Nervy nail biting election count goes to the wire

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Argyll and Bute’s SNP MP, Brendan O’Hara, has retained his Westminster seat as the party’s total national poll dropped below a million.

In a torrid night for the SNP 21 seats were dropped including Alex Salmond who lost his Gordon seat to Conservative Colin Clark by 2,607 votes.

The margin in Argyll and Bute was even tighter, with Mr O’Hara polling 17,304, holding onto his seat by 1,328 votes more than Conservative, Gary Mulvaney, who amassed 15,976.

Speaking moments after returning officer, Cleland Sneddon, declared the result, Mr O’Hara said: ‘In 2015 I promised the people of Argyll and Bute that I would be the hardest working MP that I possibly could.

‘And I believe that the result tonight is a justification that I have kept that promise.

‘I am absolutely delighted and I want to thank my family, my team and everyone who has supported me in this campaign. What this allows us to do is carry on the good work that we had being doing in Argyll and Bute on a whole range of issues, rather than seeing it come to a shuddering halt.

The 2017 General election in Argyll and Bute.
Brendan O’Hara supported by his wife Catherine and daughters Niamh and Charlotte and supporters raise a cheer in Lochgilphead in the early hours of this morning.

‘We made the case for a strong, fair, socially just society as opposed to what was offered by the Conservatives. I think people recognised that and I’m delighted that they backed the SNP.

‘Though I am delighted, I am extremely sad that so many friends and good, hard working SNP MPs have lost their seats tonight.

‘I think the Conservatives made this a referendum on a referendum. If anyone was obsessed by independence it was the Conservative campaign.

‘What I did in Argyll and Bute was to make it absolutely clear that while the SNP will always stand for Scottish independence, this was about Brexit and it was about the economic regeneration of Argyll and Bute.

‘We talked about what was important for this constituency, and for the people of this constituency.’

Speaking exclusively to the Campbeltown Courier, following a BBC interview at the election count, Mr O’Hara told of a planned international trade summit to be held in Campbeltown town hall.

He began organising the event, pencilled in for June, before the election was called and hopes to reschule it as soon as possible. There will be more details in next week’s Courier out on Friday June 16.