Scotland Election 2016

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale 'heartbroken' by result

Kezia Dugdale vowed to stay on as Scottish Labour leader Image copyright PA
Image caption Kezia Dugdale vowed to stay on as Scottish Labour leader

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale said she was "heartbroken" after the Conservatives beat her party into second place.

Labour had a disastrous night, taking 24 seats - down from 37.

The Conservatives won 31 seats to make them the second largest party behind the SNP on 63, with the Scottish Greens on six and the Lib Dems on five.

Ms Dugdale failed to win the Edinburgh Eastern seat but was elected on the regional list.

She said this election was "always going to be tough" for Labour after they won just a single seat at last year's general election.

She insisted she would remain as leader, and added that she was "proud that our campaign rose to the challenge of offering an alternative vision of what could be done in our new, more powerful parliament".

'Not the end'

Ms Dugdale said her "determination to try to move the Scottish debate on" from the arguments of the 2014 independence referendum had cost Labour votes.

Analysis by Sarah Smith, Scotland editor

For Scottish Labour, arguments over their manifesto or personalities are to miss the point. This election was clearly about the constitution.

Scottish politics are still totally dominated by the independence question which was certainly not settled on 18 September 2014 and still seems to take precedence in voters' minds over any other issue.

And it's an issue on which Labour cannot win.

So where does that leave Labour?

If the SNP are the party of independence and the Tories the party of the union, what is the point of the Labour Party?

They will continue to argue that they care most about social justice and poverty. But as long as voters remain split over the constitution that may not win back many voters.

Read more from Sarah

During the Holyrood election campaign she backed income tax rises for basic rate taxpayers as well as the wealthiest Scots, saying this was needed to prevent cuts in public services such as schools and the NHS.

Ms Dugdale said: "There's no doubt that our defeat for the Labour Party is painful but it is not the end of our campaign.

"We will continue to argue for Labour values, Labour ideas and Labour principles.

"The work to renew the Scottish Labour Party so it is fit to serve the people of Scotland continues."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Kezia Dugdale said she believed Scottish Labour had a bright future

Ms Dugdale admitted the Scottish Labour party was "a long way away" from being electable again.

In an interview with BBC Radio Scotland's Newsdrive show, she said: "That is certainly my mission. I want to lead a Labour party that is fit to serve the people of Scotland.

"It's clear that we've got a long way to go to do that. But I do, firmly and passionately, believe that the values of my party - of fairness, of equality - are the right ones for Scotland.

"If we focus on that, if we continue to make a positive story about how we can use the powers of our parliament to make different choices, I do believe that the Labour party has a bright future.

"It has a very proud past, very proud achievements like the Scottish Parliament, and I believe a bright future."

'Building support'

Addressing party supporters in Sheffield, UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said there was a ''lot of building to do''.

Mr Corbyn said: "We are going to be with you, we're going to walk hand-in-hand with the party in Scotland to build that support once again, so the Labour tradition in Scotland will be re-established once again.

"I am sure I can send a message on behalf of everybody here, to our colleagues in Scotland - we are with you".

Meanwhile, Labour's only MP in Scotland, Ian Murray, told BBC Radio Four that voters did not see Labour under Jeremy Corbyn as a "credible party of future government".

The shadow Scottish secretary said: "That's something, after this week's results, we should reflect on, the leadership of the party should reflect on - and find a way of finding a strategy and a narrative that changes the perception of the UK Labour Party across the United Kingdom so that we can go on and have a real shot at winning in 2020."