THE Scottish Conservatives have held the key seat of Galloway and West Dumfries with an increased majority. 

Finlay Carson secured a majority of 2,635 over the SNP's Emma Harper, up from his lead of 1,514 in 2016. 

The seat was a key target for the SNP and one of a handful of opposition-held constituencies the party hoped to pick up. 

All eyes are now on Tory-held Aberdeenshire West, which could prove crucial in terms of whether the SNP gain an overall majority in Holyrood.

Ms Harper caused controversy during the election campaign by claiming a border between Scotland and England resulting from independence could “create jobs”. 

Mr Carson told the BBC he was "absolutely delighted", adding: "Our hard work over the last few months has paid off, and I'm honoured and privileged to be serving the people of Galloway and West Dumfries once again up in Holyrood."

Earlier, the SNP held on to its most marginal seat, Perthshire South and Kinross-shire.

The constituency was a key target for the Scottish Conservatives, who had hoped to take it from the Nationalists.

Nicola Sturgeon's party gained three seats during the count on Friday, winning Ayr, Edinburgh Central and East Lothian.

It is the only party to have made gains.