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PICTURES: How the count chaos night unfolded as political rivals were forced to accept recount


By Scott Maclennan

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The count in full swing prior to problems emerging. Picture: Callum Mackay.
The count in full swing prior to problems emerging. Picture: Callum Mackay.

Elections and politics can be brutal but last night was especially cruel to those standing to represent the Inverness, Skye and West Ross-shire seat.

But voters will have to wait until tomorrow to find who their MP will be for certain following a night of high drama which saw the count fail to deliver a clear winner.

On the count floor seasoned observers felt sure that the Liberal Democrats had one – the simple method is that Angus MacDonald had the most boxes.

The election count at the Highland Football Academy in Dingwall. Picture: Callum Mackay.
The election count at the Highland Football Academy in Dingwall. Picture: Callum Mackay.

In each box there are 500 ballots and the Lib Dem had either three or four more than the next highest, which was the SNP’s Drew Hendry.

It was extremely hard not to feel sympathy for Mr Hendry who has been an MP since 2015 and had been widely expected to win.

Yet throughout the evening as it became more apparent that this was not going to be his night, he remained affable, talking to those around him despite the obvious strain.

Drew Hendry tells supporters they will have to come back the next day after a postponed vote. Picture: Callum Mackay.
Drew Hendry tells supporters they will have to come back the next day after a postponed vote. Picture: Callum Mackay.

One of Mr Hendry’s closest members of staff acknowledged that Mr MacDonald had probably won but that they did not want to disrespect the process.

Then they told me that it was a shame for Mr MacDonald because he cannot celebrate while Mr Hendry would have to wait to hear the inevitable.

Deputy First Minister Kate Forbes was also there and she stayed until the bitter end to support Mr Hendry.

Kate Forbes stayed to the bitter end supporting the SNP candidate Drew Hendry. Picture: Callum Mackay.
Kate Forbes stayed to the bitter end supporting the SNP candidate Drew Hendry. Picture: Callum Mackay.

The situation was nervy for Angus MacDonald as well. Both he and his team were left wondering how it was they could have won - yet not been declared the winners.

At one point, Mr MacDonald left the count and returned with much needed bacon rolls for a supporters and even some members of the media.

Angus MacDonald (right) confers with his election agent about the result. Picture: Callum Mackay.
Angus MacDonald (right) confers with his election agent about the result. Picture: Callum Mackay.

For many the pace of a modern election was too much and their energy was spent, prompting them to take a nap on the count floor.

Others propped themselves up in the chairs where they sat.

And some more as the pace of the election got too much for sleepyheads. Picture: Callum Mackay.
And some more as the pace of the election got too much for sleepyheads. Picture: Callum Mackay.

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