Scottish Election 2021 results: Shirley-Anne Somerville talks majorities and working with Alba
Shirley-Anne Somerville has pledged to be an MSP for “everyone” in the Dunfermline constituency after doubling her lead – but the SNP incumbent is keeping mum on whether her party can claim an overall majority.
Somerville who picked up almost 6,000 additional votes over her 2016 total – 20,048 up from 14,257 – says it is highly likely that Holyrood will return a “pro-independence majority”.
However, she has remained coy over whether that will mean a minority government striking deals with the Scottish Greens or an overall coalition government.
“It certainly looks as if there will be a pro-independence majority,” she said.
“What will happen between the parties is something [for] once the dust settles, when we see the results in.
“Regardless of what that will be over the next couple of days, we’ll always work together with the Greens. We’ve done so in the past, and I’m sure we could do so in the future.”
Alex Salmond’s Alba Party, founded on the platform of creating an “independence super-majority” within the Scottish Parliament, does not appear to have sparked enthusiasm among voters, polling at 1-2% across Fife.
Somerville says that, should an Alba MSP be elected, working with them would not be ruled out.
“If anyone from Alba is elected to the Scottish Parliament, they would be supporting independence,” she added.
“Even without Alba there will still be a pro-independence majority of established parties that we’re determined to move forward with.”
Closer to home, Somerville hopes to cut through the divisive national politics and be a representative for all.
“I’m delighted that the people of Dunfermline have put their faith in me once again,” she continued.
“It’s very important I ensure I represent everyone regardless of whether they voted for me on Thursday or not.
“My priorities for the area are to ensure I’m representing them in the best possible way.
“We have a lot of major developments in Dunfermline: it’s a growth area and we’re determined to make sure whatever happens there works for the people who already work there as well as attracting new residents to live and work there.”
Meanwhile, Labour candidate Julie MacDougall has paid tribute to her late father, Labour councillor and MP John MacDougall, after finishing second in the Dunfermline race.
MacDougall, who boosted her party’s vote from 9,699 in 2016 to 11,384 on Thursday, said: “This meant a lot to me personally. I think of my late father John MacDougall who I know would be proud to see me…knowing I wanted the best for the people of Fife. This is just the beginning for me.”
She finished 5,070 votes ahead of Perth and Kinross Conservative councillor Roz McCall, who increased her votes from 5,797 to 6,314.
McCall took an opportunity during her concession speech to wish good luck to Aude Boubaker-Calder, who could not attend the count having been admitted to Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy to be induced.
“This doesn’t mean I’m going to go away, that doesn’t mean I’m not going to have another run at this,” the Conservative candidate quipped of her third-place finish.
Boubaker-Calder added an extra 40 votes to the Lib Dem pot, for a total of 3,196.
Jon Brady, Local Democracy Reporting Service