mc_squared Posted May 6, 2011 Share Posted May 6, 2011 End of the UK? Scottish National Party set to push for referendum on independence within 5 years after securing 'historic' victory By Daily Mail Reporter Last updated at 4:34 PM on 6th May 2011 SNP crosses 65-seat threshold for the first time everScottish Labour leader to quit after devastating lossLabour wins Welsh Assembly election without overall majorityScottish turnout is 50%, while Welsh Assembly sees 42% of voters at polls The Scottish National Party today surged to 'historic' victory after securing a majority in parliament. It is now likely that leader Alex Salmond will push for the SNP to hold a referendum on independence within the next five-year term. Out of 129 seats available the party crossed the majority threshold of 65 earlier this afternoon - a victory that Prime Minister David Cameron described as an 'emphatic win'. Jubilant: Leader of the Scottish National Party Alex Salmond arrives at a Scottish Parliament election count in Aberdeen. He hailed 'spectacular' successes for his party in elections to the Scottish Parliament There were early shock wins after polling stations closed last night with many major Labour politicians finding themselves out of a job. Today Scottish Labour leader Iain Gray announced he will step down in the autumn as a result of his party's defeat. Alex Salmond's party passed the half-way point by taking its 65th seat in a historic win at Kirkcaldy, the first time gains on this scale have been achieved since the Parliament was established in 1999. The decisive victory comes at the heavy expense of Labour in what were considered heartland territories, and with a collapse in the Liberal Democrat vote. Seat after seat in Glasgow, Lanarkshire and Edinburgh fell to the SNP as well as a clean sweep of the entire north east region. Candidates once thought of as potential Labour frontbenchers lost out, including former ministers Andy Kerr, Tom McCabe and Frank McAveety. Former Scottish Tory leader David McLetchie was unseated in Edinburgh Pentlands. Relief: Labour leader Iain Gray hung onto his seat by just 151 votes after the huge surge in support for the SNP But the Lib Dems appeared the biggest losers, with heavy falls in the share of votes and a high number of lost deposits. Leader Tavish Scott held on to Shetland with a reduced share but his party was beaten in areas where it had previously enjoyed a comfortable majority. The party's finance spokesman Jeremy Purvis was ousted by the SNP's Christine Grahame, who took Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale with 43.5 per cent of the vote. SNP leader Alex Salmond, who won Aberdeenshire East with about 64 per cent of the vote, hailed 'spectacular' successes. He said wins across the country meant the SNP can now properly be described as the 'national party', represented in all parts of Scotland. Mr Salmond's main opponent for the job of First Minister, Mr Gray, hung on to his seat by just 151 votes. Mr Gray won in East Lothian with 12,536 votes compared to 12,385 for SNP challenger David Berry, who commanded a 3.1 per cent swing away from Labour. In 2007, the SNP beat Labour nationally by just one seat to become the largest party at Holyrood, forming a minority administration led by Mr Salmond. Majority: SNP candidate Derek McKay with his wife Jennifer after winning the Renfrewshire North and West Long night: Election officials count ballot papers at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre after the polls shut in the Scottish Parlimentary Elections Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1384148/Scottish-Parliament-success-hailed-spectacular-Alex-Salmond-SNP-make-huge-gains-Labour.html#ixzz1LaYF3Us9 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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