On a night of political nervousness for north-east Scottish Conservatives, Andrew Bowie saw off the strong challenge of an SNP surge to hold the West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine seat.
The former parliamentary aid to then-prime minister Theresa May held off the challenge of SNP candidate Fergus Mutch.
The party’s former head of communications and research had hoped to reclaim the seat the SNP had lost in a swell of Conservative support in Scotland in 2017.
Instead, Mr Mutch managed to reduce Mr Bowie’s near 8,000 vote majority to around 800.
Victorious Mr Bowie said: “Fergus ran an incredible campaign and we always knew it was going to be tight. But we managed to get over the line.
“I think we look across the country and we see Conservatives losing their seats and there are a lot of reasons.
“We are not immune to that in West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine but it’s too early in the morning to get into all that.
“The SNP held the seat before me and we knew there was support for them out there.
“I’m very relieved, yes it was close but I’m very happy to get back to work on behalf of my constituents.”
In the face of exit pollsters predicting an SNP surge across Scotland, Mr Bowie had still been positive about retaining the seat.
The Conservative, who had taken the seat from the nationalists in 2017 election, said he had felt good when speaking to voters at polling stations and in the constituency on election day.
He told The Press And Journal he was taking the predictions of massive SNP gains “with a huge pinch of salt”.
He added: “If you look at where the Scottish Conservatives took their seats in 2017, nearly all of them were incredibly marginal.
“So it’s all in the margin of error. We might actually have a great night tonight, or we might not have such a good one.”
Mr Bowie won the West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine constituency from SNP incumbent Stuart Donaldson in Theresa May’s hastily called election in 2017.
Having vastly reduced the Tory majority, the SNPS’s Fergus Mutch said: “West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine was always a mountain to climb but we ran them extremely close.
“The last couple of weeks the Conservatives have been looking very worried and with good reason.
“We ran a fantastic campaign.”
Previously the constituency, created in an electoral shake-up in 1997, had always been represented by Liberal Democrats Sir Robert Smith.