John Swinney holds Perthshire North seat Following the win, John Swinney is now Scotland’s longest serving parliamentarian. (Photo: LDRS)
By Kathryn Anderson
DEPUTY first minister John Swinney has held his Perthshire North seat with a majority of 4053 votes.
The Perthshire North MSP now becomes Scotland’s longest serving parliamentarian following the retirement of Roseanna Cunningham.
He said representing the people of Perthshire North was the “privilege of my life”.
Swinney described his win as an “emphatic result for the SNP”.
He said: “I am absolutely delighted to be re-elected.
“Whatever way you voted I will be a faithful and diligent servant to you. It is the privilege of my life to represent Perthshire North.”
Perth and North Pertshire MP Pete Wishart was there to congratulate Swinney after the declaration.
He told the local democracy reporting service: “I am delighted for my colleague and friend John Swinney.
“Securing an increased majority and a swing from the Conservatives is always pleasing in Perthshire.”
Despite the pandemic, a record 69.9 per cent of the electorate cast their vote in Perthshire North.
There were 40,268 votes cast out of an eligible electorate of 57,572 in Perthshire North.
That is an increase from 62.7 per cent turnout in 2016.
John Swinney won 19,860 votes – 4053 more than Murdo Fraser (Conservative) with 15,807 votes.
Peter Barrett (Liberal Democrats) got 1802 votes, Don Marshall (Scottish Family Party) 334 votes and Ryan Smart (Labour) 2324 votes.
Almost a third of all eligible voters in both Perth and Kinross constituencies opted to vote by post.
There were 35,668 postal ballot packs issued across both Perthshire constituences – Perthshire North and Perthshire South and Kinross-shire out of a total eligible electorate of 120,920.
Physical distancing measures were in place at the Perthshire North count which took place at Bell’s Sports Centre on Friday (7).
In a change from previous Holyrood elections there were no overnight counts and the Perthshire North count got under way at 9am on Friday.
Anyone attending the count was issued with PPF2 standard mask to wear at all times – including incumbent John Swinney who had to swap his Saltire mask for the council-issued mask.
There was hand sanitiser aplenty and perspex screens along with other Covid safety measures in place at Bell’s Sport Centre.
Returning officer Barbara Renton declared the result shortly before 2.30pm.
The Perthshire South and Kinross-shire vote will take place on Saturday, May 8.
Regional votes are being counted over both days and submitted to the regional returning officer in Fife.
(Local Democracy Reporting Service)