Fiona: We must fight for powers promised

MSP Fiona McLeod
MSP Fiona McLeod

Local SNP MSP Fiona McLeod has called on people to join the fight to make sure the new devolved powers promised for Scotland go through.

After Thursday’s defeat for Yes in the referendum, the Strathkelvin and Bearsden MSP said: “It is now our job to hold Westminster to account and make sure our local MPs deliver these promises.

“We need the new powers to create jobs and protect the weakest in our society from the cuts inevitable to the NHS and the Scottish budget.

“This is a promise that they will not be allowed to renege on.”

Despite Scotland coming out in favour of No, Ms McLeod said she had been inspired by the campaign and the “incredible” number who voted in East Dunbartonshire. At 
91 per cent, the area had the highest turnout of all 32 local authorities.

Speaking at the count in the Leisuredrome in Bishopbriggs in the early hours of Friday morning, Fiona told the Herald: “I really can’t believe the number of voters who turned out in East Dunbartonshire.

“It looks like almost everyone voted in my own area of Westerton. The ballot box had 749 votes in it and there are only about 800 voters there.

“This has been real democracy.

“I have been inspired. It has been a great day and I’ve felt quite emotional.

“More than 1.5 million Scots voted Yes nationally – as someone put it, ‘waves 
on a beach’, and with each 
wave we take more people with us.”

Since the result of the referendum, both the SNP and the Green Party have seen their membership surge by more than 5,000 and 2,000 respectively.

Fiona said: “The referendum has engaged more people than ever before.

“One thing is certain, politics is never going to be the same again in Scotland.”

A total of 61 per cent of voters (48,314) in East Dunbartonshire rejected independence, with 39 per cent (30,624) voting “Yes”.

The total number of votes cast was 79,011 and the number of spoiled ballot 
papers stood at 73.