SNP loses 'damaging' 38 seats so far as final result delayed

The SNP has lost 38 seats in the general election so far, with one still to declare due to a recount.

Labour made dramatic gains across the central belt, with most of their results following vote share swings of about 20% from the SNP.

The Scottish Conservatives won five seats, down from six in 2019, with leader Douglas Ross failing to secure a controversial bid for Aberdeenshire North and Moray East.

First Minister John Swinney has described the result, the SNP's worst since 2010, as "very, very difficult and damaging".

Speaking later on Friday, he said the party would have to rebuild trust with the people of Scotland.

He added: "The Scottish National Party needs to be healed and it needs to heal its relationship with the people of Scotland, and I am absolutely committed to doing that.

"I have to accept we failed to convince people of the urgency of independence in this election campaign.

"Therefore, we need to take the time to consider and to reflect on how we deliver our commitment to independence - which remains absolute."

Recount delay

The SNP was defending 48 seats of the 57 in Scotland and has won just nine.

A recount in Inverness, Skye and West Ross-shire - an SNP seat under previous boundaries - has been delayed until Saturday.

It is being held due to a statistical issue - there appears to be a discrepancy between the verified votes and the counted votes - which means the returning officer cannot declare a result at this stage.

The seat has seen a close fight between the SNP and the Scottish Liberal Democrats.

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar at Emirates Arena in Glasgow, during the count for Glasgow Central and Glasgow South constituencies in the 2024 General Election
Labour celebrated gains across Scotland, especially in the central belt [PA Media]

Celebrating the Scottish Labour victories, leader Anas Sarwar said the country can now turn the page on 14 years of Conservative "chaos and failure".

In Glasgow, the party took all six seats from the SNP.

In Edinburgh, the SNP's Joanna Cherry lost her Edinburgh South West seat to Labour, as did Tommy Sheppard in Edinburgh East and Musselburgh.

Former Daily Record journalist Torcuil Crichton won Na h-Eileanan an Iar (Western Isles) for Labour, while the party also made gains in Alloa and Grangemouth, Stirling and Strathallan and three Fife constituencies.

After comfortably holding his seat in Edinburgh South, Labour's Ian Murray travelled to Downing Street where he was appointed the new Scottish secretary.

Mr Murray had been shadow secretary of state for Scotland since 2020.

SNP deputy Westminster leader Kirsten Oswald was ousted in East Renfrewshire by Labour's Blair McDougall – the former head strategist of the Better Together campaign for the 2014 Scottish independence referendum.

Stephen Flynn, the SNP's Westminster leader, clung on to his Aberdeen South seat but told BBC Scotland it was a “very difficult and bleak night” for the SNP and that the party had to learn from it.

“There’s the Starmer tsunami, the fact that people want change in Downing Street and we’ve undoubtedly been squeezed in that context,” he added.

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Former first minister and SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon told ITV: “This is not a good night for the SNP on these numbers and there will be a lot of questions that need to be asked as we come out of it.”

Alex Salmond, who preceded Ms Sturgeon as SNP leader and first minister, said the "slaughter of the SNP" was not due to its support for Scottish independence.

He added: "How could it be? The SNP did not even campaign on it."

'Massacre' for Conservatives

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross described it as a “historically bad night” for the Tories.

“There is no shying away from that at all and there will be a huge amount of reflection on the campaign and also clearly the last few years,” he told BBC Scotland News.

“It has been particularly difficult and there is no denying that.”

He went on to lose his own election race to the SNP, receiving 32.8% of the vote compared to the SNP who won 35.2%. Reform collected 14.6%.

Ruth Davidson, the former Scottish Conservative leader, told Sky News it was a "massacre” for the Tories.

However, she said earlier internal Tory figures had predicted an even worse result.

The Conservatives, who fell behind Reform UK in several Scottish seats, have so far kept five seats north of the border.

The Scottish Liberal Democrats have so far returned five MPs here.

Former leader Jo Swinson said the party was set to become a “substantial force again”.