Carmichael pledges to put local priorities first

The general election result points to a desire from voters to move beyond “polarisation and populism”.

That is the view of MP Alistair Carmichael, who successfully held the Orkney and Shetland seat at Thursday’s vote.

Mr Carmichael is now beginning his seventh consecutive term as isles MP, having first been elected to the isles in 2001.

Thanking voters for their support, Mr Carmichael said he hoped the result, which gave Labour a landslide victory under now Prime Minister Keir Starmer, would be an opportunity to “reset our political discourse”.

“The collapse of both the Conservatives and the SNP demonstrates that voters want to move past polarisation and populism and see practical results,” he said.

“Now is surely a moment for us to move on from the politics of identity, to put these divisions behind us, and again to make politics about ideas.”

He said the election nationally had been “quite extraordinary”, and voiced his delight to see a record number of Liberal Democrats joining him in the House of Commons.

Mr Carmichael paid tribute to the “well-fought and positive” campaign led by leader Ed Davey and the entire party across the UK.

Perhaps a cherry on top for the Lib Dems was the declared win of Inverness, Skye and Wester Ross, where an announcement was delayed because of a recount.

The Lib Dems have now regained the seat, taking it from the SNP. The area was previously a Lib Dem heartland when it was held by the late Charles Kennedy.

“People across the country will now have hard-working liberal representation, putting local priorities first,” said Mr Carmichael.

“Keir Starmer of course has to be congratulated on his victory and I wish him well as he builds his new government.

“When the dust settles on the general election result, I hope it will be recognised as an opportunity to reset our political discourse.”

He added: “I want to thank the voters of Orkney and Shetland for putting their trust in me again to serve as their MP. I have always worked to be open and accessible to all who are in need of help in our community, without fear or favour – that remains my promise to people in the isles.

Mr Carmichael earned 11,392 votes, beating the SNP’s Robert Leslie into second.

Mr Leslie earned 3,585 votes, with the gap between the pair over three times as much as it was in 2019.


Get Latest News in Your Inbox

Join the The Shetland Times mailing list to get one daily email update at midday on what's happening in Shetland.