Scottish election: Highlands SNP pushes out Lib Dems

The Nationalists triumph in what was formerly a bastion of Scottish Liberalism

The collapse of the Liberal Democrat vote in Scotland has resulted in two new seats for the SNP in the Highlands.

The Nationalists have taken Caithness, Sutherland and Ross, and Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch.

The party also held Inverness and Nairn and Na h-Eileanan an Iar (Western Isles), with increased majorities.

In the regional list vote the SNP won three seats, Labour took two and the Conservatives also won two.

The first constituency result announced was Caithness, Sutherland and Ross, where Rob Gibson took the seat for the SNP with a 16.6% increase.

Liberal Democrat Jamie Stone, who stood down at this election, had held the Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross seat since 1999. There was an 18% fall in the Liberal Democrat vote.

In Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch, the SNP's Dave Thompson was elected as the new MSP.

Alan MacRae, who was standing for the Liberal Democrats after John Farquar-Munro stood down, took 9,742 votes, a fall in share of more than 11%.

In Inverness and Nairn, Fergus Ewing for the SNP increased his majority by 4,750.

Here too the Liberal Democrat support fell dramatically, with the loss of more than 6,000 votes compared with 2007.

Alasdair Allan of the SNP held Na h-Eileanan an Iar (Western Isles) with 65.3% of the vote.

Labour's support in the Western Isles collapsed with the party's share of the vote down 13%.

The SNP also triumphed in Highlands and Islands regional list result with John Finnie, Jean Urquhart and Mike MacKenzie all taking seats.

They were placed 5th, 6th and 7th on the party's list.

Labour's Rhoda Grant and David Stewart claimed two regional seats and Jamie McGrigor and Mary Scanlon were re-elected for the Conservatives.

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