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General Election 2019: ‘We need to shout loud that Aberdeen wants to remain in the EU’ – Flynn

The SNP have retaken Aberdeen South – two years after the Conservative wave painted the north-east blue.

Stephen Flynn won the seat for the nationalists with 20,388 votes to Tory Douglas Lumsden’s 16,398.

Mr Flynn’s wife is due a baby tomorrow, meaning there will be a double celebration in the household.

Aberdeen South was always going to be a closely fought seat and voters knew it.

Some 69.64% of the electorate turned-out – up on 2017’s 68.6% – with 45,769 votes cast from an electorate of 65,719.

Conservative Ross Thomson took the seat for the party in 2017, but resigned his position ahead of the election amid allegations he groped Labour MP Paul Sweeney.

He vigorously denies those allegations.

Mr Thomson was replaced by council co-leader Douglas Lumsden but he came-up short last night after a hard-fought campaign.

Labour – who held the seat between 1997 and 2015 under Dame Anne Begg – saw their vote plummet, with their candidate Shona Simpson securing just 3,834 votes to finish last.

The Liberal Democrats, with their candidate Ian Yuill, saw their vote increase from 2,600 in 2017 to 5,018 last night.

Voters faced a multitude of constitutional splits on the remain-backing seat, which voted against independence in 2014.

The Tories hoped to again capitalise on unionist votes, while the SNP hoped their strong anti-Brexit stance would cut through with voters.

All the candidates had intimate associations with the city council – with the SNP, Conservative and Liberal Democrat candidates all group leaders for their parties in Aberdeen’s townhouse.

Labour’s Shona Simpson is the city’s Lady Provost.

The result could mean an all important by-election at the local authority – with Mr Flynn saying he was now considering his future as a councillor.

The current ruling Conservative, Aberdeen Labour and independent administration holds a wafer-thin single member majority on the council – meaning that any change to the SNP or Liberal Democrats could dramatically alter the balance of power.

A jubilant Mr Flynn said: “What is behind our victory is a clear message of fighting against Tory austerity and fighting for Aberdeen’s future as an international city within the European Union.”

Mr Yuill said he was pleased with the Lib Dem’s performance.

“We have increased our vote share significantly in Aberdeen south, as we have in Aberdeen north,” he said.

“It is clear the Lib Dems are back in business and we will continue to campaign for what matters in this city.”

Mr Lumsden, meanwhile, added: “We are disappointed but we’ll be back to fight another day.”

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