ARGYLL and Bute’s re-elected MP has vowed to represent “everyone in this constituency equally” following his narrow victory at the general election.

Although Brendan O’Hara retained his seat with 17,304 votes, his majority was slashed in the process.

Mr O’Hara, who was elected for the first time in 2015 in the SNP's Scotland-wide landslide, saw an 8.3 per cent drop in his vote share from two years ago.

The biggest swing was towards Conservative candidate Gary Mulvaney, who trailed by 1,328 votes.

Liberal Democrat Alan Reid, who lost the seat to Mr O’Hara in 2015, won 8,745 votes, a further drop in percentage terms of 9.7, whilst Labour candidate Michael Kelly recorded 6,044 votes, an increase of 2.2 per cent on the last election.

Speaking following the results, Mr O’Hara said: “Regardless of where you put your cross on the ballot paper (or not), I am your MP and I will, as I have done previously represent everyone in this constituency equally.”

Following on from what was a difficult night for his party, who lost 21 seats nationally, Mr O’Hara promised to keep good on his campaign promise to focus on the area’s economy.

He said: “Throughout the campaign I promised that the economic regeneration of Argyll and Bute would be my number one priority and I intend to work with anybody and everybody in order to make good on that promise; regardless of the political chaos that now engulfs Westminster in the aftermath of the vote.”

Mr O’Hara also hit out at Theresa May for putting people through the “upheaval and uncertainty of an unnecessary” general election.

Mr O’Hara said: “The decision to hold a snap election was nothing more than a cynical and opportunistic attempt by Theresa May to strengthen a majority she already had and in the process, crush the opposition.

“She put the interest of the Conservative party ahead of the country and it has backfired spectacularly.

“From having a healthy, working majority, her lame-duck government now have to rely on MPs from the Democratic Unionist Party, of all people, in order for her to run a minority administration.“And I shudder to think what price the DUP will demand in return for that support.”

With Brexit negotiations set to begin next week Mr O’Hara said he was fearful of the outcome for Scotland and believed that the UK is now “severely compromised”.

He said: “The SNP has said from the outset we want a seat at the Brexit negotiating table to protect Scotland from Theresa May’s hard-Brexit stance.

“I hope that in light of the disastrous performance of the Conservative party last week, the government will now see the sense of have Scottish voices in those negotiations, to protect Scotland’s vital national interest.”

Though the UK result was a poor one for the Conservatives, in Scotland the party made significant gains, returning 13 MPs – their best result north of the border since 1983.

Commenting on the outcome of the Argyll and Bute election, local Tory candidate Gary Mulvaney said: “First of all, my congratulations to Brendan on his victory and commiserations to Alan and Michael.

“The Conservatives had a great campaign in Argyll and Bute and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it, even the most rumbustious hustings events.

“We came within 1,300 votes of winning from being a distant third place two years earlier.

“We knew it would be close and I am disappointed not to have delivered the result for our supporters.

“I did remark once or twice during the campaign about getting on with the day job. Now I will take my own advice and do exactly that, as well as spend time with my wife and daughter.”

Labour MSP Jackie Baillie called for the resignation of the Prime Minister.

She said: “Across the UK, Theresa May led a dismal campaign and the Tories have lost their majority. The minority Tory Government is weak and unstable and Theresa May should resign.

“Over the coming weeks and months Labour stands ready to form an alternative government that will end austerity and transform our country for the many, not the few.”

The turnout in Argyll and Bute was 71.6 per cent; of 48,138 votes cast, there were 69 rejected papers.

The count in Lochgilphead started just before 10.30pm and the result was announced around 4am.

Helensburgh councillor Aileen Morton, elected last month as leader of Argyll and Bute Council, trailed a distant fourth for the Liberal Democrats in East Renfrewshire, polling 1,112 votes and losing her deposit as a result – though her party also improved its Scottish showing on the night.

She said: “Seeing the Liberal Democrats go from one seat to four seats in Scotland, just two years after the last General Election was great – and I look forward to the fight back continuing.”

Paul Masterton took the East Renfrewshire seat for the Conservatives.