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Former MP Katy back on regional list
Kenneth Gibson has retained the Cunninghame North seat for the SNP.
He secured nearly half of all the votes cast for the four candidates in the constituency and returns to the Scottish Parliament in the seat he has now held for 14 years.
Katy Clark, who for 10 years until 2015 was the Labour MP for North Ayrshire, has been elected on the West Scotland regional list. Now a life peer, Baroness Clark of Kilwinning will have to divide her time between Holyrood and the House of Lords.
Despite having a local candidate on the West Scotland regional list, Arran councillor Ellen McMaster, the Alba Party secured just 816 votes in the area, and with just 1.7 per cent of the regional ballot across the country failed to return any MSPs.
The percentage turnout for Cunninghame North was 64.7 per cent – this compares to 57.4 per cent in the previous Scottish parliamentary election held in 2016. The total number of votes cast was 37,343.
Mr Gibson got a 49 per cent share of the vote down 2.9 per cent from 2016 but his support on Arran was higher, his team said, ranging between 55 and 65 per cent.
He told the Banner: ‘After a Scottish parliament election in which more people than ever exercised their right to vote, I was delighted to be re-elected as the MSP for Cunninghame North so decisively.
‘In a hard-fought campaign, we faced challenging circumstances. Nevertheless, we polled more votes than the Tories and Labour combined and our vote increased in this constituency for the fourth consecutive Holyrood election.
‘I truly appreciate the overwhelming trust my island constituents have placed in me and the SNP government.
‘Representing the people and communities of Arran is a privilege I will never take for granted as I continue working hard to the best of my ability.
‘Arran faces many issues, from the ongoing ferry situation to the lack of enough affordable housing and I am determined to ensure that we deliver positive solutions as soon as possible, with a meeting of myself, the Isle of Arran Ferry Committee and the new ferries minister – once he/she is appointed – top of the agenda.’
Former ferries minister Paul Wheelhouse failed to get re-elected on the regional list.
‘Across Scotland 64 of 129 MSPs are SNP, almost matching the 65 of the other four parties combined. Pro-independence MSPs number 72, a clear mandate to take Scotland forward to another independence referendum, once we have fully recovered from the Covid-19 pandemic. We will now focus on that recovery.
‘As purdah is now over, MSPs can again take up even non-urgent new cases. As ever, please don’t hesitate to email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01294 833687 if I can assist in any way.
‘As yet, MSPs are not permitted to re-open our offices to the public. However, I will do so as soon as I am allowed to and island surgeries will resume thereafter.’
Seven MSPs were elected through the West Scotland region ballot and across the region 378,389 votes were cast, representing a 67.2 per cent turnout.
Candidates elected to serve in the Scottish parliament were: Neil Bibby, Scottish Labour Party; Russell Findlay, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party; Katy Clark, Scottish Labour Party; Jamie Greene, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party; Ross Greer, Scottish Green Party; Paul O’Kane, Scottish Labour Party and Pam Gosal, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party.
Mr Greene has thanked voters in Cunninghame North and across West Scotland for re-electing him as a list MSP, despite failing to win the constituency seat.
He received 10,451 votes in Cunninghame North, with a 28.1 per cent share of the vote – an increase of 3.5% on his 2016 result and the best ever result for a Scottish Conservative candidate in the constituency.
Mr Greene says he will work tirelessly for all residents and will work constructively to help address the challenges facing North Ayrshire, putting party politics aside.
He said: ‘I would like to thank everyone who supported me in North Ayrshire and I will once again work tirelessly as a List MSP to be a strong voice for our local area. However, it cannot be business as usual and I will be watching [Mr Gibson] and the SNP government like a hawk to ensure that they deliver for our local area.
‘This means tackling the ferries fiasco, addressing the shockingly high rates of poverty and reducing drugs deaths – a divisive independence referendum cannot be the priority.’
The SNP won eight constituency seats out of 10 in the West Scotland region which means it did not pick up any additional seats on the regional list despite getting the most votes.
The Cunninghame North constituency result was:
Kenneth Gibson, Scottish National Party (SNP), 18,227
Jamie Greene, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, 10,451
Katy Clark, Scottish Labour Party, 7,536
Ruby Kirkwood, Scottish Liberal Democrats, 967