BRENDAN O'HARA has secured a fourth term as Helensburgh and Lomond's MP at Westminster - but it was a faint flash of light on a dismal General Election night for the SNP.

Mr O'Hara comfortably held on to his newly-enlarged Argyll and Bute seat, now known as Argyll, Bute and South Lochaber, in the face of a Labour landslide that saw Sir Keir Starmer's party swept to power at Westminster.

Opinion polls had widely forecast that the SNP would retain a seat they've held since Mr O'Hara deposed the Liberal Democrats' Alan Reid in 2015.

And so it proved, with Mr O'Hara easing to victory on 15,582 votes - 34.7 per cent of the total.

The result was announced at the counting centre at Lochgilphead Joint Campus at 6.42am on Friday.

Conservative candidate Amanda Hampsey was second on 9,350, with Hamish Maxwell third for Labour on 8,585.

Mr Reid, who was always seen as an outside contender to return to the parliamentary seat he lost nine years ago, was fourth on 7,359.

Melanie Hurst from Reform UK received 3,045 votes, with independent Tommy Macpherson the only one of the six candidates to lose his deposit after he secured 941 votes.

Mr O'Hara's vote share was 9.5 per cent down on the last General Election in 2015, while the Conservatives saw their share drop 13.7 per cent to 20.8 per cent.

Labour, who have always struggled to make an impact in Argyll and Bute because of the seat's rural nature, increased their vote share by 12 per cent, while the Lib Dems were up by 2.3 per cent and Reform by 6.7 per cent respectively.

Across Scotland, Mr O'Hara is now one of just nine SNP MPs at Westminster, though as this article was published, four constituencies in Scotland - Inverness, Skye and Wester Ross, Angus and Perthshire Glens, Dumfries and Galloway, and Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale - had yet to announce a result.

With those four constituencies yet to declare, Labour has 37 MPs in Scotland - and 410 across the UK - with the SNP on eight, the Liberal Democrats on five and the Conservatives on three.

Local politicians also reacted, with Tory Councillor Gary Mulvaney telling the Advertiser: "Massively disappointing result across the UK for us but after 14 years and a few own goals along the way, the mood for change was unstoppable.

"Now we need to see what Labour means in government.

"But as unionists we  can console ourselves that the Nats were decimated and Scots rejected independence page one line one as someone said.

"Disappointed that in Argyll that the unionist vote split three ways instead of consolidating around unionist front runner Amanda Hampsey and the largely invisible SNP member was returned."

And LibDem Councillor Graham Hardie said: "I thought it was a good night for the United Kingdom and I hope Kier Starmer and his government can live up to all the hopes and expectations placed on them.

"As for the Liberal Democrats I was very pleased to see them do so well nationally. Onwards and upwards as they say. 

"As for Helensburgh and Lomond whether a change of leadership and government at the top will make much of a difference we will have to wait and see."