Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson loses East Dunbartonshire seat to the SNP

Britain's Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson waits on stage for the result at the East Dunbartonshire count centre in Bishopbriggs, north of Glasgow, on December 13, 2019 after votes were counted as part of the UK general election. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP) (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Britain's Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson waits on stage for the result at the East Dunbartonshire count centre in Bishopbriggs, north of Glasgow, on December 13, 2019 after votes were counted as part of the UK general election. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP) (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson has been defeated in East Dunbartonshire in the general election by the SNP’s Amy Callaghan.

Ms Swinson, who became the first female leader of the party in July, lost by 149 votes.

There was an extremely high turnout in the local constituency with 80.38% of the electorate turning up to the ballot box..

Amy Callaghan (27) won back the seat for the SNP which John Nicolson lost to the Lib Dems in 2017.

An early exit poll had predicted Ms Swinson would lose her seat.

RESULTS

Amy Callaghan, SNP: 19,672

Jo Swinson, Liberal Democrat: 19,523

Pam Gosal, Scottish Conservative: 7,455

Callum McNally, Scottish Labour: 4,839

Carolynn Scrimgeour, Scottish Green Party: 916

Rosie Dickson, Independent: 221

Donald MacKay, UKIP: 208

Liam mcKechnie, Scottish Family Party: 197

Electorate: 66,075

Total number of votes cast: 53,111.

Rejected Papers: 80

Speaking after the result, Jo Swinson said: “Tonight’s result is obviously hugely disappointing, in East Dunbartonshire, and across the whole country with Boris Johnson winning a majority.”

She said that for millions of people the result of the UK general election will bring “dread and dismay, and people are looking for hope.”

She added: “I am proud that in this campaign, the Liberal Democrats have stood up for openness, generosity and hope. We were honest about what we believe in and what we were trying to achieve.

“This is clearly a setback for liberal values. But there are millions of people across the country who believe in them. By coming together to fight for them, we can create a positive future.”

The Lib Dem leader thanked her family and party for their support.

She said: “I would also like to thank my agent, Liberal Democrat campaigners and activists who have made this campaign special.”

She added: “I particularly would like to thank my mum, my sister Nicola, my husband Duncan and our two darling boys Andrew and Gabriel.”

East Dunbartonshire’s new MP Amy Callaghan said: “This has been a grassroots, localised campaign with the people of East Dunbartonshire at its heart. Thank you for putting your trust in me as your new MP.”

Since 1974, East Dunbartonshire has been held by all four of Scotland’s main political parties.

The SNP last won it in 2015, defeating Ms Swinson in the surge that saw them sweep Scotland after the 2014 Independence Referendum.

Ms Swinson won the seat back in 2017 after an intense local campaign, pulling over the line with a majority of 5,339 votes.