Fife’s election night - triumph for SNP,despair for Labour

The SNP team celebrate David Torrance's victory.
The SNP team celebrate David Torrance's victory.
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It was a night of triumph for the SNP, there was joy for Willie Rennie and the Lib Dems - and utter devastation for Labour.

The 2016 Scottish Parliamentary elections saw Fife follow the national pattern with huge victories for the SNP in what were once traditional Labour heartlands, while the Lib Dems reclaimed north east Fife.

Michael Woods Sports Centre - Glenrothes - Fife - 
Election count - CLAIRE BAKER watches the results in the media room -
credit - FPA  -

Michael Woods Sports Centre - Glenrothes - Fife - Election count - CLAIRE BAKER watches the results in the media room - credit - FPA -

The Tories also made great inroads on the list vote, taking four of the seven seats for mid-Scotland and Fife.

It was clear how the night was going long before the first local results were declared from 4.00 a.m.

The rout started in west Fife.

In Dunfermline the Kirkcaldy-born Shirley-Anne Somerville swept to victory.

There was success for Willie Rennie in North East Fife.  Pic: Fife Photo Agency.

There was success for Willie Rennie in North East Fife. Pic: Fife Photo Agency.

Annabelle Ewing took Cowdenbeath, polling 13,715 to leave Alex Rowley, Labour’s deputy leader, trailing in her wake.

He took second place with 10,674 but was returned to Holyrood on the list vote - one of only two in Fife to make it.

Claire Baker was the other list winner after seeing her bid to win in Kirkcaldy crushed by David Torrance who took a narrow majority of 182 in 2011 and ramped it up to 7395.

Mr Torrance’s total vote was 16,358.

Ms Baker polled half of that with 8963 - Labour’s worst ever showing in a Scottish parliamentary election. Their vote collapsed by some 15 per cent.

In Glenrothes, first-time candidate Jenny Gilruth took a 4000 majority bequeathed by the retiring Tricia Marwick and doubled it to 8125 as she stormed to victory.

She polled 15,555 - again twice as much as Labour’s Kay Morrison on 7279 - and the nationalists completed a hat-trick of wins.

Their hopes of a clean sweep in the Kingdom, however, were dented as Rod Campbell was ousted by Willie Rennie who polled 14,928 to claim a majority of 3465.

The contrasting reactions said it all.

For Labour there were few positives.

Even before a result had been called, Thomas Docherty, the former west Fife MP and fourth on Labour’s list, imploded on television, describing his party’s campaign as “self-immolation for dummies.”

His comments were met with dismay and disbelief by many colleagues at the Michael Woods Sports Centre where the response to defeat was more measured.

Kay Morrison, depute provost who lost in Glenrothes, admitted: “The pundits forecast a bad night and it’s turning out to be exactly that.”

Both she and Altany Craik, Glenrothes councillor, said the anger which people directed at Labour a year ago had softened, but they were still hesitant at giving them their vote once more - and the journey back was going to be long.

But for the SNP, it was a night to celebrate stunning successes and astonishing majorities.

David Torrance looked at a 7300 majority which he admitted was “beyond all expectations.”

And he paid tribute to his campaigners and canvassers - ‘Team Torrance.’

“You look at other parties and then you look at our team - I have never seen people so dedicated.

“They were out every day, every weekend, every night. They were a bundle of energy and were incredible. I am so proud of them. They are the future of our party.”

That sense of enthusiasm came through loud and clear from Willie Rennie who savoured a personal victory - - north-east Fife is his home.

He described his party’s campaign as full of “vim, vigour and energy” and added: “It was great to win - but to win here was something special. It’s a wonderful feeling.”

Results:
DUNFERMLINE

Shirley-Anne Somerville (SNP). 14,257 (43.32%)

Cara Hilton (Lab). 9,699 (29.47%)

James Reekie (C). 5,797 (17.62%)

James Calder (LD). 3,156 (9.59%)

SNP maj. 4,558 (13.85%)

Electorate 57,740; Turnout 32,909 (57%)

COWDENBEATH

Annabelle Ewing (SNP). 13,715 (46.13%)

Alex Rowley (Lab). 10,674 (35.90%)

Dave Dempsey (C). 4,251 (14.30%)

Bryn Jones (LD). 1,094 (3.68%)

SNP maj. 3,041 (10.23%)

Electorate 54,596; Turnout 29,734 (54.46%)

MID FIFE & GLENROTHES

Jenny Gilruth (SNP). 15,555 (54.49%)

Kay Morrison (Lab). 7,279 (25.50%)

Alex Stewart-Clark (C). 4,427 (15.51%)

Jane-Ann Liston (LD). 1,286 (4.50%)

SNP maj. 8,276 (28.99%)

Electorate 53,241; Turnout 28,547 (53.62%)

KIRKCALDY

David Torrance (SNP). 16,358 (52.58%)

Claire Baker (Lab). 8,963 (28.81%)

Martin Laidlaw (C). 4,568 (14.68%)

Lauren Jones (LD). 1,219 (3.92%)

SNP maj. 7,395 (23.77%)

Electorate 59,533; Turnout 31,108 (52.25%)

NORTH-EAST FIFE

Willie Rennie (LD). 14,928 (43.82%)

Roderick Campbell (SNP). 11,463 (33.65%)

Huw Bell (C). 5,646 (16.58%)

Rosalind Garton (Lab). 2,026 (5.95%)

LD maj. 3,465 (10.17%)

Electorate 54,052; Turnout 34,063 (63.02%)

LIST MSPS FOR MID-SCOTLAND & FIFE

Tories - Murdo Fraser, Liz Smith, Dean Lockhart, Alexander Stewart

Labour - Alex Rowley, Cara Hilton

Greens - Mark Russell

List voting: Tory - 73,293; Labour 51,373; Greens 17,860; SNP 120,128; Lib Dems 20,401; UKIP 5,345; RISE 1,073; Solidarity 1,049; Scottish Libetarian Party 650.