Voters turn back on SNP in low turnout poll

Friday July 5th 2024

Gregor Poynton

Gregor Poynton won the Livingston seat for Labour

Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Stuart Sommerville

West Lothian turned its back on the SNP in the General Election and embraced Labour for Westminster after a nine year gap.

Thursday’s poll saw Nationalist majorities of 13,000 in Livingston and 11,000 in Bathgate and Linlithgow crumble.

Kirsteen Sullivan, the Labour depute leader of West Lothian Council, took the Bathgate and Linlithgow constituency while Gregor Poynton seized Livingston from Hannah Bardell.

The Conservatives, who climbed into second place in both constituencies in 2019 ,fell into fourth place behind Reform candidates in their first Scottish election.

In common with most seats the turnout was well down from the 66 per cent of 2019. In Bathgate and Linlithgow, turnout fell to 58.4 per cent and Livingston it fell to 57.6 per cent.

In Bathgate and Linlithgow Kirsteen Sullivan, for Labour took 19,774 votes against Martyn Day defending the seat for the SNP’s 11,451.

In Livingston Hannah Bardell conceded defeat after Labour won 18,324 votes to the SNP’s 14,796.

Speaking after the count at West Lothian College, newly-elected Gregor Poynton paid tribute to his SNP rival, Hannah Bardell.

He said: “I know from speaking to many people that there’s so many people she has helped in these last nine years as she has diligently gone about her work. I think she deserves your thanks for that.”

He added: “Today people across Livingston has voted for change to turn the page on 14 years of a Tory Government that has crashed our economy, that has created a feeling that nothing works everything is broken and the worst part of it is this is the sense that this is as good as it gets. Working people across Livingston deserve better than this.”

Kirsteen Sullivan thanked her staff including her agent Tom Conn. She added: I’d like to acknowledge and thank my fellow candidates for the positive manner in which they ran their campaigns. I’d like to give a special thank you to Martyn Day who served the constituency for nine years. Prior to that he served 16 years as a councillor for Linlithgow. our politics may differ but it’s only right that his quarter century of public service is recognised.”

The SNP snatched both long standing Labour seats in West Lothian in the 2015 election. In the December 2019 poll the Conservatives won second place behind the SNP leaving Labour languishing in third place. This in seats held only a decade before by party stalwarts Tam Dalyell and Robin Cook.

The full result for Bathgate and Linlithgow was:

Martyn Day, SNP 11,451

John Hannah, Independence of Scotland Party 382

Simon Caleb Jay, Greens 1,390

Stuart James McArthur, Independent 229

Jamie McNamee, Reform UK 3,524

Lynn Edith Munro, Scottish Conservatives 3,144

Sally Pattle, Liberal Democrats 2,171

Kirsteen Sullivan, Labour and Co-operative Party 19,774

The full result for Livingston was:

Hannah Bardell, SNP 14,796

Damian Doran-Timson, Conservatives 3,469

Debbie Ewen, Alba 545

Cameron Glasgow, Greens 1,704

Caron Lindsay, Liberal Democrats 2,025

David Mclennan, Reform UK 3,977

Gregor Poynton, Labour 18,324.

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