Scotland Election 2016

Scottish Conservatives to be second largest party at Holyrood

Ruth Davidson Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Ruth Davidson's Scottish Conservatives finished in second place, behind the SNP but ahead of Labour

The Scottish Conservatives will be the second largest party at Holyrood following a night of significant gains.

After results from the regional lists were returned, the Tories ended up with 31 seats - 32 behind the SNP on 63.

Scottish Labour won 24 seats, the Scottish Greens six and the Lib Dems five.

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson celebrated after she won the Edinburgh Central seat from the Nationalists.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron congratulated Ms Davidson on the "historic result".

The Tory PM said: "She is a leader who will stand up to the SNP and give Scotland strong opposition."

Image copyright PA
Image caption Ms Davidson said the electorate wanted the Tories to hold the SNP to account

Ms Davidson received 10,399 votes in her constituency, an increase of 15% from 2011 when the Conservatives came fourth.

The Scottish leader said she was under "no illusion" that many people who backed the Tories were "true blue Conservatives".

She said many first-time Conservative supporters backed the party "because there's a job of work they want us to do".

Ms Davidson added: "I hope the message that was resonating was of being a strong opposition, to hold the SNP to account, to saying no to a second independence referendum, to respect the decision that our country made and to really focus on the things we're paying a government to focus on, on schools, on hospitals, on public services. That's what people want."

Image caption Alex Johnstone said his party are enjoying the opportunity of winning back constituencies

Scottish Conservative Alex Johnstone said they had proved they were a "traditional Scottish party with Scottish values".

There were also significant gains for the Conservatives in Aberdeenshire West from the SNP, and Eastwood and Dumfriesshire from Labour.

Image caption David Mundell's son, Oliver, started working for the Tories aged eight

Oliver Mundell, the son of Scottish Secretary David Mundell, won the Dumfriesshire seat, with 13,536 votes.

Twenty-six-year-old Mr Mundell has spoken of helping to deliver leaflets for his father at the age of just eight.

The Conservatives took two of the other three seats covering Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders.

Finlay Carson held Galloway and West Dumfries, while Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire was held by John Lamont.

The Tories also won Aberdeenshire West from the SNP after a major swing in the vote.

Alexander Burnett was elected after the party's share surged 17% to leave Dennis Robertson in second place.

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