FOLLOWING last week's General Election, The Barrhead News spoke to residents to hear their thoughts on the result, and their hopes for the new government.

The East Renfrewshire constituency is one which has switched from SNP to Labour. 

Blair McDougall of the Labour Party received 21,935 votes, a clear winner over second-placed SNP candidate Kirsten Oswald who received 13,514 votes. 

We headed to Main Street to ask people what they thought.

Harry SinclairHarry Sinclair (Image: Newsquest)

Harry Sinclair, 71, was happy with the result.

“I think it was a cracking result, for Labour anyway. Put it this way, we were fed up with the SNP after all they’ve done. It’s a change, we’ll see what they do.” 

He thinks the main priority should be “sorting out the schools” and he remains confident that Labour will bring change to the local area. 

“It’s got to be better than what we had,” he said. 

His message to Blair McDougall, the new MP is: “Stick to your word. Not like the rest of them, they promise and then never do it. Stick to what you’ve said you’re going to do and do it." 

John CassidyJohn Cassidy (Image: Newsquest)

Independence supporter, John Cassidy said: “Labour is just as bad as the Tories. Their ‘improvements’ to the NHS are just privatisation. 

“It’s not the Labour Party of old, they were a socialist party, now they’re going for the Tory vote in England, so although we’ve got rid of the Tories, Labour is just as bad.

“But in Scotland, I’m an SNP man. I think people in Scotland confuse the General Election with the local situation.” 

The 63-year-old believes the swing toward Labour in Scotland is “just a protest vote to show the SNP that they haven’t really produced the goods recently, especially independence.”

His message to the new local MP is “take a hike”.

Raymond PattisonRaymond Pattison (Image: Newsquest)

Raymond Pattison thinks “it’s a big challenge” for Labour to bring the necessary change.

“If Labour can’t show that there has been substantial progress then that may cause a switch back to SNP in the 2026 elections for Edinburgh. It’s possible that this is one of those constituencies that osculates back and forth. 

Reflecting on the result for the SNP, Raymond said: “Because the SNP have done so badly in terms of seats the natural assumption is that independence is now on the back burner but that’s not necessarily the case. 

“I think the opinion polls will show that. It’s by no means the case that the SNP are down and out.”

Alan StewartAlan Stewart (Image: Newsquest)

Alan Stewart was “pleased that Labour got in and that the SNP lost so many seats".

He said: “I just think that they’ll be moderately incompetent, which I think will be better [than before].

Admitting that Labour is a “lesser of two evils” his message to the new MP for East Renfrewshire is: “Don’t try change too many things very quickly, just try and bed in and build some trust over time.” 

Helen ConnellyHelen Connelly (Image: Newsquest)

Helen Connelly also thinks that “Labour will be the lesser of two evils.”

The 62-year-old also felt disappointed by the Liberal Democrat campaign. She said: “They should’ve got their act together, stop acting like a clown [Ed Davey], loads of people would have voted for you if you weren’t an a**e.

“I know what he was trying to do but this is people’s lives. They should’ve been a lot more serious.”