Re-elected MSP promises ‘more hard work’ in Argyll and Bute

Michael Russell MSP has thanked local voters for re-electing him to represent Argyll and Bute for a second five-year term.
Michael Russell MSP has thanked local voters for re-electing him to represent Argyll and Bute for a second five-year term.

Argyll and Bute MSP Michael Russell - who was re-elected to the Scottish Parliament on Thursday for a second five year term - has thanked local voters and promised them “more hard work”.

Speaking after the election count Mr Russell said: “This has been an intense campaign which featured 10 hustings - a record for any constituency in Scotland - and, for me at least, a great deal of travel including over 3000 miles in various cars and no less than 34 ferry journeys.

“First of all I want to pay tribute to my opponents and especially to Alan Reid. The former Lib Dem MP made a small dent in my previous majority but a much bigger one in the Tory prospects in the seat, with the regional ballot showing that he attracted a great deal of his support from those whose second vote went not to the Lib Dems but to the Conservatives.

“Alan talked himself up as the main challenger and succeeded in persuading many Tories that he was, to the electoral detriment of the official Conservative Donald Cameron. However Donald was elected to the Scottish Parliament on the Highland Regional List and I congratulate him and look forward to working with him, when it is possible, on local issues.

“Mick Rice for Labour was, as last time, a colourful choice and I admire his unflagging loyalty to his cause as well as his determination to do things his own way rather than be a bland party apparatchik. He made the hustings much more lively than they would otherwise have been.

“Nonetheless it was clear on election night that it was only the SNP which had solid majority backing in every part of the area with a particularly strong affirmation of that fact coming from Dunoon, Oban and the many islands in the constituency.

“Throughout the campaign and across the area I have promised to continue with the hard work that I have been undertaking for the last five years, standing up for local people, representing communities and ensuring that the voice of Argyll and Bute is heard at Holyrood.

“I am happy to commit myself to even more hard work on those tasks. This area has put its trust in the SNP for a record third time and in me for a second. It is a great privilege to serve everyone who lives here, no matter their politics, and I am honoured to have the opportunity to do so for another five years.”