Anas Sarwar has set his sights on becoming Scotland’s next First Minister after Scottish Labour trounced the SNP at the General Election.

His party won 37 of Scotland’s 57 constituencies, their biggest haul in 14 years, and a significant increase on the one MP returned in 2019.

John Swinney’s party had a terrible night, falling from 38 MPs to just nine.

The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats have five each.

The new Inverness, Skye and Wester Ross constituency is still to declare, with a recount due to take place on Saturday morning, but the Lib Dems believe they are ahead. 

READ MORE: Cherry blames Sturgeon as recriminations begin for SNP rout

 Mr Sarwar and many of his new MPs posed for photographs in Glasgow on Friday morning.

(Image: Jeff Mitchell/Getty)

Speaking to journalists, the party leader said he would “redouble” efforts to replace the SNP as Scotland’s government.

He said the SNP should not try and pretend Labour’s victory in Scotland was the result of a “protest, or as some kind of tactical block.”

“I think they've seriously underestimated how much frustration and anger there really is on the record of this SNP government and how frustrated people are with how our NHS has collapsed on their watch.

“How our education standards are falling on the international league tables, how our criminal justice system feels broken, how our housing system is not fit for purpose, and how there is still far too much entrenched inequality in our communities across Scotland.

“So I am really determined to make sure we demonstrate that yes, getting rid of the Tories was worth it. Yes, that Scottish Labour is ready to deliver change from a UK perspective. But also we need change here in Scotland.”

READ MORE: Inverness result delayed until Saturday over 'vote discrepancy'

Mr Sarwar said the party had come a long way in five years.

“If you look at the last general election, I remember being at the count, I remember the feeling on that night.

“I remember the devastation that I felt, that the party felt and many people in across Scotland felt when they saw the Tories reelected and labour do so badly.

“That was our worst result since 1910.

“We came fourth actually, only got one Scottish Labour MP.

“And then three years ago when I took on the leadership, we were 32 points behind the SNP.

“People were talking about our survival, and three years on to have gone from that position, to not just win the election in Scotland, not just be the largest party in Scotland, but to win such a convincing majority in Scotland is of course absolutely incredible”.

Speaking in Edinburgh in the hours after the results, First Minister John Swinney said his party “failed to convince people of the urgency of independence” during the campaign.

“Therefore, we need to take the time to consider and to reflect on how we deliver our commitment to independence – which remains absolute.

“As somebody who has devoted their entire adult life to the winning of Scottish independence – not for an abstract reason, but because I believe it will transform the lives of our people for the better – we need to get that approach correct in the forthcoming period.

“I accept that we need to engage with, listen to and learn from the people of Scotland on how we take forward our arguments for independence.”

READ MORE: Swinney: We have failed to convince Scots on independence

He earlier pledged a period of “soul searching” after what he described as a “very poor” performance for the SNP, saying his party has to be “better at governing on behalf of the people of Scotland”.

Outgoing Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross failed in his bid to return to Westminster.

Mr Ross sought election to the Aberdeenshire North and Moray East seat in place of former MP David Duguid, who was barred from standing by party bosses due to ill health.

His decision – which reversed an announcement he would not seek re-election to Westminster – was met with criticism from opponents and some within his own party.

Speaking to the BBC, the party leader suggested the Reform UK vote had handed the SNP the seat.

The party’s candidate Jo Hart came third with 5,562 votes, while Mr Ross trailed his SNP rival by less than 1,000.

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton said: “The Liberal Democrats have made a huge leap forward and are back as a major force in British politics.

“Across the UK our wins make this the best result since our party was founded, demolishing the blue wall and toppling huge chunks of the acid yellow wall of the SNP. There are far more liberals than nationalists on the benches of the House of Commons today.”

Scottish Green co-leader Patrick Harvie thanked people who voted for his party.

“We have established our party as the third political force in Glasgow and have broken new ground across the country,