Scottish Independence dream fades as Salmond & Robertson crash out of Commons

Nicola Sturgeon and the 2017 election exit poll

As the first Scottish results came in, the Conservatives won Angus to the west of Dundee - another unexpected SNP loss that indicated a strong swing towards pro-UK parties.

She criticised Theresa May, who called a snap election in a bid to boost her party's slender majority at Westminster - a gamble which spectacularly backfired on the Conservative leader.

In a dramatic night in politics, senior nationalists were ousted from the House of Commons - with former first minister Alex Salmond and SNP depute leader Angus Robertson among those who were defeated as the Scottish Tories had their best result in a General Election for more than three decades.

Mr Salmond said: "Gordon is the most fantastic and diverse constituency in the whole of Scotland and I wish you well in representing it Colin".

After the result was declared, she said: "I recognise all of those who put party allegiance to one side to send a clear message that East Dunbartonshire does not want another divisive independence referendum".

Mr Salmond was swept away by a Scottish Conservative surge that saw an historic resurgence in the Scottish borders and the north east.

Defended by Mike Weir, Angus is one of six core SNP constituencies the party had held in successive elections before its landslide victories in 2015 brought it 56 of Scotland's 59 seats.

In East Dunbartonshire, Liberal Democrat Jo Swinson regained the seat from the SNP's John Nicolson.

According to Ross, Labour could end up with seven seats in Scotland.

In his speech, Mr Salmond said: 'The SNP has lost a number of fine parliamentarians this evening, that is a grievous blow for us.

In a sign that Sturgeon's party could suffer heavier than expected losses across Scotland, Scottish Labour overcame a 17% SNP majority to win Rutherglen and Hamilton West, by just 265 votes.

"I am grateful for these times and for the activists of the SNP who have made the many electoral successes possible".

The prospect for a second independence referendum in Scotland appears more unlikely than at any point since last year's European Union referendum thanks to the SNP's poor showing at the polls on Thursday.

She paid tribute to Mr Robertson, who had been MP for Moray since 2001, describing him as a "politician and parliamentarian of enormous stature, who week after week held the Prime Minister to account, providing the scrutiny that the official opposition in the House of Commons failed to do".

Gerard Killen claimed the seat for Jeremy Corbyn's party with 19,101 votes, defeating the SNP's Margaret Ferrier, who won the constituency in 2015 but who polled 18,836 votes this time round.

After 30 years, the Scottish Conservatives ended the SNP's grip on Moray.

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