Final seat set for further recount amid reports SNP has conceded defeat

A recount in the last remaining undeclared seat in the 2024 General Election will begin on Saturday morning, amidst reports the SNP candidate has already conceded defeat.

Despite an initial count on Thursday night and a recount on Friday, the result of the contest in Inverness, Skye and West Ross-shire remains undecided.

A further recount is due to commence at 10.30am, with the SNP’s Drew Hendry locked in a close battle with Liberal Democrat candidate Angus MacDonald.

The BBC reported on Friday evening that Mr Hendry had conceded defeat ahead of the count, and that the seat is expected to become the Liberal Democrats’ sixth in Scotland.

This would come as a further blow to the SNP in what has been a bruising election for the nationalists, having lost 39 of the 48 seats they won in 2019, mainly to a resurgent Labour.

Anas Sarwar’s party tore across the country’s central belt, mirroring the success of the UK-wide party and sweeping the SNP out of Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Labour now has 37 seats to the SNP’s nine, a marked turnaround from the 2019 UK election when Labour returned just one MP to the SNP’s 48.

The Scottish Conservatives lost one of their six seats after leader Douglas Ross was narrowly defeated by the SNP’s Seamus Logan in Aberdeenshire North and Moray East following his controversial decision to stand in place of David Duguid.

With all but one of the 57 Scottish seats declared on Friday evening, Labour held 37, the SNP nine and the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats each had five.

SNP leader John Swinney described his party’s performance as “very poor” and said they had failed to convince voters of the need for independence.

“I accept that we need to engage with, listen to and learn from the people of Scotland on how we take forward our arguments for independence,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mr Sarwar said his party had ended “14 years of Tory chaos but there have been 17 years of SNP failure and incompetence too”.

He said of the party’s 37 MPs: “These Scottish Labour MPs are going to Westminster to sit on the Government benches, to sit round the table, make decisions and help deliver for the people of Scotland. That’s the change that people have voted for.”

Scottish Lib Dem leader Alex Cole-Hamilton celebrated what he described as “the best result since our party was founded, demolishing the blue wall and toppling huge chunks of the acid yellow wall of the SNP”.

Once the winner of the contest Inverness, Skye and West Ross-shire has been declared, the final result of the 2024 general election will be known.

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