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Letters / SNP election thanks

The general election of 7 May 2015 has been an election like no other. It is clearly a watershed moment in Scottish politics.

The people of Scotland have elected an astounding 56 SNP MPs out of a possible 59, confirming an overwhelming desire for more devolution of powers to the Scottish Parliament.

One has to feel slightly sorry for some of the now unemployed Labour & Lib Dem MPs.

Congratulations go to Alistair Carmichael for winning the vote, albeit by a fairly small margin of 817. Thanks also, to the other three candidates, for a largely clean fought campaign.

I am, however, not sure which planet Mr Morton, Mr Tinkler and Mr Jacobson live on.

It is usually the hard right Tory press that despises and fears the moderate, social democratic, middle ground, in politics, where such bigoted rubbish appears.

From the start of the campaign, it was clearly a two-horse campaign. Danus Skene, for the SNP, fought an excellent campaign showing his experience from previous elections.

Real debate took place at the four main hustings events, on doorsteps, on the streets and in various halls. As usual, in elections, a few silly things were said or appeared on election literature. Today these things get noticed and provoke responses, which are shared widely on social media.

The SNP first fought a general election back in October 1974 when Howie Firth was the candidate. The SNP have long since moved from the fringes to occupy the social democratic and left of centre middle ground.

It was back in the days of Howie Firth, almost 40 years ago, that the SNP first suggested devolving more powers to the islands.

In the 1987 election, the SNP stood down to give the Orkney & Shetland Movement candidate John Goodlad a chance.

Today, this has grown into “Our Islands, Our Future”, supported by other parties too.

The SNP have come second in elections a few times in Orkney and Shetland, winning the list vote in Orkney for the first time in 2011.

We can look forward to the Scottish Parliament elections in May 2016, the council elections in 2017 and the possibility if an in-out European referendum.

I wish to thank Danus, Shetland agent Robbie McGregor, the SNP campaign team, everyone who voted SNP and all the members of the public, in both Orkney and Shetland, who engaged in discussions.

The returning officer and the count team in Shetland also did an excellent job.

John Mowat
SNP election agent
Springfield Drive
Kirkwall

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