Labour ousts SNP in Rutherglen to claim first gain


Labour has claimed the first scalp of the election in Scotland, ousting the SNP in Rutherglen and Hamilton West.

Gerard Killen claimed the seat for Jeremy Corbyn's party by winning 19,101 votes, defeating the SNP's Margaret Ferrier, who had taken the seat in 2015, on 18,836 votes.

The result came after an exit poll suggested Nicola Sturgeon's party could lose 22 seats across Scotland.

After being elected, Mr Killen declared: "This result is a rejection of austerity and a rejection of a divisive second independence referendum.

"Above all this result is a vote for a progressive manifesto and a fresh start for Rutherglen and Hamilton West."

Following the result, Conservative Scottish Secretary David Mundell said: "It's becoming increasingly clear the SNP bubble has burst."

He told BBC Scotland: "In the last two elections, the Scottish Parliament and council elections, the SNP vote has been down and that has been replicated tonight.

"It's very clear why that is. People across Scotland don't want another divisive independence referendum and Nicola Sturgeon has gone from being a figurehead in Scotland to being somebody that ordinary voters across Scotland deeply dislike."

Mr Mundell said he is "very positive" about how the Tories will perform, saying: "I think we're going to make significant progress across Scotland.

"I think we're going to see a pattern emerge, that pattern will be increased Conservative support and a decrease in SNP support."

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale said on Twitter she was "utterly thrilled" for Mr Killen, adding that he will be "an outstanding MP".

In Paisley and Renfrewshire South, the SNP's Mhairi Black was re-elected with 16,964 votes - although the party's support in the seat fell by 10%.

Ms Black became the youngest MP when she won the seat in 2015 at the age of 20, ousting then Labour shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander.