Clydesdale was once dubbed as, politically, the most typical constituency in Scotland and Thursday’s Scottish General Election results certainly reflected that.
To absolutely no-one’s surprise, the sitting SNP MSP Aileen Campbell was comfortably returned to Holyrood, her 14,821 votes giving her an increased majority of 5979, a 44 per cent share of the total.
Since the last ‘three horse race’ Clydesdale Holyrood poll in 2011, her vote fell by a mere 110 with double the candidates in the field this time around, one of them a locally well-known SNP defector.
Much more interest was generated by the race for second place and the national trend was again reflected in the Conservative’s Alex Allison pulling well ahead of Labour’s Claudia Beamish by 8,842 votes to her 6,995; Clydesdale was a Labour seat for 12 years before the 2011 Holyrood election and the party has shed almost four thousand votes since then while the Tories have doubled their support.
One of the two ‘wild card’ Independent candidates, former Labour councillor Danny Meikle, came fourth with 1,332 votes while SNP defector, Councillor Bev Gauld, attracted 909 votes to his anti-gay marriage cause.
Coming in last place was the Lib Dems’ Jennifer Jamieson Ball with 820 votes.
The victor on the night, Aileen Campbell, said:” It is a huge honour and privilege to be re-elected to serve the people of Clydesdale. I would like to thank all those who returned me and also the hardworking and dedicated team of SNP activists who put in so much effort. Scotland has overwhelmingly supported the SNP’s vision for a fairer and more equal nation and shown its support for the return of Nicola Sturgeon as First Minister. The hard work starts now creating a better Clydesdale and Scotland.”