THOUSANDS of North-east voters have changed political allegiance and instead thrown their support behind the SNP, in what has been hailed a “historic” victory for the party.
SNP candidates have been returned in every single one of the North-east’s 10 constituencies, with Nigel Don cruising to a comfortable victory over Conservative rival Alex Johnston in the newly-created Angus North and Mearns.
Mr Don, a regional list MSP in the last election, won more than half of all votes in the constituency with a total of 13,660. Mr Johnston, who will still return to Holyrood as a regional list representative, polled 6,374 votes.
Trailing in third place with 12.7 per cent - 3160 - votes was Labour candidate Kevin Hutcheons, while Liberal Democrat Sanjay Samani polled just 1726 votes in the area.
Meanwhile in Aberdeen South and North Kincardine, Maureen Watt, who was also previously a regional list MSP, won the constituency with 11,947 votes (41.7 per cent), with her nearest rival being Labour’s Greg Williams who polled 5,624 votes.
Liberal Democrat candidate John Sleigh took 4,994 votes, with the Conservative’s Stewart Whyte trailing on 4,058.
There was a major upset in Aberdeenshire West after SNP candidate and Stonehaven resident Dennis Robertson ousted veteran Lib Dem politician Mike Rumbles, who has had a seat in Holyrood since its inception in 1999.
In additional to Alex Johnston, the other regional list MSPs elected to represent North-east Scotland are Labour’s Richard Baker, Jenny Marra and Lewis Macdonald, the Conservative’s Nanette Milne, the SNP’s Mark McDonald and the Liberal Democrat’s Alison McInnes.