The result of the Edinburgh West constituency has now been announced. The winner is Christine Jardine, MP for the Scottish Liberal Democrats.
The 2017 candidates were :
BATHO, Sandy – Scottish Conservative and Unionist – 11,559
GIUGLIANO, Toni – Scottish National Party (SNP) – 15,120
JARDINE, Christine Anne – Scottish Liberal Democrats – 18,108
TELFORD, Mandy – Scottish Labour Party 7,876
WHITTET, Mark Robertson – Scotland’s Independence Referendum Party – 132
The LibDems were very confident of winning this seat back from the SNP, since LibDem Mike Crockart was the MP until the last election.
“We were away from a while, but the Liberal Democrats are back,” said Christine Jardine during her acceptance speech.
“There is a message to the SNP and to the Tories as well, we do not want your austerity just as much as we do not want your independence referendum.”
“I can promise you I will work hard and my priority will always be Edinburgh West. It will be the constituency first and always. Everything else comes second.”
Michelle Thomson was elected as SNP MP for Edinburgh West in 2015 with a majority of 3210 which was small, but still 600 votes or so more than Labour’s Ian Murray in Edinburgh South.
Although in 2015 the turnout was 76.6% it dropped to 74% this time round.
In the intervening two years, Thomson’s former solicitor was struck off by the Law Society of Scotland. It came out in evidence that the thirteen conveyancing transactions in respect of which he was found wanting involved Thomson or her business, the SNP asked her to step aside.
She sat for the remaining time as an independent MP, and the snap election meant that she did not have time to regain her SNP membership which might have allowed her to become their candidate again.
This time round the LibDems had Edinburgh West firmly in their sights. Their Mike Crockart used to represent the constituency and, given Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP’s success in the Scottish elections, they clearly thought they were in with a good chance here.
You can read our interview recorded ahead of the election with Christine Jardine here.