New Galloway MSP says thanks

Finlay Carson in the Chamber of the Scottish Parliament this week
Finlay Carson in the Chamber of the Scottish Parliament this week

The newly elected Member of the Scottish Parliament for Galloway and West Dumfries, Finlay Carson, has thanked voters in Galloway and West Dumfries for their support.

Last Thursday, the Conservative candidate won the seat with 14,527 votes, beating the SNP’s Aileen McLeod, who received 13,013 votes by a majority of 1,514.

Finlay Carson said: “It is an enormous privilege to be elected to represent the area that I am proud to call home. After a long and hard-fought campaign, I am delighted that the people of Galloway and West Dumfries have decided to place their trust in me and I want to thank them for doing so.

There were many people who assisted me during my campaign but in particular I want to give a special mention to Gill Dykes, Patsy Gilroy, Sophie Castle, Alice Kennedy, William Saunders and the Association staff, to whom I extend my gratitude.

“Finally, I want to pay tribute to the man who has represented our area tirelessly for the past 17 years, The Rt. Hon Alex Fergusson. Across the constituency and the political divide in Parliament Alex was widely respected and had a strong reputation for being a hard working local MSP. I wish Merryn and him a long, happy and well-deserved retirement”.

Speaking about his plans for his own term in office, Finlay said: “At the start of the election campaign I launched my six-point plan for Galloway and West Dumfries. I fully intend to pursue this plan and will work with local communities and relevant stakeholders to take this plan forward.

“I intend to be as accessible to constituents as possible and once I have my staff team in place and my office up and running I will be circulating my contact details. In the meantime if there is anything I am able to assist you with please do not hesitate to contact me by emailing

“Thank you once again for placing your trust in me to represent you in the Scottish Parliament - I won’t let you down.”

Aileen McLeod said: “The result of the election in Galloway & west Dumfries was of course a great disappointment to me – while the SNP’s share of the vote rose to levels only matched by Alasdair Morgan in 1999, we didn’t do well enough to take back the seat for the first time since 2003. I congratulate Finlay Carson on his victory and I wish him well for the next five years.

“Looking back at my time as an MSP what strikes me most is the breadth and variety of work we did in that time. From promoting a long-distance walking route to Whithorn, to highlighting in Parliament the fantastic work of the Galloway Mountain Rescue Team or the opportunities the Biosphere and the Dark Skies Park present in increasing tourism and attracting visitors to the region, I was able to gain a wider audience though Parliamentary debates for many of the good things that are going on across this region.

“Even before I was appointed Minister for Environment, Climate Change & Land Reform I had an interest in different forms of land tenure, and I was able to secure the creation of the first Scottish Woodlots, a new form of land tenure which will allow local people with an interest forestry to manage their own woods for their own benefit. And of course there was the Scottish Government’s response to the severe flooding in Newton Stewart late last year.”