General election 2010: SNP Ochil dreams dashed

By Sasjkia Otto

The SNP has failed to win back Ochil and South Perthshire in what has turned out to be a disappointing night for the party, as its dreams of trebling its seats in Scotland quickly evaporated.

SNP candidate Annabelle Ewing gained 28% of the vote but failed to regain the seat she lost to Labour in 2005 after the area was redrawn.

There was a four per cent swing to Labour which gained 38% of the vote. This gives incumbent MP Gordon Banks a 5,187 majority, compared to 688 in 2005.

First minister Alex Salmond had set his sights set on more than trebling the SNP’s seats in Scotland from six to 20 out of 59. Ochil and South Perthshire was key to him succeeding.

Politically the seat was a very close marginal between the SNP and Labour.