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Last Updated: Friday, 4 May 2007, 03:48 GMT 04:48 UK
Salmond achieves Holyrood victory
Alex Salmond

SNP leader Alex Salmond has pulled off a dramatic election victory after taking the Gordon seat from the Scottish Liberal Democrats.

He ejected Nora Radcliffe, MSP for the seat in the last Scottish Parliament, to win with a majority of 2,062.

The result, a 10.7% swing to the SNP from the Lib Dems, was a huge personal triumph for Mr Salmond.

He said in his victory speech that there was a "wind of change" blowing through Scottish politics.

Mr Salmond, also the MP for Banff and Buchan, took 14,650 votes in the contest, with Ms Radcliffe coming in on 12,588.

The new Gordon MSP said: "There is a wind of change blowing through Scottish politics. That is evident, at least, from the results we have seen so far."

'Totally unacceptable'

Mr Salmond also said it was "entirely possible" that Labour would have its lowest share of the vote in Scotland since 1922.

"When the party list votes are counted over the next 24 hours we will find quite possibly that Labour have lost in terms of the popular vote for the first time in half a century," he said.

The Nationalist leader criticised postal voting arrangements for the election, which he said had been "totally inadequate" and the combination of Holyrood and local council elections being held on the same day.

He said: "It is also the case that the decision to conduct an STV election at the same time as a first-past-the-post ballot for the Scottish Parliament was deeply mistaken.

"As a direct result, tens of thousands of votes across Scotland have been discounted. That is totally unacceptable in a democratic society."

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