Scottish Election 2021 results: Michael Matheson re-elected in Falkirk West for fourth term
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Mr Matheson gained a mammoth 21,492 votes – 54.1 per cent of the vote, taking his majority to 11,839.
Scottish Labour candidate Monette Gordon took second place with 9,653 votes (24.3 per cent), beating Conservative and Unionist candidate Stephen Kerr into third place with 7,343 votes (18.3 per cent).
Scottish Liberal Democrats candidate Austin Reid took 1,115 votes – 2.8 per cent of the vote.
There were 154 ballot papers rejected.
Mr Matheson, who has represented Falkirk West since 2007, said it was the “privilege of his life” to serve the constituency and that he was “overwhelmed” to be returned for the fourth time.
Although his 54.1 per cent share of the vote was marginally down on 2016’s mammoth 56.9 per cent, the 21,492 votes he received was the highest number ever cast for a candidate in the Falkirk West constituency.
In his speech following the announcement, Mr Matheson said the result “is a reflection and an endorsement our position as a party making sure that Scotland’s future is in Scotland’s hands”.
“The government will take us through the pandemic, build a recovery and make sure that Scotland becomes an independent nation again,” he said.
Mr Matheson thanked all of his supporters and his campaign team, admitting that at times it had been frustrating not to be able to “knock doors” and campaign properly.
He said: “One thing I will always do, I will always serve my constituents to the best of my ability, irrespective of my political views.”
Ms Gordon also thanked her campaign team and those who had supported her, especially the voters who came out on a cold wet day and were prepared to queue to cast their votes.
“I feel this is just the beginning of the journey,” she said.
Mr Kerr added his congratulations to Mr Matheson for the result.
But he added that he wanted to see the SNP Government have a “laser focus” on recovery in the next parliament.