The SNP have held Holyrood’s Banffshire and Buchan Coast seat after a tightly run contest in the north-east corner.
And she took time to thank and pay tribute to her deaf father in British Sign Language as she declared her win an “absolute rejection” of the UK’s Brexit deal.
Signing to her dad, who was watching her speech on a big screen in the main counting hall at P&J Live, she said: “Thank you for raising me to understand the importance of inclusive society, an inclusive Scotland – and an independent one.”
Translating later, she added: “No one should be left behind and it was really important for me to thank him.
“I’m absolutely elated, and so grateful for the trust put in me to be their representative and their MSP.
“I really do feel that this is a seat that perhaps the Tories should have been able to walk, in terms of their Brexit deal but this shows they have been absolutely rejected.
“They did not win this seat, their deal is an absolute failure and people are calling out to the SNP for responsible leadership through this pandemic and, of course, to have their choice on whether they want an independent Scotland.”
Slim win over Tories
Ms Adam retained the seat for the SNP, taking 14,920 votes, after a strong challenge from Scottish Conservative, and fellow Aberdeenshire councillor, Mark Findlater, who took 14,148.
A result was initially expected at 1pm, but it was not for another two hours that Ms Adam’s victory was announced – with fears at one point of the requirement for a recount.
Eventually, the SNP candidate was declared the winner by just more than 700 votes.
Five years ago, Mr Stevenson had beaten the Tories by more than 6,000.
Since then, the Westminster constituency representing much of the same area has turned to the Conservatives – they won Banff and Buchan with more than 50% of the vote in the 2019 general election.
Runner-up denies Brexit disruption played a part in defeat
Mr Findlater denied there was a backlash due to the catastrophic disruption in the food and drink sector over the festive period – and shrugged off comparisons with the Westminster constituency.
“It’s a different constituency for a start, and this was a 10% gain, looking at the unionist parties, we are up,” he said.
“But hey, 14,100 folk voted for me and it’s a great thing.
“I need to thank them for trusting me, it’s heartening that many voted for me.
“Banffshire and Buchan Coast is a beautiful, wonderful area with lovely folk and so I am really proud to live there.”