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SNP wiped from Fife map as Labour and Lib Dems claim victory

For the first time since 2015 no seat in Fife voted SNP, with Labour winning three seats and the Liberal Democrats returned in North East Fife.

It started in Cowdenbeath and Kirkcaldy and the SNP losses just kept coming in Fife as the nationalists were wiped from the map in the Kingdom.

Dunfermline and Dollar and Glenrothes and Mid Fife, both constituencies which backed the SNP with sizeable majorities in 2019, opted for Labour.

One insider called it “poetic” that Cowdenbeath and Kirkcaldy, formerly represented by Gordon Brown, had been “the first to turn red”.

The party stopped short of a clean sweep though, with Liberal Democrat incumbent Wendy Chamberlain re-elected in North East Fife, easily seeing off a challenge from SNP hopeful Stefan Hoggan-Radu.

What were the results in Fife?

Dunfermline and Dollar

In Dunfermline and Dollar, Labour’s Graeme Downie secured a healthy victory over SNP candidate Naz Anis-Miah, with a majority of 8,241.

In third place was Conservative candidate Thomas Heald, while the Liberal Democrats came fourth.

Mr Downie told The Courier his majority came about as a result of the hard work of his team and a strong message of change from the party nationally.

He said: “With Keir Starmer as prime minister we have got a huge opportunity, voters will quite rightly look to me and to my colleagues to deliver.”

Glenrothes and Mid Fife

In Glenrothes, Richard Baker was elected with a majority of 2,954 votes. SNP candidate John Beare came second with 13,040 votes.

Nigel Farage’s Reform UK also polled well in the constituency, coming third and beating the Conservatives with 3,528 votes.

Gordon Brown Labour General Election
Gordon Brown with Labour’s Richard Baker.<br />Image: Steve Brown/DC Thomson.

Turnout was down 12%, which SNP insiders told The Courier may have impacted their vote share.

Mr Baker said: “This was the most challenging seat to win in Fife on paper.

“I am pleased the policies we’ve taken out have had such approval. I am just so looking forward to getting on with the job, hopefully being an effective voice in parliament.”

Jenny Gilruth reacts to poor night for SNP

Glenrothes MSP Jenny Gilruth, touted as a future leader of the SNP, said the party was behind John Swinney “100%.”

Speaking after the results, she said it was a disappointing night for the SNP, with “valued colleagues” losing their jobs.

“It’s an important opportunity for us to reflect on what this means for us, and to think again about how we can win back the trust of the Scottish people,” she said.

Cowdenbeath and Kirkcaldy

Labour’s Melanie Ward took Cowdenbeath and Kirkcaldy for Labour, securing a majority of 7,248.

Ms Ward secured 18,662, while nationalist candidate Lesley Backhouse, who is also a local councillor, secured 11,414 votes. This was down from the party’s tally of over 16,500 votes in 2019.

Ms Ward, who stood in Glenrothes in 2015 and lost to the SNP, said it was a “huge honour” to be elected.

Melanie Ward at the election count in Fife. Image: Steve Brown/DC Thomson.

She said: “Scottish Labour has had a good night, that stands us in good stead to put Scotland at the heart of a Labour government.

“I’m very conscious there are a lot of people who voted for us who haven’t voted Labour before, or haven’t voted Labour for a long time.

“It’s a real sense of responsibility, we have to honour the trust that people have put in us and deliver for them.”

Alba’s Neale Hanvey, who was elected under an SNP banner in 2019, failed to win re-election as a candidate for Alex Salmond’s Alba Party, securing 1,132 votes and coming sixth place.

Turnout was down 13% in the constituency, the largest amount of any Fife seat.

North East Fife

Wendy Chamberlain has been re-elected for the Lib Dems in North East Fife with a huge majority of more than 13,000 votes.

The party’s Scottish deputy leader swept up the vote, comfortably winning a constituency the SNP had hoped would be competitive.

Ms Chamberlain picked up 23,384 votes in total, while SNP candidate Stefan Hoggan-Radu was backed by 9,995 people.

Wendy Chamberlain arrives to raucous applause at the Fife general election count. Image: Steve Brown/DC Thomson

Lib Dem sources were confident Ms Chamberlain would win, but say they are shocked at the size of the majority.

She won the seat by a slim margin of just over 1,000 votes in 2019.

Speaking to The Courier, she said the size of her majority had come as a surprise.

She said: “To see a result like that, when this was the most marginal seat in Scotland on the new boundaries, in the SNP’s favour, to see that swing in the other direction I am pretty chuffed.