Voters in Inverness and Nairn have secured Fergus Ewing’s return to Holyrood for the sixth time.
The SNP man has held the seat since 1999, steadily increasing his majority over the years. This time, he polled 21,793 votes this time, as against 18,505 in 2016.
Benefiting from voter turn-out of 64.5% – 7% more than the 2016 election – Tory candidate Edward Mountain also increased his vote share from 7,648 to 12,679.
Mr Ewing described campaigning under Covid as “muted, without the heat of hustings or the hurly burly of door to door canvassing.”
It was Mr Ewing’s eighth election and sixth as MSP for Inverness and Nairn, but he said it was no less a privilege to be elected at this point.
“I hope I’ve got the hang of the job by this time,” he said. “The essence is working hard for every person in this constituency irrespective of their views or politics.
“That’s what I have sought to do and my intent to carry on doing that is no less diminished than it was 22 years ago.
“We have seen a great deal of progress in Inverness and Nairn and indeed the Highlands over these years, but there is much more to do, and for me that is unfinished business.”
In his campaign, Mr Ewing said he would continue his work as an advocate for the area.
“I will be a voice in the cabinet for the Highlands, for Inverness and Nairn to progress the priorities of improved connectivity, both rail and digital, to deliver the new school in Nairn, the Nairn by-pass, the dualling of the A9, the Inverness Castle project which I co-chair working with the Highland Council.
“We can be at the vanguard of quite a lot of these opportunities, in forestry, sustainable aquaculture, the space industry which people may not know has tremendous potential with the Highlands the best place in Europe to do it.”
- Results: Fergus Ewing (SNP) 21,793; Edward Mountain (Scottish Conservatives), 12,679; Rhoda Grant (Scottish Labour), 5,370; David Gregg (Scottish Lib Dems), 2,892; Ariane Burgess (Scottish Greens), 2,636; Andrew Macdonald (Restore Scotland), 361.