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Election / Carmichael elected as MP in comfortable victory

ALISTAIR Carmichael is set for another term as Orkney and Shetland’s MP after comfortably winning Thursday’s election.

Speaking following the declaration after 6am on Friday morning, the Liberal Democrat said he was “delighted that the people of Orkney and Shetland have put their trust in me again”.

“I promise I will not let them down,” he added.

The Liberal Democrat has been MP for the Northern Isles since 2001.

Alistair Carmichael has been elected as the MP for Orkney and Shetland for the seventh time. Photo: SIC

He gained 11,392 votes in Thursday’s election which represented more than half of those cast.

Coming in second was SNP candidate Robert Leslie with 3,585 votes. The Greens’ Alex Armitage was third (2,046), followed by Reform UK’s Robert Smith (1,586), Labour’s Conor Savage (1,493) and Shane Painter of the Conservatives (586).

At the last general election in 2019, Carmichael picked up 44.8 per cent of the votes, but this time around he received 55 per cent.

A total of 20,794 votes were cast, making for a turnout of 60.74 per cent. This is down by around seven per cent on the last election in 2019.

Nationally Labour has had a landslide victory, with Sir Keir Starmer set to become the UK’s next prime minister.

The Lib Dems will now have at least 71 MPs in the Commons – more than quadrupling its number in parliament – meaning they will be the third strongest party in Westminster after the Conservatives.

In Scotland the SNP lost at least 38 seats with Labour winning in 37 constituencies with some results still not declared yet.

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Speaking from the podium, Carmichael said his “most heartfelt” thanks was reserved for the people of Orkney and Shetland who have elected him for a seventh time.

He remarked on the national picture, saying Labour’s achievement was “quite remarkable”.

“While the dust settles on tonight’s result, I think you will see them as an opportunity to reset our political discourse in Britain – to move on from the politics of identity and again to make politics about ideas,” Carmichael.

He said this “politics of identity” has created too much division in the country.

Speaking from the podium Leslie – whose party suffered a number of losses – said “I still believe independence is necessary” – and in his view it is a case of when, not if.

Meanwhile Armitage used his speech to express concern about far right politics. “We have to fight against the upsurge of what I feel is quite disgusting politics in our country and in our world. I hope that with this new reset in politics in Britain…we can fight for the right ideas.”

Savage and Painter also both thanked those who turned out to support them.

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