Tony Blair won an historic third term for Labour
in the general election on Thursday, but across Scotland serious inroads
were made into the party's once monolithic majorities.

Labour lost five seats in
Scotland, while the Liberal Democrats overtook the SNP's share of the vote.

extensive boundary changes and a fall in the number of Scottish seats,
the nationalists had a mixed result, increasing their tally of Westminster
to six but falling behind the Lib Dems on the popular vote for the first
time. Alec Salmond's party won Na H-eileanan – the Western Isles – from
Labour as well as Dundee East. However, across the country the SNP suffered
as it struggled to consolidate its post-devolution position.

The Lib Dems will
be pleased with gains in the East Dumbartonshire and Inverness, Nairn,
Badenoch and Strathspey seats. Charles Kennedy will now be one of ten Scottish
Lib Dem
MPs and can claim to lead the second most popular party in Scotland.
The party also has the youngest Scottish MP following 25-year-old Jo Swinson's
taking East Dumbartonshire from Labour's John Lyons.

The Conservatives
lost their one Tory MP from the last parliament, Peter Duncan, who could
not hold
his new seat, but did see MSP David Mundell elected to Westminster
in Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweedale.

Labour held on in Edinburgh where
Darling and Nigel Griffiths were thought to be under threat. Scottish
Secretary Darling won Edinburgh South West with a comfortable majority
of more than 7,000
and said he accepted that people wanted the government to do more
for them.

He said: "It also shows that they want us as a government to listen and to
learn from what people are saying and we need to do that."

The Scottish
Green Party saw its share of the vote increase across the 19 seats
it contested, to 1.1% of the national vote. Co-convenor Robin Harper said: "I'm terribly
pleased with our performance – it's better than we have ever done before.
If this election had been a representative one, we would probably be looking
at two Scottish Green MPs elected."

The SSP, however, saw its share of
the national vote fall from 3.1% to 1.9%. "We expected a tough time," said
convenor Colin Fox.

More than 2.3 million people went to the polls in Scotland,
giving a total turnout of 60.5%, up 2.6% from 2001.

South of the
border former Glasgow Kelvin MP George Galloway, who was expelled by Labour
last year, won
the safe Labour seat of Bethnal Green and Bow from Oona King.

New UK Ministers

a cabinet reshuffle by Tony Blair, David Blunkett has returned as Work and
Pensions Secretary.
The former Home Secretary has been reinstated to Mr Blair's front
bench after resigning his post after allegations over his private life.

expected, John
Reid has been rewarded with a move to defence with Patricia
Hewitt taking over as Health Secretary.

Geoff Hoon becomes Leader of the Commons
while Alan Johnson
takes over the new post of Secretary for Productivity, Energy
and Industry.

Meanwhile, John Prescott appears to have lost some departmental
being listed as First Secretary of State.

David Miliband
joins the cabinet for
the first time as Minister of Communities and Local Government
while Peter Hain moves to take over responsibilities as Secretary
for Northern Ireland

John Hutton also joins the front bench as Cabinet
Office Minister and Des Browne is another addition as Chief Treasury Secretary.

of the
Exchequer Gordon Brown and Foreign Secretary Jack
Straw retain
their respective positions.

In Scotland, Deputy First Minister
Jim Wallace has announced his
resignation. He is to stand down as leader of the
Scottish Liberal
Democrats, and has also said he will relinquish his role as
an MSP and leave the Scottish
Parliament at the next election in 2007.

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