LINLITHGOW and East Falkirk was one of the SNP’s top target seats in May and the task of ousting the Labour incumbent Michael Connarty fell to Martyn Day – a 44-year-old former bank worker from Falkirk who had spent 16 years as a full-time councillor. And he did so convincingly with a majority of nearly 13,000.

“I was a cultural nationalist long before I became a political one,” he said. “I was interested in the history and the heritage and I joined the party when I was 18, but it was a couple of years before they got me doing anything.

“And it was Billy Wolfe and Robert Kerr who got me moving inside the party, encouraging me to do more and more.”

Day had taken on the role of election agent in the past, but this was his first time standing for Westminster.

He said the biggest difference between his days canvassing as a councillor and a prospective MP was people’s reaction and pubic engagement.

“That was something the like of which I’d never seen before.

“It felt more like a carnival atmosphere than a campaign, and that wasn’t down to over-exuberance from our activists,” said Day.

Amid the induction activities that followed the new MPs’ arrival at Westminster, Day said there was one that “jumped out at me”.

“That was when we went into the House of Commons chamber and the thing that struck me was how small it actually appeared compared to the size you think it looks on TV.

“And, of course, we now know how small it is given the seating issue, but that’s another story altogether. But I genuinely thought it looked a lot bigger on telly.” Day shares his colleagues’ view that their main task at Westminster is to make their constituents’ voices heard. “There’s been a huge amount of confidence placed in us. We have to live up to that and start delivering for folk on the ground.

“And being accessible is a key part of that. We’re making politics far more accessible than it’s ever been before and we’ve got to live up to that.”

One of the first things Day did as an MP was to pledge the controversial £7,000 rise in his salary as an MP to good causes across his constituency.

The rise was recommended by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, but Day said it was wrong. “At a time when cuts are hurting hard-working people this proposal to increase MPs’ salaries by such a large amount is simply wrong and I will not take advantage of it.

“The allowances provided to cover staff and office costs will be used effectively to appoint professional people in Linlithgow and Grangemouth to allow me to properly do my job on behalf of all my constituents.”

Away from work, Day lists reading and listening to music among his hobbies.

“If I had a spare couple of days just to relax, I’d read and listen to music,” he said. “I listen to pretty much any kind of music, ranging from folk, to blues and old rock and roll, that sort of thing.”