Joe FitzPatrick has been elected as the MSP for Dundee City West.
FitzPatrick has previously held two terms as the Dundee City West MSP after winning the seat in 2007.
He was elected with a 19,818 votes – a four per cent increase from 2016 – and a 13,000-seat majority.
FitzPatrick – public health minister until 2020 before resigning after Scotland recorded record drug deaths – said it is “a huge privilege” to have been re-elected.
He told us: “I’m hugely honoured that the people not only voted for me in huge numbers, in spite of what was a bit of a rubbish day – bits of sunshine, bits of rain – but people came out and voted.
“I’m so grateful to them for doing so and I will continue to work hard on their behalf both here in Dundee and the Scottish Parliament.”
Recovery from pandemic
FitzPatrick said his number one priority is the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said: “It is so important that is what we focus on initially.
“But as we come out of the pandemic, we need to decide what type of recovery we’re going to have.
“And it’s clear that people want to make sure that that recovery is decided by the people of Scotland.
“We’ll have to see what the results are elsewhere in Scotland, but if it’s replicated, then it is a clear mandate for the SNP in terms of taking forward a second referendum.
He added: “There was so much at stake in this election. The last year has been awful so we have to recover from that and it’s about who determines that recovery.
“Is it the people of Scotland or is it Boris Johnson?
“And certainly in Dundee, the people have spoken and the message is clear: it should be for the people of Scotland to determine our future.”
FitzPatrick paid tribute to his team, adding: “Part of that support I would put down to my constituency team who have worked so hard.
“But we always have an open door to help people and I think that’s starting to come through in the polls.”
Turnout for Dundee City West was 56.9 per cent – a record high for the constituency – and up 5.1 per cent from the 2016 election.
The provisional turnout was 32,258.