Alex Salmond has been kicked out of Parliament after losing his fight to be re-elected as MP for Gordon – ending more than 30 years in frontline politics.
The former SNP leader joined more than a dozen of his SNP colleagues on the sacked list this morning in a grim night for the nationalists.
He called the result a ‘grievous blow’ to the party but refused to say the second independence referendum is dead.
Mr Salmond was swept away by a Scottish Conservative surge that saw an historic resurgence in the Scottish borders and the north east.
Scotland’s former first minister has spent most of the last 30 years in a Westminster seat – aside from between 2010 and 2015 – but last night was defeated by Colin Clark on a huge swing to the Tories in yesterday’s election.
After his defeat he said in his concession speech: ‘You’ve not seen the last of my bonnet and me’ – a quote from a Jacobean song – but it could be the end of his Westminster career.
Mr Salmond, the SNP’s foreign affairs spokesman, had swept to power in the seat with a 8,687 majority in 2015, overturning decades of Liberal Democrat rule.
His 2015 election was a triumphant return to Westminster after a spell leading the Scottish Government in Holyrood that ended with defeat in the 2014 Scottish independence referendum.
In his speech, Mr Salmond said: ‘The SNP has lost a number of fine parliamentarians this evening, that is a grievous blow for us.
‘But overall results show the SNP will win a majority of the seats in this country and a majority of the votes.’
He said that while the SNP may have been reduced in numbers at Westminster, they will still have significant influence.
And he added: ‘You’ve not seen the last of my bonnet and me,’ quoting a Jacobite song. As the results emerged this morning, Nicola Sturgeon’s hopes of breaking up the United Kingdom faced a devastating blow.
The SNP has suffered a slump in support in the General Election, with the party’s depute leader among several high-profile nationalists ousted from Westminster.
Angus Robertson lost his Moray seat to Tory Douglas Ross – who overturned a majority of more than 9,000.
Other prominent nationalists who have lost their seats are Mike Weir, who had represented Angus in the House of Commons since 2001, and Tasmina Ahmed-Sheik, who lost the Ochil and South Perthshire seat to the Tories.
Scotland is now the one bright spot for the beleaguered Tories, set for their best result in 25 years as the Conservative Scottish Secretary warned ‘the SNP bubble has burst.’
Nicola Sturgeon said she was ‘disappointed by the SNP losses’, but she added the result was the second best ever for the party