Help for high street a first priority says re-elected MSP for Strathkelvin and Bearsden Rona Mackay
The SNP’s Rona Mackay romped to victory at Thursday’s elections to the Scottish Parliament.
Ms Mackay retained the Strathkelvin and Bearsden seat, polling 21,064 votes – almost 11,500 more than her nearest rival, Conservative Andrew Polson, the joint leader of East Dunbartonshire Council.
She also increased her own majority by more than 4,000 votes.
Despite the covid pandemic, people flocked to the polls with a turnout locally of 72 per cent.
Votes for the constituencies and regional list – 129 seats in total - took place over two days with fewer staff as social distancing measures were put in place because of covid.
Ms Mackay spoke to the Herald after the result.
She said: “I am honoured that the people of Strathkelvin and Bearsden have put their trust in me and my office team to represent them for another five years.
"It has been an absolute pleasure getting to know the people, businesses and organisations in this wonderful constituency. I am delighted that I can continue my work with them.
“My priorities for the area will be to work on measures to get the constituency back on its feet after the damage done to businesses and people’s well-being since the start of the pandemic. I am very keen to progress improving our town centres and high streets, many of which are now looking sadly neglected.
"I will work with the local authority on all measures to enhance the town centres and high streets, and help them flourish.
"Our young people have been through so much in the past year, so I would like to see more access to leisure facilities and initiatives to help their well-being, along with greater job and training opportunities.
“There is much work to be done and I thank everyone for giving me and my hard-working team the chance to get on with it. I will work hard for constituents who voted for me, and those who did not, to the very best of my ability.”
The full results of the Strathkelvin and Bearsden constituency, declared by Constituency Returning Officer, Gerry Cornes at 4.50pm on Friday 7 May:
Rona Mackay Scottish National Party (SNP) 21,064
Andrew Polson Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party 9,580
Callum McNally Scottish Labour Party and Scottish Co-operative Party 8,510
Susan Murray Scottish Liberal Democrats 6,675
Liam McKechnie Scottish Family Party 415
Majority (11,484); Electorate (64,397), Turnout 46,363 (72%) and Rejected Papers (119).
Mr Cornes, who is also Chief Executive of East Dunbartonshire Council said: "This election and the counts have been unlike any other and have presented everyone with challenges we couldn't have imagined.
"With safety at the forefront of our minds in the planning and preparation, everyone has worked incredibly hard to ensure that everything was done safely and smoothly. I’d like to thank everyone working at the count, polling station officers, candidates, my election team and all who have helped in any way to make this election process a success in unprecedented times."
In the regional list, East Dunbartonshire resident Ross Greer of the Scottish Greens was elected again via the West of Scotland list.
East Dunbartonshire businesswoman, Conservative Pam Gosal (53) was also elected via the West list and created history by becoming the first Sikh to be elected to the Parliament.
The SNP had their fourth consecutive victory in the elections, winning 64 of the 129 seats.