THE SNP’s Alyn Smith has defeated Stephen Kerr in Stirling, with a majority of more than 9,000 votes.
In a night of Conservative losses north of the border, Stephen Kerr’s anti-independence, pro-Brexit message failed to resonate with voters in a constituency where 68 per cent of people voted to remain in the European Union.
SNP candidate Alyn Smith took 51.1 per cent of the vote, polling 26,895 votes. Stephen Kerr came in second, with 17,641 votes.
Labour’s Mary Kate Ross came in a distant third, ahead of the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party. There were 105 rejected ballot papers.
Following his victory, Alyn Smith told spectators: “It has long been said that he who holds Stirling, holds Scotland.
“The SNP holds Stirling in the local council, the national parliament, we won the EU elections here and now we hold Stirling in the Westminster parliament as well.
“I thank my amazing campaign team, my family Jane and Eddie, I thank my boyfriend Jordan, and the amazing SNP team here in Stirling.
“I’m aware that a lot of people in Stirling loaned us a vote. I’m very conscious of that, I respect that. I ask only to serve, and you can judge me by my deeds. I’m a unifier.”
He also paid tribute to incumbent Stephen Kerr, acknowledging that although they do not agree on much, they both agree on “the importance of public service.”
He added: “Politics can be a rough game – it needn’t be.
“I believe that if all of us work together, we can put Stirling, as the heart of Scotland, at the heart of discourse of our nation and the challenges that lie ahead.”
The SNP have gained seats across Scotland, mainly at the expense of Labour and the Conservatives.
And Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson lost her East Dunbartonshire seat to the nationalists.
In total, the SNP have won 48 seats in Scotland, with the Tories on six, the Lib Dems on four and Labour being reduced to just one.
The overall result across the UK is painting a different picture.
Boris Johnson’s ‘get Brexit done’ message has won support in Labour’s English and Welsh heartlands, leading to a large overall majority for the Conservative party in Westminster.
Nicola Sturgeon, however, has said that tonight’s result in Scotland means that Boris Johnson “must give [her] a second independence referendum,” as it shows a “clear mandate” for the Scottish people to decide Scotland’s future.