SNP leader says 'soul searching' needed as Labour win big in Scotland

SNP leader John Swinney has said his party will do some "soul searching" as its support collapsed and Labour made large gains in Scotland.

Mr Swinney admitted the SNP had a "very poor performance" and is "not winning the argument on independence" as many of the SNP's seats turned red, matching Labour's UK-wide performance which has seen Sir Keir Starmer claiming victory.

In a devastating night for the former largest party in Scotland, Scottish Labour took back many seats it had lost over the past 10 years.

By 6am on the day after the general election, the SNP had won eight seats and lost 38 as Scottish Labour overturned more than a decade of being in the doldrums.

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The results came following a couple of years of internal SNP turbulence, with long-time leader Nicola Sturgeon quitting suddenly last year then Humza Yousaf taking over, then resigning after facing a motion of no confidence in May.

A police investigation into SNP finances is ongoing.

"It's a very poor result for the SNP tonight," Mr Swinney told the BBC.

"There will have to be a lot of soul searching as a party as a consequence of these results that have come in tonight."

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Mr Swinney said the SNP has to be "better at governing on behalf of the people of Scotland" and admitted the party was not "winning the argument" on Scottish independence.

He said: "Although we're going to have a bad election result tonight, I still believe in my head and in my heart that Scotland will be better off as an independent country.

"But we're obviously not winning that argument with the public to make that a priority at this moment, so we've got to think long and hard about how we address that question and I don't think that in the early hours of the morning after a general election I can give you the definitive answer to what we do in that circumstance."

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar, arriving at the count in Glasgow, said the push for change begins on Friday.

His party beat the SNP in the early results in Scotland and he said he was "confident we're going to win this election in Scotland" - which has come true.

Among the Labour victories was former minister Douglas Alexander, who won Lothian East with 23,555 after losing his seat in 2015.

The Scottish Conservatives saw their leader Douglas Ross lose Aberdeenshire North and Moray East to the SNP after stepping in to stand at the last minute instead of David Duguid who was recovering from an illness.