By a Newsnet.scot Reporter
The Scottish National Party stands on the verge of the widely-predicted electoral ‘tsunami’, predicted to win 58 of the 61 Scottish parliamentary seats by the time the last ballots have been counted later today.
The exit poll used by the UK broadcasters predict that the Tories will remain the biggest party at Westminster, but without an overall majority.
The prospects of Labour constructing a “progressive alliance” – suggested by the SNP but rejected by Labour leader Ed Miliband – seemed slim. Regardless of the Scottish results, the exit polls predict that labour may be 77 seats behind the Tories – more than the number of seats north of the Border.
The overwhelming nature of the SNP victor in Scotland appears to have shocked many observers, despite it being predicted in success opinion polls.
Former Labour MP Tom Harris conceded Glasgow South long before the count was complete, predicting that Labour would lose all seven Glasgow seats to the SNP.
In Fife, the SNP is predicted to win all three seats, including that held previously by Gordon Brown, whose 11th-hour intervention appears to have backfired.
In the TV studios, Labour spokespeople appeared to be in denial, blaming “the SNP” for the UK result. The party’s deputy Scottish leader Kezia Dugdale and MEP Catherine Stihler repeatedly returned to this theme as they awaited confirmation of their party’s humiliating defeat, indicating that this was an agreed “party line”.
However, one-time Labour First Minister Henry Macleish did say the party required a “fundamental review” of its situation in Scotland.
This happened as 20 year old Mhairi Black humiliated Labour so-called “big hitter” and Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander in Paisley and Renfrewshire South with 51 per cent of the vote and a majority of 5,684. Alexander had co-ordinated Labour’s UK campaign, apparently.
SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon MSP was keeping her counsel during the night, presumably waiting for the actual results to come in. Her comment as she arrived at the Glasgow count was: “A|l the indications are that this is a historic shift, an extremely good night for the SNP.”
Her predecessor Alex Salmond, interviewed by STV on his arrival at the Gordon count, predicted that the
The Liberal Democrats have been hammered in Scotland and England, according to polls and concessions made by party spokespeople. There is speculation that only one LibDem will survive in Scotland, although there is debate as to whether that will be Charles Kennedy or Alistair Carmichael.
It remains possible that a rump LibDem Parliamentary group of as few as 10 MPs might shore up a Conservative minority government, with or without coalition. One Tory option is a deal with the Ulster Democratic Unionist Party.
* The first Scottish seat to be declared, Kilmarnock & Loudoun, saw the SNP’s Alan Brown seize the seat from Labour’s Cathy Jamieson by a massive 26 per cent swing and a majority of more than 13,600.
* Immediately afterwards, the SNP’s Angus MacNeil held Na H-Eileanan an Iar (Western Isles) with an increased majority of 4,102.
The exit poll looked grim and these results indicate it is grim,” commented Ken McIntosh MSP. He said Labour may hold “a couple of seats” in Scotland.
By 2.30am, the Labour seats began to fall in quick succession, with an emotional speech by Douglas Alexander. He became the first serving Labour politician to acknowledge tonight that the party had to “earn back” the trust of the people of Scotland.
Dundee West fell to the SNP with a massive swing and a majority of 17,092. The SNP won Dunbartonshire West, Alloa, Falkirk and Glenrothes minutes later…