Tories unseat SNP Westminster leader Angus Robertson

Nicola Sturgeon and the 2017 election exit poll

Nicola Sturgeon's SNP has suffered a slump in support in the General Election, with the party's depute leader among several high-profile nationalists ousted from Westminster.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has conceded her plans for a second vote on independence were "undoubtedly" a factor as the SNP lost 21 seats at Westminster.

It took him from a young, up-and-coming SNP MP to the party leader who backed devolution and then led the party into government before winning a historic majority at Holyrood and coming within touching distance of independence in 2014.

Independence for Scotland looks to be a far-fetched dream for the Scottish National Party (SNP) with former leader Alex Salmond among a number of big names to lose seats to Labour and the Conservatives.

He was elected Deputy Leader of the party just previous year.

Mr Robertson, who had been the SNP's leader at Westminster, had been defending a majority of more than 9,000 but he was felled by Conservative Douglas Ross.

Speaking to the BBC, Sturgeon said: "I'm not going to rush to hasty judgements or decisions, but clearly there's thinking for me to do about the SNP result ..."

Other prominent nationalists who have lost their seats are Mike Weir, who had represented Angus in the House of Commons since 2001, and Tasmina Ahmed-Sheik, who lost the Ochil and South Perthshire seat to the Tories.

Despite losing 12 seats across the United Kingdom, the Conservatives have experienced their most successful election in three decades north of the border after winning 13 seats.

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"In any terms, that means the SNP, by winning more votes and more seats, have won this election in Scotland".

The SNP also held Kilmarnock and Loudoun; Falkirk; East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow; and Dunbartonshire West.

Gordon Brown's old seat of Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath has been taken back from the SNP.

"I'm disappointed that we have lost so many fine parliamentary colleagues, I think one thing the polls did not detect at all was a late recovery in Labour Party fortune based on the admiration of a lot of people for the performance of Jeremy Corbyn during this General Election campaign".

Swinney acknowledged that the IndyRef2 issue, which dominated debate in Scotland, had played a "significant" part in a disappointing result for the SNP.

'But overall results show the SNP will win a majority of the seats in this country and a majority of the votes'.

In Scotland, Labour performed better than many predicted, with gains in the central belt - including in Glasgow North East and Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill as they secured seven Scottish seats compared to one in 2015.

After 30 years, the Scottish Conservatives ended the SNP's grip on Moray.

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