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Politics / Close race for Shetland vote

THE LIBERAL Democrats once more recorded the most votes in Shetland but found the SNP breathing down their necks with a more than doubled vote compared to the 2014 European Parliament elections.

The full results. Photo: SIC

Lib Dems totalled 2,001 votes (or 29.64 per cent of the vote) with the SNP recording 1,751 votes (25.94 per cent). The Brexit Party recorded 1,330 votes (19.7 per cent), with the Greens on 756 (11.2 per cent), Conservatives on 342 (5.06 per cent) and Labour only 305 (4.52 per cent).

If the Euro election is seen as a rerun of the EU referendum then Shetland and Scotland’s wishes to remain in Europe have been resoundingly amplified.

While the newly formed Brexit Party was making gains in Northern England, the SNP was increasing its vote in central Scotland and the combined vote for remain parties in Shetland (4,508 for Lib Dem, SNP and Green) dwarfs votes for Brexit supporting parties.

Lib Dem spokesman Theo Smith said that it was a good result for his party but he was surprised at the strength of the Brexit Party vote.

Smith added: “It was closer as I would have wanted. I think this is a one off vote, I think if we went to a standard general election or a Scottish election, the vote would be different.”

Shetland SNP chairman Iain Malcolmson. Photo: Peter Johnson/Shetland News

SNP Shetland chairman Iain Malcomson said: “It was a really positive result from the SNP. That’s us more than doubled our vote from the last time. I’m really really happy about that, we ran the Liberal Democrats pretty close.

“Shetland has definitely voted on a pro-Europe stance on Brexit. You can also see that pro independence parties – us and the Green Party – have done really well, so there is a really strong presence for independence for Scotland come out of this as well.”