‘The need for Liberal voices is greater than ever before’ — Carmichael
Alistair Carmichael said that, in the immediate aftermath of being voted in as Member of Parliament for Orkney and Shetland, representing the people of the Northern Isles is the “greatest privilege” of his political career.
Mr Carmichael fended off a challenge from his main rival, SNP candidate Robert Leslie, by more than 2,500 votes, receiving 10,381 in contrast to Mr Leslie’s 7,874.
The Liberal Democrats took 44.8 per cent of the votes in Orkney and Shetland with 23,240 votes were cast.
“To make myself available for local people when they need and to speak up for these very special communities is an enormous privilege,” said Mr Carmichael following the announcement of results on Friday morning.
“It has always been my first priority as member of parliament and it will continue to do so now.”
While it was delight for Mr Carmichael and his team, nationally, it wasn’t such a good night for the Liberal Democrats.
They lost one seat — their leader Jo Swinson lost her Dumbartonshire East seat to the SNP — and currently hold 11 with just one more seat to declare.
The Conservatives surged to a huge victory, winning 364 seats so far, up from 47 in 2017, to secure their biggest margin of victory since the 1980s.
Mr Carmichael said: “The prospect of Boris Johnson in Number 10 with little or no restraint on him is a grim one for those of us of progressive politics who care about human rights and who care about the rule of law.
“The next five years is going to be a difficult and dangerous time for the United Kingdom. But at a time when so much of our politics seems to be about division and disruption, the need for liberal voices to put the case for unity and solidarity is greater than ever before.
“That is the task to which I dedicate myself tonight. I am enormously grateful and massively delighted that the people in Orkney and Shetland have again declared today that that is how they want to do their politics and they again have chosen the politics of unity over the politics of division.”