Ingram claims Carrick seat

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tension filled the air last Thursday for what turned out to be a truly historic night in Scottish politics.

As the candidates and their support teams desperately tried to work out how the voting had taken place during the day in the constituency, the Scottish National Party was claiming seats - including Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley - all across the country, .

Normally viewed as a Labour safe seat - thanks to a large former mining population in Cumnock and Doon Valley - no-one could have imagined the huge swing in the SNP’s favour which saw Adam Ingram defeat Scottish Labour candidate Richard Leonard.

Since 1999, and the creation of the seat, Cathy Jamieson has represented the Carrick community. But after winning her seat at Kilmarnock and Loudoun Valley for the Westminster Parliament, Ms Jamieson made it clear that she would be standing down from her Holyrood role.

After returning officer Fiona Lees announced the results, victorious candidate Mr Ingram beamed as he addressed his supporters. “This is a really proud moment,” he said.

“I am proud to represent the people of Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley.

“I’d like to thank the voters in the area for putting their faith in me. I will work hard for this constituency.

“And also to my campaign team for their hard work and effort. We are on the up and independence is coming along soon.”

Mr Leonard, who polled 10,669 votes, 2,581 less than Mr Ingram, congratulated his political rival for his success and also paid tribute to the outgoing representative of the area, Ms Jamieson.

He said: “I want to congratulate the SNP on running a successful campaign and Adam Ingram for winning the seat.

“Cathy Jamieson will be a hard act to follow; her dedication, hard work and integrity must be maintained by her successor.

“It was an honour to be the Labour Party candidate in this great constituency and the active support of local party members for the last nine months of campaigning was outstanding.

“I want to place on record my thanks to those people who put their faith in us by voting Labour last week.

“Clearly we were swept away by a national tide.

“For that reason Labour has to learn some hard lessons from Thursday’s defeat, but learn them we will.

“In my view we need to rediscover our idealism, our democratic socialist values and our historic mission to build a new society and so re-establish our sense of direction.”

Scottish Conservative candidate Peter Kennerley, who saw the Tory share of the vote in the constituency drop, also congratulated Mr Ingram on his campaign.

He said: “I would echo the congratulations to Adam Ingram. I am sure he will prove a worthy MSP for this area.”

And Liberal Democratic candidate Andrew Chamberlain added: “I’d like to extend my congratulations to Adam Ingram for his victory tonight.”

The turnout figure within the Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley was 48.5 per cent.

The number of applications received for postal votes for the Scottish Parliamentary election for the Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley Constituency was 9,238.

The total number of votes cast was 28,703 from an electorate of 59,846.

Mr Ingram was elected with a majority of 2,581 representing a swing of over 11 per cent to the SNP.

Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley result

n Andrew Chamberlain Scottish Liberal Democrats 624

n Adam Ingram Scottish National Party 13,250

n Peter Kennerley Scottish Conservative & Unionist 4,160

n Richard Leonard Scottish Labour Party 10,669