Kirkcaldy SNP MSP David Torrance has stressed that jobs and recovering from the pandemic are his priorities for the next five years.
Mr Torrance secured a confident victory in Kirkcaldy, securing his return to Holyrood with an increased majority.
He won 18,417 votes, up on his 2016 tally of 16,358, with Scottish Labour candidate Claire Baker securing 10,586. Turnout was 56.91%.
Mr Torrance said he was grateful for the increased vote even as people headed out in bad weather to cast their ballot.
Focus on recovery
Speaking after his victory, he said: “I am really pleased with the number of people who came out to support myself and the SNP. It’s a great pleasure to serve them.”
Ms Baker congratulated Mr Torrance said she hoped that however the next Scottish Government was formed, the focus would be on recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
She said: “From conversations I’ve had in the last two months talking to voters, recovering from the pandemic is the key priority.
“I hope however the Scottish Government is formed that is the first priority parliament has to deal with.
“I am sure we can all work together to deliver on that important issue.”
Mr Torrance agreed that recovery from the pandemic should come before independence.
He said: “We’ve got to create jobs in Kirkcaldy. We’ve got to recover from the pandemic, get Scotland moving forward again and on the road to recovery before we even think about independence or anything else.
“That’s the most important thing for us to do if we form the next government.”
Speaking about his priorities beyond the pandemic, Mr Torrance said: “I’d definitely like to see how we increase job opportunities in some of the areas of deprivation, how we actually train people up to get the jobs that are there.
“Looking at the ex-BiFab yard, which has now created 290 jobs, and they are skilled jobs. But why create them if we are bringing [employees] from other parts of the UK.
“We should be creating skills within our own area to take these jobs up and be able to spend the money they earn in the local economy.”
Fife Council’s returning officer Steve Grimmond also confirmed the regional votes cast in the Kirkcaldy constituencies.
The final seat allocation for the seven regional list MSP will be assigned after counting is completed on Saturday.
In total 15,733 votes were cast for the SNP on the list, whilst Scottish Labour received 8,145.
Alex Salmond’s Alba party recieved just under 2% of regional list votes, with 689 voters casting a ballot for the party.