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BREAKING: Lib Dems’ Jamie Stone wins the Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross seat

By Scott Maclennan

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Jamie Stone at the general election count. Picture: Callum Mackay.
Jamie Stone at the general election count. Picture: Callum Mackay.

Jamie Stone has retained the Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross seat for the Liberal Democrats in a convincing win in the UK’s most northerly mainland constituency.

He secured more than 22,000 votes compared to the next placed candidates, the SNP’s Lucy Beattie, who tallied, just over 12,000.

In his acceptance speech he paid moving tribute to Charles Kennedy who once represented part of the constituency Mr Stone will now represent in Westminster.

The veteran politician was projected to keep the seat following a major boundary shake-up despite the SNP’s Lucy Beattie campaigning hard.

The turnout was 46,170 which is down to just 61 per cent from 67 per cent in 2019 despite the significant increase in the size of the boundary of the seat following a shake-up.

During the campaign, Mr Stone was very clear where he stood on certain issues like backing a new nuclear reactor for Caithness, the Inverness and Cromarty Firth Green Freeport and greater support for carers.

The legacy of 17 years of SNP government appears to have worked against Dr Beattie, particularly in rural areas where the party has struggled to convince voters to back them.

Mr Stone will now resume his seat in the House of Commons among a strengthened Liberal Democrat party looking to maximise its advantage with the Scottish Parliament elections less than two years away.

Vote result:

Lucy Beattie (SNP): 12,247

Steve Chisholm (Alba Party: Yes to Scottish Independence): 795

Fiona Fawcett (Scottish Conservative and Unionist): 1860

Eva Kestner (Scottish Labour Party): 3409

Sandra Skinner (Reform UK): 3360

Jamie Stone (Scottish Liberal Democrats): 22,736

Anne Thomas (Scottish Greens): 1641

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