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Friday, May 7, 1999 Published at 02:53 GMT 03:53 UK

The Scottish election in quotes

Vote 99 Special Coverage
Scotland's first 'general election' for nearly 300 years is provoking lively comment from politicians as Labour look certain to be the largest party in the new parliament, without an overall majority.

[ image: Donald Dewar: Looking to a new Scotland]
Donald Dewar: Looking to a new Scotland
Labour's Scottish leader Donald Dewar said the new parliament heralded the birth of a new Scotland: "The first six words of the Scotland Act read simply `there shall be a Scottish Parliament'.

"With those simple words Scotland's politics are forever changed. I am proud, and my party is proud, to be associated with that change.

"With these six simple words Scotland is a very different place."

Tim Franks: "The Scottish elections are turning into a story of two parts"
The first member of the new parliament to be elected, Labour MSP Tom McCabe, marked the occasion by echoing former Labour leader John Smith's words saying: "This parliament is the settled will of the Scottish people and I think we all have an obligation to make it work."

The former Labour MP for Falkirk West, Dennis Canavan, who was expelled from the party after deciding to stand as an independent, said his victory was "tinged with sadness".

Dennis Canavan: "I hope there can be a reconsiliation"
He added: "I say this to my friends and colleagues in the Labour Party - I do hope that some reconciliation may be possible - but on my part there will be no compromise on the principles and policies that I have always held dear and which I used to think the Labour Party also held dear."

Alex Salmond: "I think the SNP will be the only party in Scotland who are moving forward"
SNP leader Alex Salmond told his constituents that all MSPs had a "responsibility to make sure that the parliament works well for Scotland and builds the confidence of the Scottish people and takes this nation on to national freedom and independence".

Lord Strathclyde, Tory leader in the Lords, said his party would climb out of fourth place in Scotland: "By the end of the night we will beat the Liberal Democrats into becoming the third party."

[ image: Jim Wallace: Predicting a new style of politics]
Jim Wallace: Predicting a new style of politics
Scottish Lib Dem leader Jim Wallace told his constituents in Orkney: "This parliament could bring in a new style of government to Scotland."

Looking at the exit polls Labour campaign strategist Douglas Alexander said: "If these figures are anything to go by it suggests the Scottish people have rejected separatism".

After failing to win a constituency seat in Edinburgh Scottish Tory leader David McLetchie said that although he would enter the parliament through the list system: "There are no first and no second class members.

"It's not how you got there it's what you do when you get there," he said.

After winning a seat through the top up list the Scottish Socialist candidate Tommy Sheridan said the indications from Pollock and other Glasgow constituencies demonstrated a profound disillusionment with a Labour Party that is "no longer socialist in any shape or form".

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