SNP victory ends Ming dynasty in north east Fife

Scotland's first minister Nicola Sturgeon and Stephen Gethins in St Andrews
Scotland's first minister Nicola Sturgeon and Stephen Gethins in St Andrews
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The SNP have swept to power across Fife, taking all four seats including north east Fife where they ended almost three decades of Liberal Democrat dominance.

The seat, occupied by Sir Menzies Campbell for 28 years, was taken by first time candidate Stephen Gethins, once special adviser to Alex Salmond, to round off a historic night for the party.

He polled 18,523 - a decisive 4344 majority over second placed Tim Brett (Lib Dems) who polled 14,179.

Tory candidate Huw Bell was pushed into third place with 7373 votes - half that of the SNP.

Brian Thomson (Labour) was fourth on 3476, while Andy Collins (Greens) got 1387, and independent candidate Mike Scott-Hayward polled just 325.

It was the SNP’s third win in a row on a dramatic night for Fife as the political landscape of Scotland changed dramatically.

The victorious Mr Gethins said becoming north east Fife’s MP was the ‘‘privilege of a lifetime.’’

He vowed to work hard at Westminster for all in the constituency and paid tribute to the retiring Sir Menzies Campbell.

Mr Gethins said he also wanted to be a strong voice for the area in the House of Commons.

‘‘We have a positive vision of what Scotland can be,’’ he said. ‘‘There is clearly an appetite for more power in Scotland and Westminster is very influential in our goings-on.’’

Tim Brett, who took second place, put the SNP victory down to the party’s ‘seductive promises’ to end austerity, and he pledged to keep this in check.

Mr Brett also acknowledged his own party faced ‘’tough times’’ ahead.

Huw Bell, who saw the Tories pushed into third place in an area which has been a traditional heartland, said he had run a promising campaign and added: ‘’We will continue to fight negativity - and we will be back.’’