Most people do not realize
was settled 8,500 years before the first records of Britain
existed, and since the 13th Century, Scots have been fighting for independence
from England and . Great Britain
Well the day of reckoning may have arrived and the savior of
Scotland is not Sir William
Wallace from "Braveheart" but a diminutive 5' 4" and 44 year
old, woman has emerged as the newest hope to lead Scotland back to independence and
return the country to the incredible nation that has contributed so much to the
Nicola Ferguson Sturgeon (born July 19, 1970) has never set foot in
- but, as the leader of the SNP, she may yet exert significant influence on the
result of the General Election. As Scotland's serving First Minister,
she is also the only leader apart from Nick Clegg and David Cameron to have
already run a country.
Irvine, Ayrshire, one
of three daughters of Robert Sturgeon (and electrician) and Joan Sturgeon (a
nurse), she studied law at the and worked as
a solicitor. But in 1992, the year she graduated, she had already been an SNP
member for six years - and that same year became University
of Glasgow Scotland's youngest parliamentary
Sturgeon came to the Party through the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (scrapping
nuclear weapons is now one of her policies). She stood unsuccessfully in the
General Elections of 1992 and 1997, but won a seat in the new devolved Scottish
Parliament. She planned to run for the party leadership in 2004, but withdrew
when Alex Salmond announced his candidacy, falling into place behind him
instead as his running mate. From 2007 to 2014, through the SNP's first
minority government and its first landslide win, she was Deputy First Minister;
when Salmond resigned in the wake of the failed referendum on Independence, nobody even stood against her
to replace him.
And she hasn't been shy about the demands she would make of Ed Miliband. She wants to remove the £26,000 annual benefits cap and get £180 billion more public spending; she wants the welfare system to be more generous and the minimum wage to rise to £8.70 an hour. She has described blocking a renewal of the Trident nuclear submarine programme as her "absolute" red line. She sees herself as the spearhead of a progressive front in
All the while, the shadow of Alex Salmond is looming over her. Opponents say her leadership is being undermined by his frequent interventions, with some accusing her of being in his pocket. At the SNP's spring conference he was supposed to have just a fringe meeting but instead ended up hogging the main stage. Even putting aside the sexism she faces as the SNP's first female leader, she has repeatedly had to insist that she, not he, is leading the party. When he stepped down as party leader, she spoke of the "immeasurable" debt she owed him for his "constant advice, guidance and support".
But don't underestimate her. In her early days, she had a reputation for being too serious. Some called her "nippy sweetie" -
Her one big scandal came from a letter she wrote for a constituent, Abdul Rauf, who was charged with defrauding over £80,000 in benefits. She later apologised for asking the judge not to jail him.
Sturgeon lives in
Here are more of the news stories about her rise to power.
Now Cameron faces SECOND fight to save the
Union: Prime Minister may have to grant Sturgeon even
MORE power - including fiscal autonomy - to fend off SNP insurgency
Nicola Sturgeon crowned Queen of Scots as she says landslide victory is 'watershed in Scottish politics'
The SNP leader saw her party win a landslide north of the border, gaining seat after seat as Ed Miliband's party lost tens of thousands of votes.
Arriving at the
“This is a watershed in the politics of this country and all the SNP candidates must now work to stand up for
Her offer to form a Government with Labour remained in place, but is unlikely to be taken up.
Labour lost what was its safest Scot seat, the SNP seizing the Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath constituency which had been held by Gordon Brown.
With an SNP landslide, Labour candidate Kenny Selbie failed to follow in his footsteps.
As results came through in
In a matter of hours, as the city's seven seats were declared, Labour lost power in every one.
The SNP also took
The SNP is celebrating the most important moment in its history after an
“electoral tsunami” swept
election results: SNP
celebrates 'electoral tsunami' as Labour obliterated Scotland
Nicola Sturgeon’s party won 56 of
Alex Salmond, the party’s former leader who failed to win independence for
Among the more remarkable results on a historic night for the SNP was its defeat of Jim Murphy, the Scottish Labour leader, who lost his
Politics student Mhairi Black, representing the pro-independence Scottish National Party (SNP), took Paisley and Renfrewshire South, a constituency outside
from Douglas Alexander, Labour's election chief and a former Cabinet minister.
"It has clearly been a very difficult and disappointing night for the Labour party," Ed Miliband told supporters as he retained his own seat. He cited a "surge of nationalism in
as having affected the Labour party's results.
British election results produce seismic political shift in Scotland
election 2015 results: SNP landslide amid
almost total Labour wipeout - as it happened Scotland
Nicola Sturgeon's party surges
to victory in 56 out of 59 seats as Labour suffers almost total election
- as it happened Scotland
The SNP has entirely altered the political landscape in
winning 56 of the nation's 59 seats - many of them on record-breaking swings.
To recap, here is the party's night by numbers.
The largest took place in Glasgow North East, where a swing of 39.3pc saw Anne McLaughlin gain the seat from Labour's Willie Bain. This had been Labour's safest seat going into the election.
There was another huge swing of 36.2pc from the SNP to Labour in
Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill,
and one of 35.2% in Glasgow South West.
Nicola Sturgeon's party also enjoyed a 34.9pc swing from Labour in Glenrothes, and 34.6pc in Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, the former seat of Labour's Gordon Brown.
Further huge gains were made in
and Wishaw, with a 33.8pc swing, and Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and
Kirkintilloch East, where the swing was 31.7pc.
History was made in Paisley and
Renfrewshire, where shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander
lost his seat to 20-year-old Mhairi Black, who became the youngest MP since
Former SNP leader Alex Salmond won in the Aberdeenshire seat of Gordon, overturning a 7,000-Liberal Democrat majority in a seat that was held by Sir Malcolm Bruce for 32 years.
A total of three seats did not fall to the SNP. Alistair Carmichael held on to Orkney and Shetland for the Liberal Democrats, Labour's Ian Murray retained Edinburgh South and David Mundell kept Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale for the Conservative Party.
The SNP won only six seats at the 2010 general election. Their total now stands at 56. The party ended up with a 50pc share of the vote in
up by 30 points from 2010. Labour won just 24.3pc of the vote, down by 17.7
points from five years ago.
07.59 Johnson proposes 'federal offer'
turns yellow, Boris Johnson - the London Mayor and new Conservative MP for
Uxbridge - says:
There has to be some kind of federal offer. Everybody needs to take a deep breath and think about how we want the
UK to progress.
I think even most people in the SNP, probably in their heart of hearts, most people who voted SNP tonight, do not want to throw away absolutely everything.
News comments by the clock during election night
07.53 Adopting SNP proposals?
The Conservatives could now adopt SNP proposals on devolution, Political Correspondent
Matthew Holehouse tweets.
07.44 'We will make
voice heard at Westminster'
"What a result," tweets Nicola Sturgeon after the SNP's landslide victory in
07.35 Worst ever result for Labour in
This makes it the worst ever general election result in
Labour after the party won just one seat north of the border.
The party was all but wiped out as the SNP surged to victory across the country. With only one MP returned - Ian Murray in Edinburgh South - Labour's showing is worse than in 1906, its first election when it won two seats.
07.28 Final seat decleared
The final seat in
Scotland has been declared -
Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk has gone to the SNP.
It means the party has finished with 56 out of
seats - a humiliating loss for Labour and triumph for Nicola Sturgeon.
07.23 Electoral tsunami
The strongest comments of the night in
from Alex Salmond, who said the SNP had triggered an "electoral
As the SNP swept up one Labour stronghold after another - toppling the party's Scottish leader Jim Murphy and shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander and snatching the former constituency of ex-prime minister Mr Brown - the party's former leader Mr Salmond said there had been an "electoral tsunami" north of the border.
Mr Salmond, who returned to Parliament as MP for Gordon, said: "There's going to be a lion roaring tonight, a Scottish lion, and it's going to roar with a voice that no government of whatever political complexion is going to be able to ignore."
07.00 One seat to declare
There is just one Scottish seat left to declare - Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk.
59 seats, so far 55 have been declared SNP, one Labour, one Tory and one Lib
06.45 Danny Alexander says Lib Dems should 'hold [their] heads high'
Now for some more comments from Mr Alexander, after losing his seat to SNP: "It's been a very tough election and a lot of us have been swept away by this tidal wave of nationalism that has taken over many constituencies in
We all have to reflect on that.
He said he was proud of what he had achieved for the area and in government, adding: "I'm grateful for the support I received, but it wasn't enough.
"Drew Hendry has been elected and good luck to him."
He said while the number of votes he had received was "very similar" to his tally in 2010, but this time round he had not had enough to win.
"That's deeply disappointing," Mr Alexander said.
"But I think as Liberals, and Liberal Democrats, we should hold our heads high in terms of what we've achieved in the country, but clearly we have a lot of rebuilding to do.
"The flame of
liberalism will keep burning and our job is to make it burn brighter in the
years to come."
06.43 Charles Kennedy wants to stay in politics
If you have just joined us, good morning. If you've been with us all through the night - stay strong!
Former Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy says he plans to remain involved in politics despite becoming one of the many casualties of the night at the hands of the SNP.
He was beaten into second place in the Ross, Skye and Lochaber constituency by Nationalist Ian Blackford, who won with 20,119 votes, a majority of 5,124.
Mr Kennedy, who got 14,995 votes, said serving as an MP had been the "greatest privilege" of his public life.
After the result was announced, he said:
I'll obviously personally be sorry not to be a voice in the Commons contributing to that debate.
Although I certainly intend to continue to contribute in whatever way possible to the wider political debate and the activity of the Liberal Democrats.
The greatest privilege of my public life over these past 32 years has to be being entrusted with the responsibility of representing this constituency.
That is thanks to a generation and more of voters who have extended that trust to me and I hope looking back over those 32 years they will feel that it was trust well placed.
06.30 Danny Alexander on losing his seat: 'that's democracy'
Danny Alexander is speaking to the BBC following his defeat. He said: "I've lost an election, that's democracy" adding: "We fought a very good campaign locally...we've seen this SNP wave across
think I've fallen victim to that more than anything else."
He declined to comment on Nick Clegg's next moves, saying: "I think that's for him to say".
Asked whether he thought going into coalition with the Conservatives would cost the Lib Dems so dearly, he said: "I thought that it would potentially cost us seats in some places [but] I didn't expect results as bad as those tonight."
He added that in the face of rising nationalist parties such as SNP, "Liberalism has never been more needed in our country than now".
Danny Alexander, Esther McVey, Vince Cable and Douglas Alexander all lost their seats
06.15 Press Association take a look back at Danny Alexander's rise to power, and his dramatic - though not entirely unpredictable - fall from grace.
Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander has become the highest ranking politician in
Scotland to lose his seat in the
The Liberal Democrat, who was at the heart of the coalition government, is one of many who have been ousted from office in the wake of the SNP's historic landslide.
He was elected as the MP for
Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey back in 2005, but has now lost that title to
nationalist Drew Hendry.
The senior Liberal Democrat joined the "quad" alongside Nick Clegg, David Cameron and George Osborne, when David Laws resigned just days after the government was formed.
Mr Alexander spent the rest of the parliament alongside the Chancellor, hammering away at the public finances and becoming Mr Clegg's effective number two.
But becoming the public face of spending cuts and a Tory chancellor's deputy has cost the former head of communications at the Cairngorms National Park Authority.
Mr Alexander spent time on the Lib Dem "differentiation" strategy towards the end, culminating in the delivery of an alternative budget in March.
But the stunt, which included the presentation of a bright yellow budget box, backfired and was widely viewed as a farcical use of the Commons.
During the campaign, Mr Alexander released details of what he said were Tory plans to slash welfare.
Voters in Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey walked away from the man they first elected in 2005, swept up by anti-Liberal Democrat feeling and surging support for the Scottish National Party.
The crushing verdict was predicted by polls by Lord Ashcroft, who found support for Mr Alexander had collapsed.
Nicola Sturgeon declared the SNP's stunning
Westminster success a "historic
watershed" in Scottish politics.
SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon celebrates with supporters as her party wins yet another seat from Labour (PA)
Danny Alexander, the former Chief Secretary of the Treasury, becomes the latest Lib Dem to lose his seat.
He lost the Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey seat to the SNP's Drew Hendry.
Several Lib Dem MPs skipped his 'alternative fiscal plan' in March, and now it appears several voters have skipped his name on the ballot paper as they scan for the SNP candidate.
05.50 Here is Simon Johnson's round up of the evening so far: SNP tsunami swamps Scotland and destroys Labour
The SNP has staged an unprecedented and historic landslide general election rout in
that saw Labour all but wiped out in its former stronghold and the United Kingdom
facing a major new threat to its future.
On an extraordinary night north of the Border that left any hope Ed Miliband had of winning power in tatters, the Nationalists polled more than 50 per cent of the votes and was on course to take at least 55 of Scotland’s 59 seats compared to just one for the Labour, one for the Tories and one for the Liberal Democrats.
Nicola Sturgeon after casting her ballot at Broomhouse Community Hall in
Oh dear. It has not been a good night for the Lib Dems.
Sir Menzies Campbell, the former Scottish Liberal Democrat leader, says
must prepare for a second referendum.
Meanwhile, Charles Kennedy - who lost his seat to SNP - calls tonight the "Night of the long sgian dubhs".
Nick Clegg said he would be discussing his leadership with Liberal Democrat colleagues after a "cruel and punishing night for his party".
Miliband on a 'disappointing and difficult night'
05.,30 Charles Kennedy is the latest in a series of high profile Labour and Lib Dem MPs to have lost their seats to SNP.
Earlier this evening, Douglas Alexander, Labour's shadow foreign secretary, lost his seat to Mhairi Black, a 20-year old student representing SNP is the youngest MP in more than 300 years.
Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy also lost his seat in
East Renfrewshire to SNP.
Lib Dem ex-business minister Jo Swinson lost her east Dunbartonshire to the SNP.
05.25 Yet another high profile loss for the Lib Dems in
Charles Kennedy loses his Ross, Skye
and Lochaber seat to the SNP's Ian Blackford - an old adversary of
Geographically this is the
UK's largest seat - most
settlements are extremely remote and sparsely populated. It includes Ben Nevis,
Charles Kennedy, the former Liberal Democrat leader, was elected here in 1983 in the SDP's only gain. He was reelected in 2010 with over 50% of the vote, but it seems even the traditionally liberal
were not safe from the SNP's surge.
News just in from Simon Johnson, our Scottish political editor:
Recount in Berwickshire Roxburgh and Selkirk. The incumbent is Michael Moore, the Lib Dem former Scottish Secretary, but it is thought that it will be taken by either the Tories or the SNP
Ruth Davidson, leader of the Scottish Tories, congratulates David Mundell, the only Tory MP in
Scotland so far.
If you are still awake, give yourself a pat on the back - you are a real trooper.
If you are flagging, here are seven tips for staying awake all night, courtesy of Telegraph Men.
David Mundell, the only Tory MP in
time, holds on in Dumfriesshire,
Clydesdale and Tweeddale
This is the Conservatives' sole Scottish seat since 2005. They had 36 in 1955.
Mundell is (somewhat inevitably) a minister in the Scottish Office. Labour were his closest challenger in 2010, albeit 9% back, but the SNP have surged since then and Ashcroft had them level with Mundell in a February poll. The Tories faced being wiped out in
Scotland for the second time if he
He managed to hold on to the seat, but it was a close shave. Mundell had 20,759 votes versus 19,961 for SNP's Emma Harper.
is likely to have at least as many Conservative as Labour MPs! The Tories could
also win the neighbouring Scottish Border seat.
Elsewhere, more SNP victories in Edinburgh East (from Labour) and in Caithness, Sutherland & Easter Ross (from Lib Dem)
Caithness, Sutherland & Easter Ross has a colourful electoral history. There's a strong Liberal tradition - the party's leader at the 1945 election, Archibald Sinclair, was the MP here for 23 years - which continues to this day in the form of Lib Dem incumbent Robert Maclennan, who came from Labour via the Social Democrats, and briefly led the party.
04.35 Labour hold a Scottish seat
The unthinkable has happened - Labour has managed to hold a seat in
Labour's Ian Murray has held Edinburgh South with a slim majority. Labour won 19,293 votes, compared to SNP's 16,656
BIG NEWS - Labour wins what looks like its only seat in
Ian Murray holds Edinburgh South. Neil Hay, his SNP opponent, was exposed as
being a Cybernat troll during the campaign
Ben Riley-Smith reports from Alex Salmond's count in Gordon.
Alex Salmond is an MP again. The former First Minister has just been elected in Gordon.
04.15 Calls for Jim Murphy to resign
Labour's Ian Davidson, who lost his Glasgow South-West seat to the SNP, said Mr Murphy could not now continue as leader and called on him to resign. He told the BBC:
He was elected as party leader on the basis that he was an MP. Only MPs and MSPs can stand for the leadership.
Morally, as the man who has led us to the biggest ever disaster that Labour has suffered in
Scotland ... of course he can't
The process of rebuilding the Labour party has got to start with an examination of both personnel and ideas.
And therefore Jim has got to do the honourable thing and resign. I'm sure once he has got time to reflect, he will do that.
04.10 Mhairi Black:
Britain's youngest MP for 350 years
04.05 Alistair Darling's former seat of Edinburgh South West goes to the SNP
04.00 The first Scottish seat has been won by a party other than the SNP - Alistair Carmichael, the Scottish Secretary, holds on in Orkney and Shetland
This seat represented the Lib Dems' highest share of the vote in 2010 and one of their last remaining bastions in
fact, some projections put this as the only Lib Dem win north of the border.
Throughout the 1950s, this was the Liberals' only Scottish seat.
Although the SNP looks like it is being denied the chance to hold a power balance at
and back a Labour government, many of its critics claim that another Tory
government is exactly what the Nats desire.
Although Ms Sturgeon has hotly denied this, many nationalists reckon that they have a better chance of achieving independence if they have a right wing government in
pursuing policies that would be unpopular in Scotland.
Nicola Sturgeon has told BBC Scotland: "This is shaping up to be an outstandingly good night for the SNP but I think a good night for
tectonic plates of Scottish politics have clearly shifted – what we are seeing
is a historic shift in Scottish political opinion.
“It hasn’t happened overnight, not even in the last seven months since the referendum, although that’s accelerated the process, but Labour has been losing the trust of people in
Scotland now over a period of
Miss Sturgeon rode a wave of support north of the border throughout the campaign (Getty Images)
Rejecting Labour claims he is to blame for Mr Cameron’s imminent victory, she said that if the parliamentary arithmetic does not mean the Tories can be “locked out” of Downing Street “that will be because Labour has failed to beat the Conservatives in England. Labour cannot blame the SNP for that.”
Ms Sturgeon insisted she would not do a deal with the Prime Minister to get full fiscal autonomy, adding: “The Tories cannot ignore what has happened in Scotland tonight – Scotland has clearly voted for an end to austerity and more investment in our public services and a stronger economy. These are the messages we will now take to the very heart of