Election 2019

Election 2019: Conservatives retain south of Scotland seats

Conservative win Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Alister Jack retained his Dumfries and Galloway seat with a reduced majority

The Conservatives have retained all three Westminster seats across the south of Scotland.

Alister Jack, John Lamont and David Mundell were all victorious in their respective constituencies but with reduced majorities.

The SNP were second in Dumfries and Galloway; Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale and Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk.

Labour were third in two seats with the Lib Dems third in the other.

Mr Jack, the Scottish Secretary, said representing his constituency would remain his top priority.

Image copyright UK Parliament/Reuters
Image caption John Lamont, Alister Jack and David Mundell were returned to the seats covering Dumfries and Galloway and the Borders

"My vote, in terms of numbers has held up," he said.

"It is because of the constituency that I am in government and I will never forget that - the constituency comes first."

The SNP's Richard Arkless came the closest to deposing a Conservative in the three south of Scotland seats.

"We have run a great campaign, we had record levels of activism, I think we have actually got a record level of vote share in Dumfries and Galloway which is quite something," he said.

Image caption John Lamont saw off the challenge of Calum Kerr in Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk

He urged his colleagues who had been elected across the country to make the case for Scottish independence.

Mr Mundell, who saw off Amanda Burgauer for the SNP in Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale, said he was "very pleased" there would be a majority Conservative government at Westminster.

"I think that is really important for moving along from the gridlock that we have had for the past two years," he said.

He said that seeing other Conservative MPs lose their seats across Scotland had taken the "gloss off" his victory.

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Ms Burgauer said it was "always a long shot" that she could defeat the former Scottish Secretary but she was "really pleased" to have narrowed the gap.

"Nine and a half thousand majority, with such a short campaign, we knew it was a big ask - especially for somebody that has never stood for election for anything before" she said.

Mr Lamont - the winner in Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk, said he was delighted that the people of the Borders had "put their confidence" in him again.

"I, as ever, will promise to work as hard as I possibly can on behalf of everybody within the Borders, regardless of whether they voted for me or not," he said.

His closest rival, the SNP's Calum Kerr, said: "It went well, just not well enough.

"I think we have got a record share of the vote - a phenomenal amount of support in the region - but obviously a lot of the rest of the votes coalesced around the Conservatives."

Analysis: By Giancarlo Rinaldi, BBC news website south of Scotland reporter

It was close but no cigar for the SNP in southern Scotland.

Richard Arkless got within about 1,800 votes of toppling a Conservative but the band of blue remained firmly in place across Dumfries and Galloway and the Borders.

The wider Scottish picture might have been a victorious one for the SNP but the south of Scotland bucked that trend.

The Conservative vote held strong enough to return three MPs - now making up 50% of their deputation heading to Westminster from north of the border.

As for Labour and the Lib Dems, who both once held seats in the area, it looks like a long way back before they contend again.