Newly-elected MSP Jackie Dunbar has pledged to make fighting the “perfect storm” facing Aberdeen Donside her first priority.
Ms Dunbar, a long-serving Aberdeen city councillor, was voted in as the new Donside representative in Holyrood with more than 50% of the vote.
Shortly after being announced as the winner, she pledged to “stick up for folk no matter how they voted”.
“Donside is made up of so many different communities and right now we have been hit by the perfect storm,” she added.
“We have the oil and gas downturn, we’ve got Brexit and we’ve got Covid.
“There is going to be an awful lot of work ahead to make sure Aberdeen Donside is represented and anyone who knows me knows I have quite a loud mouth and don’t tend to let go of things.
“I’ve represented my ward for 14 years and they are not scared to tell you when you’ve done something wrong. I am a big believer in sticking up for folk and I will continue to do that.”
‘I say that with a lump in my throat’
Ms Dunbar revealed she would take inspiration from the late Brian Adam, who was the SNP MSP for Donside from 2003 until his death in 2013.
“We have had strong representation since 2003 from the late Brian Adam,” she said. “Everything I know as a politician I learned from that man.
“He taught me and he taught me well, and I still try to live up to his standards every day. I say that with a lump in my throat because I know I will be following him.
“His work has carried on and if everyone did what he did we wouldn’t go far wrong in life.”
Tories increase vote share
Despite defeat, the Scottish Conservatives almost doubled their number of votes in Donside from around 5,000 to more than 9,000.
Candidate Harriet Cross declared herself “delighted” with their result – and pledged to continue pressing Ms Dunbar on issues such as education.
“We are absolutely delighted with how the result went,” Ms Cross said. “We increased our vote share compared to 2016 and the number of votes has gone up significantly.
“It shows our campaign, which was based on recovering and rebuilding Scotland, really broke through to voters.
“All our messages were almost being recited back to us, which is obviously what you want to hear.
“I am really concerned about how education standards are slipping in Scotland and it’s something we really need to focus on in Aberdeen Donside.
“We have got great schools there but we need to make sure they are delivering for our children.”