Fulton MacGregor more than doubled his majority as he retained his Coatbridge & Chryston seat, and says issues including healthcare and child poverty will be key priorities during his second term at the Scottish Parliament.

The SNP representative was returned to Holyrood, this time with a majority of 9437, in the first of five constituency declarations made at Ravenscraig following a seven-hour count.

He told Lanarkshire Live: "It's a fantastic result - it shows that people have really taken to the SNP's manifesto and our leadership through this pandemic, and also locally it feels like people have put their trust in me.

Mr MacGregor says his team worked hard for every vote

"We've worked hard for every vote for the last five years to win the trust of the people of Coatbridge & Chryston, and we've worked hard for the last five weeks to make sure people understood our message.

"The majority is quite a significant increase and I think that's a reflection of both the SNP record in government and my own work within the constituency."

Mr MacGregor continued: "The issues around healthcare have been massive during the pandemic; people have seen that the SNP is investing in the healthcare and services of the local area and I want to make sure that's delivered.

The Ravenscraig facility was much quieter than on previous election counts

"Child poverty is a real major issue in Coatbridge & Chryston - there are some innovative ideas in terms of challenging that and I want to makes sure that these policies are implemented nationally and in our constituency."

Speaking at the declaration, he said: "I want to thank the good people of Coatbridge & Chryston - it's been an absolute honour and privilege to serve them for the past five years. It's my job to stand up for everybody and I can guarantee that I'll always do that."

He praised Labour runner-up Michael McPake, his former North Lanarkshire ward colleague, saying: "He does a fantastic jobs as a local councillor and I look forward to working with him on anything that's an issue in his ward in Gartcosh, Glenboig & Moodiesburn.

"Michael is a local councillor and very well-known individual, and the constituency has traditionally been Labour for a very long time, so we never went into the election thinking it was in the bag.

"We had to avoid complacency at all costs and took nothing for granted; in this election I think there was an expectation that we would hold the seat so I felt a very different pressure than in 2016."

Mr MacGregor is now getting ready for his second term at Holyrood, and he added: "Last time it was all very new to me, but now I go in as a more experienced parliamentarian.

"Now I want to get back to represent the people of Coatbridge & Chryston - I've missed that during the past six weeks of the campaign recess and I'm keen to be able to get on with the job in doing that again.

"I didn't realise how much I would miss raising issues for for people in the parliament, but I'm very much a locally-based MSP and I want to get on with the job of representing people."

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