The snap General Election is over. The nation has decided – to be undecided. We are no more any clearer about what is happening with Brexit, or anything else.
In Orkney & Shetland with a creditable turnout of 68.26% and fair weather Alistair Carmichael was returned with 48.6% of the vote. This was up from his 2015 vote at 41.4% but nowhere near as good as the LibDem vote in 2016 at 67.4%.
The SNP’s Miriam Brett fared badly at 29% compared to the 2015 result of 37.8%, however, this is up on their 2016 vote of 23.1% (Shetland) and 24.3% (Orkney).
Labour did well raising their vote in the islands to 11.4% but both the Conservatives and UKIP were down.
For the Tories though despite a poor vote in Orkney & Shetland in both 2015 and 2016 they have a local victory in the return of Jamie Halcro Johnston as a Member of the Scottish Parliament. This is due to the election of Douglas Ross MP (who was a MSP) in Moray. The Scottish Parliament has a proportional system of election with a list system which has resulted in the election of Jamie Halcro Johnston MSP. We hope in The Orkney News that he will contribute a regular column.
Congratulations are due to Alistair Carmichael who campaigned hard to retain his seat. At this time of great uncertainty for everyone in Orkney & Shetland a strong defence for our farmers and fishermen is needed. Alistair pledged to get a good deal for the fishermen and to protect our farmers. With the LibDems only the 4th party in the UK on 12 seats that may be a hard set of promises to keep. The progressive parties (as they like to call themselves) of Labour, SNP and LibDem will have to work together if a good deal is to be arrived at for Scotland. The Tory vote in the UK actually increased so although they are now struggling to form the Government and Theresa May’s future in doubt (at the time of writing) they do still have the most MPs. Labour lost the election. Brexit will still happen. The £ is anything but strong and stable.
In Scotland as a whole the SNP won the General Election with 35 seats but it lost 21 and took a big hit. The Tories are the second party in Scotland with 13 seats (up 12), Labour third at 7 (up 6), LibDem 4 (up 3) . Despite the SNP trying to argue the campaign in Scotland was not about Independence the results show that it clearly was. With all the other Parties arguing strongly against a second referendum they have still elected fewer MPs at 24 than the SNP at 35. The Independence question has not gone away indeed it has become more entrenched than ever.
The full Result for Orkney & Shetland is:
- Robina Rendall Barton – Scottish Labour Party – 2,664
- Miriam Brett – Scottish National Party (SNP) – 6,749
- Alistair Carmichael – Scottish Liberal Democrats – 11,312
- Jamie Halcro Johnston – Scottish Conservative and Unionist – 2,024
- Stuart Hill – Independent – 245
- Robert Smith – UK Independence Party (UKIP) – 283
The turnout across Orkney and Shetland in the UK General Election was 68.26 %, with 23,277 valid votes cast.
Reporter: Fiona Grahame