Scottish Labour leader hails 'historic day' after dramatic wins

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar has celebrated dramatic election gains in Scotland on what he called a "historic day".

The party has so far won 37 seats - a gain of 36 - with one seat still to be declared due to a recount.

The SNP has nine seats and the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats each has five.

Mr Sarwar said the new Labour MPs were going to sit on government benches and "make decisions for the people of Scotland".

He said: “This is a historic day for Scotland and for the entire UK.

“People are waking up to the news that after 14 years of Conservative government, after 14 years of chaos and division, it has come to an end and Scotland and the UK has elected a Labour government."

Ian Murray, who comfortably held his Edinburgh South seat, was appointed as the new Scottish secretary after visiting Downing Street.

Mr Murray was Scottish Labour's only MP in the 2019 election and has been shadow secretary of state for Scotland since 2020.

Ian Murray
Ian Murray walked into Downing Street on Friday afternoon [EPA]

Scottish Labour took a 37.5% share of the vote in Scotland, a 17% increase, with 412 seats overall across the UK so far.

The party made gains across the central belt, with most of its results following swings of about 20% from the SNP.

This included retaking all six Glasgow seats from the SNP in its traditional heartland.

Other big wins came in Edinburgh, Fife and Tayside.

In the 2019 general election Labour returned just one MP to the SNP's 48.

The final result has still to be declared because a recount in Inverness, Skye and West Ross-shire has been delayed until Saturday.

It was an SNP seat under previous boundaries and has seen a close fight between the party and the Scottish Liberal Democrats, who are expected to win after SNP candidate Drew Hendry conceded defeat on Friday evening.

Speaking on the banks of the River Clyde in Glasgow, surrounded by new MPs, Mr Sarwar said people in Scotland had put their "faith and trust" in the party.

He said: "For far too long, they have looked at our politics here in Scotland and across the UK and thought that politics could not work for them, that somehow all they could ever get was governments that care about themselves, not about public service; politicians who would always put their party before the country.

“The people you see around me today, these new Scottish Labour MPs - and aren’t there so many of them? - they are not going to Westminster to sit on the opposition benches, to shout, to protest, and ultimately come back with nothing.

"They are going to sit on the government benches, to sit round the table and make decisions for the people of Scotland. That is the change that people have voted for."


Mr Sarwar also set his sights on the next Scottish Parliament election in 2026.

He added: "Yes we ended 14 years of Tory chaos, but there has been 17 years of SNP incompetence too.

"So today we start the hard work of change with a UK government delivering for the people of Scotland, but we also redouble our efforts to we together can deliver change in 2026 with a Scottish Labour government too."