New MP McDonald admits win was a dream come true
New Glasgow South MP Stewart McDonald admitted that when he started out on the election trail, he really didn’t expect to win.
Talking to the Reformer yesterday, the 28-year-old from Castlemilk revealed he was delighted to be representing the area where he grew up
As one of an unprecedented 56 SNP MPs from 59 Scottish seats, he admits that when he first started campaigning, he could never have imagined just how the result would go.
Stewart said:“When I started, I thought I might take a few thousand votes out of Tom’s majority, but to have overturned it is quite amazing.
“It’s an incredible feeling, to have the largest majority in the city, and the most amount of SNP votes as well. I didn’t expect it, to be honest.
“We knew from our canvassing we were in with a shout a couple of months in advance, and then when the Ashcroft poll came out, that really changed things, and it was confirmed by our own canvassing returns.
“Within 10 minutes of the ballot boxes being opened on the night, though, we knew what the result was going to be, and we were going to win it quite comfortably.
“In terms of the actual result, though, I never imagined it would be so big.
“I never wanted to contest any other seat - this was the only seat I was interested in.”
Having thanked his local supporters and activists, Stewart arrived at Westminster on Monday, as part of the SNP group which is the third-biggest party in Parliament.
He tweeted:“Doorkeeper tells me I was the first new MP to enter the Chamber. Not allowed to sit before sworn in as would trigger a by-election.”
He laughed:“I think they might have been joking with me, but it’s a good story, nonetheless!
“It’s been good so far - Monday was probably the most exciting day of my life.
“It’s strange and bizarre to think that, all of a sudden, you’re an MP. I’ll get used to it, I’m sure, and I’m already getting on with casework, which is important to me. Right now, my number one priority is getting the office up and functioning in Glasgow South.”
The success of the SNP across Scotland was something that Stewart admits has taken him by pleasant surprise.
He admitted:“No one expected there to be so many of us, but we’ve been made incredibly welcome by the House of Commons staff.
“I was worried it would be a bit like being one of those people who starts going to the gym in January, and the people who’ve used it beforehand give you a look, thinking,‘Here we go,’but it’s been nothing like that!
“Our number one aim as a political party is to argue against austerity - people in Scotland voted for an anti-austerity commitment.
“It’s about giving the people what I promised and to give them effective representation, not just in the House of Commons, but being available locally as well.”
Stewart also praised his Labour predecessor in the seat Tom Harris for his work over the past 14 years.
He said:“Tom, to his credit, was very gracious. I’ve known him for a few years now, and we’ve always got on well, but the area where we’ve disagreed is politics.
“He gave 14 years service to the constituency, which is very commendable.”
Elected New Glasgow South MP Stewart McDonald celebrates
First day Stewart McDonald MP arrives in London