OLIVER Mundell retained the Dumfriesshire seat for the Conservatives with an increased share of the vote in last Thursday’s Scottish parliamentary election.
He polled 19,487 votes (47.7%), increasing his share by 10.4 per cent.
Mr Mundell told the E&L Advertiser he had not been confident after seeing the national polls so it had been a surprise to see his vote share go up.
His nearest rival, the SNP’s Joan McAlpine, also increased her share of the vote by 3.8 per cent and polled 15,421 (37.7%).
It was a poor night for Labour and Colin Smyth took only 4,671 votes (11.4%) and saw his share of the vote fall by 13.8 per cent.
He was, once again, elected through the regional list and remains a South Scotland MSP.
The fourth candidate Richard Brodie of the Scottish Liberal Democrats polled 1,314 (3.2%) and saw his share fall by 0.3 per cent.
The turnout was 66 per cent.
The constituency count in Dumfries was delayed until Friday morning and took longer because of COVID-19 restrictions, while the count for the regional list was done on Saturday.
For the full interview with Mr Mundell, turn to page 3.
In the Borders the Conservative candidate for Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire, Rachael Hamilton, also retained her seat.
Her share of the vote was down by 3.7 per cent but she polled 18,564 votes (51.5%).
She had a majority of nearly 7,000 over the SNP’s Paul Wheelhouse who polled 11,701 (32.5%) and saw his share go up by 0.7 per cent.
The Scottish Liberal Democrat Jenny Marr had 2,352 votes (6.5%), a slight drop of 1.2 per cent, while in fourth place was Labour’s Ian Davidson on 2,050 (5.7%), up by 0.4.
Scottish Green Barbra Harvie got 1,084 votes (3%), up by three per cent.
Independent Jesse Rae polled 290 votes) 0.8%.
The turnout was 64 per cent.
Three Conservative and three Labour MSPs were elected to the South Scotland regional list, along with Ms Harper for the SNP.
Craig Hoy, Brian Whittle and Sharon Dowey represent the Conservatives, while Colin Smyth, Carol Mochan and Martin Whitfield take up their seats for Labour.
It means that in South Scotland there are six Conservatives, up two; three Labour MSPs, up one; and one SNP, down two.
Both Ms McAlpine and Mr Wheelhouse failed to be re-elected on the regional list.
It was the highest turnout for a Scottish election at 63.2 per cent and the SNP is the largest party with 64 MSPs, followed by the Conservatives with 31, Labour 22, Greens eight and the Lib Dems four.
There are 40 new faces taking up their seats among the 129 members and 58 members are women, a record number.