LITTLE more than eight months ago Clydesdale’s SNP contingent looked on in despair as their dreams of independence died, at least for the time being, as the Referendum result was announced in East Kilbride.
What a difference eight months can make as the agony turned into ecstasy at tonight’s General Election count.
Lanark and Hamilton East candidate Angela Crawley swept to victory defeating the previous incumbent, Labour’s long serving Jim Hood, with a comfortable majority of 10,100.
Speaking to the Gazette after her huge victory Angela said: “The biggest positive was the hard work of our campaign team; we spoke to people across Lanark and Hamilton East.
“One of the biggest issues for people is that they want an end to austerity. They want progressive politics, they want to get away from austerity and they don’t want to spend billions on renewing Trident.
“It’s the greatest honour in the world to have the constituents of Lanark and Hamilton East putting their faith in me.
“I will make sure that I work hard every day to serve them.”
Clydesdale’s SNP MSP Aileen Campbell MSP continued: “We’ve ran a very positive campaign in all three Clydesdale constituencies.
“On the doorstep we’ve had a lot of people who voted No in the Referendum saying that they regretted their decision and we have had people who still said they would vote No but want a strong Scottish voice at Westminster.
“The results show the failure of Labour to sure up its core vote.”
Mr Hood, who was defending a majority of over 13,000 and had held the seat since 1987, looked on in disappointment as the result was read out.
However, as the evening wore on you could not hide the disappointment etched on the faces of the Labour faithful.
Indeed never has Labour’s 1997 election anthem been so apt - things can only get better for the party in Scotland as the election results could not get any worse.
Mr Hood said: “The campaign locally went very well. However, going by the polls we are not going to have a good night.”
Conservative candidate and former South Lanarkshire councillor Alex Allison finished third with 8,772 votes.
He said: “We are inchartered territory. There is no doubt there has been a surge in support for the SNP.”
The Lib Dems Greg Cullen scored 1,203 votes losing out to UKIP’s Donald McKay who picked up 1,431 votes.
The turnout across the constituency was 55,328 which amounted to a very healthy 69.2 per cent.