SNP’s Thomson takes Gordon in close-run contest

Richard Thomson and his campaign team celebrate the SNP victory.
Richard Thomson and his campaign team celebrate the SNP victory.

The Scottish National Party’s (SNP) candidate Richard Thomson has been elected as the Member of Parliament for the Gordon constituency in a close-run contest.

He takes the seat from Scottish Conservative candidate Colin Clark who ousted the then incumbent, Alex Salmond, in 2017.

The vote was close as Mr Thomson polled 23,885 votes and Mr Clark received a total of 23,066 - just 819 votes behind.

The total number of votes cast from across the constituency was 56,064. A total of 148 ballot papers were rejected.

The other Gordon candidates were Heather Herbert (Labour – 3,052 votes) and James Oates (Liberal Democrats – 5,913 votes).

Speaking at the election count at TECA Aberdeen in the early hours of Friday, December 13 Mr Thomson thanked his team and fellow candidates for what he said was a “good campaign”.

He gave a particular mention to Colin Clark saying: “He has never been anything other than a thoroughly courteous opponent at all times and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Colin for the service he has given the people of Gordon in the last Parliament.”

He added: “This has been an election which has been held in some quite extraordinary times, and given the picture which has emerged over the course of the last few hours elsewhere in the UK it’s becoming increasingly obvious that the next few years are going to be turbulent ones as we move away from the alliances that we have taken for granted over the last 40 years into an uncertain future.

“It’s very clear that the people of Gordon voted to avoid that outcome and I understand fully that by doing so some people have perhaps voted for the SNP for the first time, some will share the end constitutional outcome and others will not. I just want to make people aware that I understand that and I respect that, and I deeply regret that the choices being made in the UK tonight make it unlikely that we will have been unable to stop that outcome of stopping Brexit.”

He continued: “There are a number of challenges which we face which will be a priority for myself as the new member. I will seek to defend the key interests of Gordon’s main industries – energy, food, drink, agriculture and public services – from the impact of Brexit. I will seek to challenge the orthodoxy of austerity and the cruelty of some of the current welfare reform agendas.

“As we have seen the UK turn in on itself I will make the case unapologetically for an outward looking country which cares for its vulnerable, helps all to succeed irrespective of background and welcomes unreservedly all of those who choose to make their lives here.

“Looking at the totality of the results in Scotland, Scotland has made a different set of choices. As Gordon’s MP I will want to make sure that Scotland’s voice in that is heard and above all, our choices are respected and that our future is indeed in our own hands.”

Colin Clark congratulated Mr Thomson and said: “I knew him in the council and I’m absolutely convinced that he will be a very dedicated MP. It’s been a huge privilege to be the MP for Gordon for the last two and a half years and I honestly wish Richard all the best looking after the people of Gordon.”

Mr Clark also extended his congratulations to Scottish Conservative candidates Andrew Bowie and David Duguid who won the votes in the West Aberdeenshire & Kincardine and Banff & Buchan constituencies respectively.