FINLAY Carson has likened himself to a ‘goalkeeper who blocked the goal’ as he is reelected as the MSP for Galloway and West Dumfries, slashing the chances of the SNP achieving an overall majority at Holyrood.
The Conservative candidate received 17,486 votes, increasing his 2016 vote share by 3.5 per cent.
SNP runner-up Emma Harper received 14,851 votes, with 0.9 per cent more of the share than in the last election.
However, she clings onto hopes of still making it into Holyrood on the South Scotland list ballot, on which she is her party’s lead candidate
Meanwhile, the vote share for Labour’s candidate, Archie Dryburgh, dropped by 6.7 per cent
And Laura Moodie of the Scottish Green Party, which fielded candidates in the constituency for the first time ever, beat the Liberal Democrats’ Ian McDonald to the fourth spot by 22 votes.
Moodie also stands a chance of being elected on the list, due to be declared later this evening.
Speaking following his victory, Finlay Carson said: “It’s certain that Indyref2 played some part in some people’s votes.
“But I do think in large part that people decided that I was best for their MSP because I was challenging, some of the decisions that the SNP government previously over investment in the south-west and particularly in the west of the region in Stranraer, their failure to deliver the £6 million for the waterfront, their failure to improve the A75 as was promised ten years ago, failure to get broadband rolled-out – these are all issues that are really, really important and we need to get them right before we get into any constitutional arguments.
“I’m absolutely delighted to see the vote share increased, I think its testament to my staff that have worked in the parliamentary office, they’ve worked tirelessly over the last five years and particularly over the past year helping businesses and individuals cope with the pandemic ensuring that businesses get the support that they’re due and also personal issues that people have had whether that’s mental health or access to healthcare and they’ve worked really hard and a lot of that victory is down to them.”
The declaration of Carson’s victory now makes it less likely the SNP will achieve an overall majority.
He added: “It gives me great satisfaction, it’s a bit like when football teams go to penalties; you don’t remember the guys that score all the penalties but you remember the goalkeeper that saves one and I would like to think I’m that goalkeeper, I’m absolutely delighted that I could play a part in stopping an SNP majority which will wrongly, I believe, give them the ability to shout that they’ve got a mandate to call for Indyref2 and I’m really proud to have played a part in that if that turns out to be the case.”