Scottish election: Lib Dem vow to 'listen' after defeat

Tavish Scott makes a speech after holding Shetland
Image caption Party leader Tavish Scott held on to Shetland, albeit with a reduced majority

The Scots Lib Dems have promised to "listen and reflect" after being the biggest losers of the election, with 25 lost deposits and falls in vote share.

The party lost 11 seats, returning just five MSPs to Holyrood, with no constituency seats on the mainland.

Some high profile losses included former cabinet minister Ross Finnie.

And Jeremy Purvis, the party's finance spokesman, lost Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale to the SNP's Christine Grahame.

Mr Purvis stood for the constituency seat without the safety net of appearing on the regional list. He gained 8,931 votes, compared with Ms Grahame's 13,855.

The party's vote also collapsed in its Highland heartlands and voters turned to the SNP, which took Caithness, Sutherland and Ross as well as Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch.

There was an 18% fall in the Lib Dem vote in the Caithness seat, which had been held by Jamie Stone since 1999 until his retirement this year.

Lib Dem John Farquhar Munro also stood down this year from the Skye seat after serving the area for more than a decade. But the Lib Dem vote fell by 11% and the seat went to the SNP.

And as the SNP continued to claim seats across the country, longstanding MSPs Mike Pringle lost Edinburgh Southern and Mike Rumbles lost Aberdeen West.

After the result emerged, election chairman George Lyon described it as "a big loss to the party and also the parliament".

"This has been a really disappointing night," he said.

"We now have to listen and reflect on what voters have told us.

"Taking tough decisions in London to clear up the mess that Labour left behind was never going to make us popular with the voters. But this has been amplified by a surge to the SNP."

Party leader Tavish Scott held on to Shetland, albeit with a reduced majority, while Liam McArthur took Orkney with 37.5% of the vote.

The party gained three list MSPs: Willie Rennie in Mid Scotland and Fife, Alison McInnes in the North East Scotland seat and Jim Hume in South Scotland.

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