Former first minister Alex Salmond loses Commons seat in stunning Tory victory

"Nicola Sturgeon, I hope you're listening".

Gerard Killen claimed the seat for Jeremy Corbyn's party with 19,101 votes, defeating the SNP's Margaret Ferrier, who won the constituency in 2015 but who polled 18,836 votes this time round.

The SNP had 54 seats in the outgoing parliament, making it the third-biggest party in Westminster.

At the vote count in Glasgow, Sturgeon said it was still the second-best result in the SNP's history, though "clearly I have to reflect on the result in the days to come".

SNP sources say Mr Blackford, the MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber, has the backing of a number of MPs in the Westminster group.

The nationalist had held the seat of Moray since 2001 and was defending a majority of 9,065.

Mr Salmond was swept away by a Scottish Conservative surge that saw an historic resurgence in the Scottish borders and the north east.

The former First Minister spoke warmly of the area's diversity as he handed over power to Colin Clark of the Conservatives.

But her unionist opponents believed there was little enthusiasm among Scots to revisit the independence issue so soon after the 55-45 vote in 2014 against leaving the United Kingdom, and Sturgeon's own timetable for it perceptibly slipped during the election campaign to a more distant and less precise date, once the process of Brexit was complete.

The BBC/ITV/Sky exit poll forecast the SNP could lose 22 seats in this election, far more than commercial polls had been predicting. She called this election to secure a mandate for her negotiating position, and the electorate snubbed her.

The Tories won the region of Angus from the SNP, previously among one of the nationalists' safer seats.

"I don't recall us ever voting for significant Tory policy in the past and it would be hard to see in the current climate with the austerity cuts, hard Brexit party, that we would want to support them in any way in this future parliament".

Black told BBC Scotland: "I'm glad to be re-elected to go back down and continue to batter into whoever is in government that austerity is not working, it's not benefiting people's lives whatsoever".

He joined the party in 1973 while at St Andrews University and was elected MP for Banff and Buchan in 1987, gaining prominence when he was suspended for a week for disrupting the chancellor's budget speech the following year.

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale said she was "hugely encouraged" by the results.

"I think it's very clear that any plan Nicola Sturgeon had for a second independence referendum has to disappear as a result of this election". There were so many SNP MPs who had 10,000 or larger majorities who now find they are sitting on perhaps a dozen or just under 100.

  • Leroy Wright