Electric atmosphere at counting centre
As soon as the news of the exit poll result arrived at East Kilbride, the atmosphere became tense.
The realisation there could be a chance of a hung parliament quickly hit home.
What was supposed to be a foregone conclusion, a comfortable SNP victory in Scotland and the Tories winning enough seats to be the largest party nationwide, was now in doubt. Nerves were jangling in the John Wright Sports Centre and independent candidate Andy Dixon put it best when asked to describe the mood:“Electric,” he said.
The clock had barely struck 11pm on Thursday when a senior Labour source told the Reformer that Margaret Ferrier and her team were worried about losing their seat.
SNP activists looked edgy as they peered over the counting tables while Gerard Killen and his team were full of optimism.
The result was read out shortly after 1am to a deafening cheer from Mr Killen’s team as Ms Ferrier was caught looking disappointed on stage.
Mr Killen said:“We were getting a really good response early doors at the polling stations so we knew it was going to be close but we were not taking anything for granted.
“It means we are going to have an MP who will put the area first, one which will not be campaigning for independence, who is against austerity and will put the communities of this constituency first.”
Scottish Labour had thrown a lot of weight behind their campaign in Rutherglen, with the party’s manifesto launched in the town weeks earlier.
Count Activists try to gauge the level of support