Mundell back with big majority

Conservative  David Mundell addresses the crowd at the Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale count, after retaining his seat.
Conservative David Mundell addresses the crowd at the Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale count, after retaining his seat.

David Mundell was returned to Westminister after Thursday’s general election with a much-increased majority.

After the 2015 election, he found himself the sole Conservative MP in Scotland, scraping in with a majority of only 798 over the Scottish National Party.

This time round, though, he has increased his majority massively, leaving SNP candidate Mairi McAllan, of Biggar – daughter of Ian McAllan, South Lanarkshire’s new provost – trailing 9,441 votes behind him.

“I am delighted to have been re-elected for a fourth time to represent Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale and humbled that it is once again with an increased vote and vote share,” said Mr Mundell, first elected in 2005 after six years as an MSP.

“I am particularly grateful to the people here in Clydesdale who gave me such strong backing at the election, and I pledge to continue to work hard for this part of South Lanarkshire.

“I will also be continuing to be as accessible as ever.

“I will have my usual stall at Biggar Show, and my surgery tour of all our local communities will take place in later in the summer.

Mr Mundell highlighted the threat of another referendum on Scottish independence as the main reason for the surge in votes for the Conservative and Unionist Party in Scotland.

“There is no doubt that the dominant issue in this election was the Nicola Sturgeon’s threat of another divisive independence referendum,” he said.

“Local people wanted to send a clear message that they didn’t want another referendum, and they did.

“I believe the comprehensive defeat the SNP experienced in this constituency and elsewhere in Scotland means the prospect of such a referendum is off the table for the foreseeable future and hopefully for at least the generation the SNP promised in 2014.

“Those who voted for me made a real difference in making that happen.

“What we need now is for the Scottish Government to focus on its responsibilities in health and education, which have clearly been neglected because of the obsession with independence.

“My priority will be to ensure we get the best possible deal on Brexit for Clydesdale, Scotland and UK, particularly for our farmers and local businesses.”

And looking to his work in the months ahead, he added: “Of course, it will be very different for me as I return to Westminster, not just because there will be a minority government but because I will have 12 Scottish Conservative MP colleagues.

“I’ve waited 12 years for a colleague, and now 12 have come along all at once!”

The 55-year-old was also confirmed again as Scottish Secretary in Theresa May’s cabinet.

He lost out on the post first time round in 2010 after the Tories made a pact with the Lib Dems, but he was appointed Scottish Secretary in 2015.

Douglas Beattie, Labour Party – 8,102

John Ferry, Liberal Democrats – 1,949

Mairi McAllan, Scottish National Party – 14,736

David Mundell, Conservatives – 24,177

Turnout was 72.4%.