,931; Karen Gillon (Labour) 10,715; and Colin McGavigan (Conservative) 4291.
There have been some changes to the Clydesdale seat, with the addition of Strathaven and Avondale, but at the 2007 election Karen won it with a majority of 2893 over Aileen.
At that election, Aileen was returned as one of the Regional list MSPs for the South of Scotland and her four years as MSP have given her a high profile and a track record for this election.
Both Aileen and Colin paid tribute to Karen for her 12 years as constituency MSP.
Karen was not being drawn on the future, but said she was looking forward to spending time with her three children, all born since she was first elected.
South Lanarkshire was the first in the country to declare seats on Friday morning and the SNP at the counting centre in East Kilbride were jubilant for all of the count, winning Hamilton and East Kilbride as well as Clydesdale.