Scotland politics

SNP celebrates by-election successes

SNP rosette Image copyright Getty Images

The SNP is celebrating further success after winning in five council by-elections.

The party held three seats and won one from the Greens on Glasgow City Council. It also held another seat on South Lanarkshire Council.

Three of the by-elections were prompted by the resignation as councillors of newly elected SNP MPs.

The remaining two were the result of the resignation of an SNP and a Green councillor.

The five contests saw a repeat of the large swings to the SNP seen at the general election and in other recent council by-elections.

However, turnout in the latest polls was as low as 14.5% in one case and 16.1% in another.

Swing from Labour

In the poll in Glasgow's Langside ward, where the SNP won a seat from the Greens, first-preference voting was: SNP 2,134, Labour 932, Green 579, Conservative 379, Liberal Democrats 125, Ukip 65, TUSC 62.

The swing from Labour to the SNP was 13%. The Greens saw their vote share increase by 4.5 points but it was not enough to hold the seat they had won when three seats were contested in the ward in 2012. Turnout was 21.7%.

At Glasgow, Calton, the SNP held the council seat vacated by new MP Alison Thewliss with 1,507 first-preference votes against Labour 814, Conservative 129, Ukip 103, Green 99, Independent 47 and Lib Dems 18. The swing from Labour to the SNP was 25%, and turnout 16.1%.

At Glasgow, Anderston/City, formerly represented by new MP Martin Docherty, the SNP held the seat with 1,441 first-count votes against Labour 857, Green 414, Conservative 164, Lib Dem 66, Ukip 43, Libertarian 12. Swing from Labour to SNP was 20%, and turnout 14.5%

The SNP also held a seat at Glasgow, Craigton. First-preference voting was: SNP 2,674, Labour 1,643, Conservative 300, Green 136, Ukip 95, Lib Dem 87. Swing from Lab to SNP was 21.5%, and turnout 21.7%.

Westminster roles

At South Lanarkshire, Hamilton South, the SNP held the seat vacated by Angela Crawley MP. First-preference voting was: SNP 1,881, Labour 1,396, Conservative 349, Green 127, Christian 77, Ukip 43, Lib Dem 32, Pirate 13. Swing from Labour to SNP was 16%, and turnout 26.8%.

Similarly large swings of 20% and 23% from Labour to the SNP were recorded last week in two Aberdeen City Council by-elections, as well as 25% in a North Lanarkshire Council by-election on 9 July.

The Aberdeen polls were prompted by the resignation as councillors of Kirsty Blackman, now SNP MP for Aberdeen North, and Callum McCaig, now SNP MP for Aberdeen South.

Thirteen new SNP MPs have stepped down as councillors to focus on their Westminster roles, sparking local by-elections.

Two are set to take place next Thursday at Falkirk, where John McNally is now SNP MP for Falkirk, and North Lanarkshire, where Marion Fellows is now SNP MP for Motherwell and Wishaw.

The others will follow in August and September.