News | Published August 30 2019

Shetland by-election maintains Lib Dem’s safest seat

Considered the safest Lib Dem seat in Scotland, the Shetland by-election has been won by Lib Dem candidate Beatrice Wishart.

Wishart has succeeded Tavish Scott, Lib Dem MSP for Shetland for the past two decades.

The Lib Dem candidate won the seat with a majority of 1,837 votes – just under 50 per cent of the overall votes cast on the island.

Upon wining the seat, Wishart stated that she was delighted "to make a little bit of history by becoming the first female parliamentarian in Shetland” after what she considered to be a “roller-coaster” of a campaign.

The vote indicates, what Wishart believes to be that "Shetland has once again rejected Scottish nationalism and shown that it has not been taken in by the bullying tactics”.

The by-election was triggered by Scott’s resignation in July, who moved from politics to take a job with Scottish Rugby.

Scott, a former leader of the Scottish Lib Dems, held the seat since the opening of Holyrood in 1999.

Jo Swinson, the current head of the Liberal Democrats, voiced her support for Wishart of Twitter, stating “Together we’ll fight to keep Scotland in the UK & stop Brexit, because we’re better off staying in the EU as a strong family of nations”.

In the 2014 Independence Referendum, Shetland recorded a 64 per cent no vote, the fourth highest in the country. Lib Dems felt that the SNP had been "avoiding the word independence like the plague" in the campaign, while Nicola Sturgeon, SNP leader, stated that "a vote for the SNP on 29 August is a vote to decide our own future".

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Authored by

Alice Jaspars
Culture Editor
August 30 2019

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