THE SNP’s Rod Campbell will represent North East Fife in the Scottish Parliament after causing one of the country’s biggest election shocks.
Mr Campbell overturned a deficit of 6572 from 2007 to oust Liberal Democrat Iain Smith from the seat he had held since 1999.
The result, which mirrored the pattern across the country, was announced today (Friday, May 6) amid emotional scenes at Younger Hall in St Andrews.
Mr Campbell received 11,029 votes — 37.2 per cent of the total — with Mr Smith attracting 8437, or 28.4 per cent.
Conservative candidate Miles Briggs was third with 5618 votes, ahead of Labour’s Colin Davidson (3613) and UKIP’s Mike Scott-Hayward (979).
Voter turnout was 50.7 per cent, one per cent down on 2007.
The victorious Mr Campbell (57), a Perth-based advocate, said ending more than a decade of Lib Dem dominance so convincingly was beyond his “wildest expectations.”
He told campaigners in Younger Hall: “This is not a complete shock to me, but even in my wildest expectations I did not expect to do as well as this.
“We face a major challenge here in North East Fife and I intend to work to the best of my ability for everyone in this seat.”
Mr Campbell thanked his campaign team and referred to the SNP “tsunami” that swept across Scotland on polling day.
A visibly emotional Mr Smith arrived at the count venue this morning in the knowledge his time representing North East Fife in Holyrood was about to come to an end.
In 2007 — since which time the seat has undergone a boundary change — Mr Smith received 5016 more votes than the second-placed candidate, Conservative Ted Brocklebank.
But today he saw that majority wiped out as the SNP enjoyed a remarkable 15 per cent swing.
Mr Smith congratulated his rival Mr Campbell and spoke of a “dreadful” election for the Lib Dems.
He said: “I think we ran an excellent campaign, but unfortunately sometimes in politics there are things you cannot account for.
“It is 29 years since I was first elected to represent the people of North East Fife, and it has been an honour and a privilege.”
Mr Smith joked that he was “looking forward to having a weekend off for once.”
Meanwhile, Roseanna Cunningham of the SNP will represent the South Perthshire and Kinross-shire constituency in Holyrood.
She received 16,073 votes, more than 7000 ahead of nearest challenger Liz Smith.
Conservative candidate Ms Smith attracted 8907 votes, with Labour’s Tricia Duncan on 3980 and Lib Dem Willie Robertson on 2256.
There was a 53.9 per cent turnout.