Nicola Sturgeon admits general election result in Scotland 'not a good night for SNP'

Nicola Sturgeon admits general election result in Scotland 'not a good night for SNP'

Former first minister Nicola Sturgeon has conceded the general election result is “not a good night for the SNP” after the exit poll put the party on just 10 seats.

Speaking as a pundit on ITV’s overnight coverage directly after the exit poll was published at 10pm, Sturgeon was asked if the disappointing defeat was “all her fault”.

She admitted the Nationalists’ projected seat total was at “the grimmer end of the spectrum” of what her party had hoped for.

Sturgeon told the programme: “This is not a good night for the SNP on these numbers, and there will be a lot of questions that need to be asked as we come out of it.”

If the projection holds out, it would mean the SNP's total of 48 seats in 2019 cut by a massive 38, suggesting major Labour gains north of the border.

Asked by ITV anchor Tom Bradby if people in her party would think this “absolutely disastrous result” was “all her fault”, the ex-SNP leader said: “Absolutely, I don't doubt that at all.

“This is at the grimmer end of expectations for the SNP if the exit polls are right… I suspect it will be broadly right.

“I think first of all, this is seismic for Labour and there's no getting away from that - a massive achievement for Keir Starmer.

“I think it will be interesting as the night progresses to see the extent to which this is a victory driven by a Tory collapse as opposed to a Labour surge.”

Nicola Sturgeon congratulated Keir Starmer on a 'seismic' victory. -Credit:Ross Turpie Daily Record / Sunday Mail

She added: “It looks as if Labour has also won its first election in a long time in Scotland.

“There are clearly big issues in a result of this scale for the SNP.

“The SNP has been in government for 17 years. We’re in government now at a time when austerity is really biting, the impact of Brexit is biting - of course, there were always going to be real challenges in this election.

“But it's also about the context of the election - this was a kick the Tories, get the Tories out [election].

“And that always happened to the SNP pre-independence referendum and I think we're reverting to that tonight.”

Other SNP figures have also spoken out about the seats forecast, with Deputy First Minister Kate Forbes admitting it will be a "tough night" for the Nats.

She insisted her party would "take on board" the view of voters in Scotland.

Speaking to the BBC from the count in Inverness, she said: "We will set out our agenda to regain and rebuild the trust of the voters across Scotland."

But Forbes also warned: "I would strongly caution anybody against dismissing the robust, resilient and significant number of people in this country that support independence and the next Labour government will have to contend with that."

Alba Party leader and ex-SNP first minister Alex Salmond said his former party's potential collapse was "not because of independence".

He said: "How could it be? The SNP did not even campaign on it.

"In reality, the support for independence is strong. It is the SNP who are weak. The independence case must now find new vehicles to move forward."

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