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Mike Russell retains Argyll and Bute for SNP

Rita Campbell

Mike Russell retained his seat in Argyll and Bute with another convincing win for the SNP.

Mr Russell won 13,561 votes to triumph over Alan Reid of the Lib Dems, who finished second with 7,583.

The Conservative candidate Donald Cameron was third with 5,840 votes and Labour candidate Mick Rice was last with 2,492.

There was a 60.98% turnout, with 29,476 votes cast.

Mr Russell said: “It was a hard contested election.

“I have retained my seat in Argyll and Bute and now I go back to parliament. It is an important job to have and I am delighted to have it.

“I think the important issues for the Scottish Parliament and the new government to address are health, education and communications.

“We have got a solid majority here and this is the third time the SNP have been returned to this seat. We have got good opportunities to continue the work we have been doing here.”

Mr Reid said: “I did think I had a chance of winning but it obviously wasn’t meant to be.

“It was clear from the canvassing I was doing that we were going to definitely finish well ahead of the Tories.”

Mr Cameron congratulated Mr Russell on being re-elected and thanked all of the candidates for a “courteous and respectful campaign”.

Mr Rice echoed the thanks and said Labour would be back, declaring, “whatever the question, nationalism is not the answer”.

He added: “The nationalist bubble will burst and Labour will be back. We will struggle on and eventually we will succeed.”

The total electorate for the Argyll and Bute constituency was 48,526 with 29,592 votes cast.

A total of 116 votes were rejected, seven for voting for more than one candidate.

Alongside postal votes and proxies, ballot papers made their way across Argyll and Bute in boxes transported by car, boat, and helicopter to be counted at Lochgilphead Joint Campus.

Returning Officer Sally Loudon said: “Argyll and Bute has 23 inhabited islands and is the second largest council area in Scotland.

“A great deal of careful planning therefore has to be done to organise the transportation of ballot boxes by air, land and sea.”

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